Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's ZZZZZZinfandel Zeason: ZAP Comes to the Bay Area

ZAP madness has begun. The Zinfandel Advocates & Producers' passion for Zin annually celebrates all things Zinfandel each winter in the Bay Area, kicking off its 5 days of events with a trade and media tasting Wednesday in Alameda, headlined by a panel of Zin experts.

Upcoming events include:
• a night of food and wine pairing (tonight, $135) with dozens of restaurants preparing bites paired with wineries' selections
• a Friday night (sold out) dinner at the Four Seasons, focused on regional variations in Zin (featuring Amador, Contra Costa and Dry Creek wines)
• a grand tasting Saturday from 11-5 ($170 for public)
• a Sat. night dinner event

Yesterday's panel took attendees through eight wines, showing the range of Zin's expressions in the hands of different vintners and different vines.

Enjoy these photos from the panel's presentation.

Wineries with organically grown wines at the event include:

• Carol Shelton's Monga Zin from the historic Cucamonga vineyard in southern California
• Milliaire's Clockspring Zinfandel from Amador vines
• Ridge Vineyards' East Bench and Geyserville Zins from Sonoma County
• Turley's Estate Zinfandel from St. Helena in Napa
• Tres Sabores Zinfandel, an old vine Zin from Rutherford in Napa County

The panel was held at the Rock Wall winery in Alameda, which
has stunning views of the SF Bay - and plenty of free parking (it's on
the former Navy base) 
The panel of three experts, moderated by Randy Caporoso (from Lodi)
included from left to right, Tim Fish from the Wine Spectator, sommelier
Lulu McAllister, wine director of NOPA restaurant, and Wilfred Wong
of online retailer
Lulu McAllister said Zin's food friendliness was often overlooked
on wine lists. 
Joel Petersen, of Ravenswood, with his son Morgan
Twain-Petersen, of Bedrock, commented on the regional
variation of Zin's expressions 
During the tasting, I sampled the Clockspring
Milliaire Zin, the only organic
vineyard in Amador County for decades
(it was recently sold and will no longer be organic)
Joel Ravenswood was pouring a 1994 Zin from
the historic Old Hill (Bucklin) vineyard - one
of the oldest in the state, planted in 1852.
The Old Hill is a classic field blend - with more than 14
varieties in the vineyard.

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