21st Annual ZAP Festival | Four Extraordinary Events, One Classic Varietal

Photography by Wayde Carroll

Zinfandel Advocates & Producers presents the 21st Annual Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco January 26 -28, 2012, encompassing four compelling events.  In 2012 there is a new venue for two of the events—The Concourse at 8th & Brannan in San Francisco. Carpeted, with many levels, near public transportation, The Concourse will offer a new identity for The ZAP Festival Tasting and Epicuria: Food & Zinfandel Pairings. The other two events will take place at The Westin St. Francis Hotel.

Thursday, January 26:

The foodie fantasy event is Epicuria: Food & Zinfandel Pairings. Taking place on Thursday January 26 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at The Concourse (635 8th Street at Brannan, San Francisco 94103-4901). This is a new name for the ZAP Festival’s popular Zinfandel and food pairing event. This is an intimate way to explore the magic of matching food and Zinfandel, whether it’s Swan Oyster Depot’s shrimp cocktail or lamb lollipops from Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Epicuria is a way to meet and converse with 50 Zinfandel vintners and 50 San Francisco Bay Area chefs and restaurateurs who’ve worked together to offer very specific food-wine matches. ”There is no better way to experience the wide range of Zinfandel styles and the broad scope of food that Zinfandel can be paired with in a more intimate setting,” explains Robert Biale, President, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers. Epicuria also includes The ZinKitchen, where chefs will demonstrate how to prepare their dishes and explain why it synchronizes so well with Zinfandel. The ZinKitchen chefs will be Chef Mark Dommen and Sommelier Tonya Pitts from One Market Restaurant, Chef David Taylor and Sommelier Shelley Lindgren from A16 and Chef Michael Thiemann and Sommelier Ken Wagstaff from Tyler Florence’s new restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. Tickets are $95 ZAP members, $125 non-members.

The teams will be Artezin Wines paired with Kollar Chocolates; B.R. Cohn Winery paired with Preferred Sonoma Caterers; Calstar Cellars paired with Cabot Creamery; Claudia Springs Winery paired with Pacific Catch; D-Cubed Cellars paired with A-16; Dogwood Cellars paired with Sift Cupcake; Four Vines paired with City College of San Francisco; Gamba Vineyards and Winery paired with ESTATE; J. Dusi paired with First Crush; Klinker Brick Winery paired with Fifth Floor; Ledson Winery & Vineyards paired with Centre du Vin at the Ledson Hotel; Mazzocco Winery paired with Radio Africa Kitchen; McCay Cellars paired with Wine & Roses; Outpost Wines paired with Mustards Grill; Peachy Canyon Winery paired with Swan Oyster Depot; R&B Cellars paired with Paul’s Paella; Ravenswood paired with Central Market; Rock Wall Wine Co paired with Angela’s Bistro; Selby Winery paired with Bocanova; St. Francis Winery paired with Executive Chef David Bush; Starry Night Winery paired with Il Davide Restaurant; Terra d’Oro Winery paired with Taste; Three Wine Company paired with The Fairmont; Trentadue Winery paired with Sarah’s Forestville Kitchen and Tres Sabores Winery paired with Dean and Deluca.

ZAP Zinfandel Wine Seminar

The Festival’s other events are:

Friday January 27:

Flights!: Forums of Flavor, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Westin St. Francis Hotel (Union Square, 335 Powell Street, San Francisco 94102). Fuel your passion for Zinfandel as you experience discussions as diverse as the wine itself. This in-depth seminar-style tasting features themed flights of Zinfandels presented by the winemakers and offers insights into the Zinfandel varietal, an opportunity to experience the true character of the legend yourself.
Tickets are $60 ZAP members, $75 non-members.

ZAP Zinfandel Festival Cooking Pairing Demo

Friday January 27:

Winemakers’ Dinner: A benefit with taste, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. at The Westin St. Francis Hotel.  Viva Las Vegas!  What happens here stays with you forever as you experience a Las Vegas-style benefit with VIP taste. Dress to the nines and bring your lucky charm to this glamorous reception and dinner where you will enjoy unusual wines chosen by your winemaker hosts. Throw your chips in for the live and silent auctions featuring rare and one-of-a-kind lifestyle lots, with proceeds benefiting ZAP programming, education and Heritage Projects. Participating wineries include Alderbrook Winery, Ancient Peaks Winery, Artezin Wines, Robert Biale Vineyards, Charter Oak Winery, D-cubed Cellars, Dogwood Cellars, Four Vines Winery, Grey Wolf Vineyards & Cellars, Hendry Wines, JR Wines, Lange Twins Winery & Vineyards, Mauritson Family Winery, McCay Cellars, Peachy Canyon Winery, Ravenswood, Ridge Vineyards, Rock Wall Wine Company, Rosenblum Cellars, Saddleback Cellars, Scott Harvey Wines, Seghesio Family Vineyards, Carol Shelton Wines, St. Francis Winery & Vineyard, Starry Night Winery, Terra d’Oro,Three Wine Company, Trentadue Winery and Wilson Winery & Vineyards.

Tickets are $225 and include an annual advocate membership for two.

ZAP Zinfandel Festival Dinner attendees with Bitchin' Kitchen host Chef Nadia G.

Saturday January 28:

Grand Tasting: From A To Zin, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at The Concourse.

From A to Zin: savor the journey through the world’s largest single varietal tasting as you explore hundreds of barrel samples and new releases. Meet winemakers from different Zinfandel growing regions and explore the dimensions of this authentically American varietal at the most comprehensive showing of Zinfandel wineries in the world. You can also experience the Grand Tasting by using ZAP’s ZinTracks ‘map’— a way to choose one path through the Tasting and build your knowledge. ZinTracks will illuminate the many distinguishing features of Zinfandel—-whether it’s why Dry Creek appellation Zins share a certain taste profile…or even just the fun of how many Zinfandel winemakers have red hair!

A key part of The Grand Tasting is the role of Zinfandel as America’s “Heritage Wine.” Visit ZAP Central for more information about this fascinating history. ZAP membership enables early entrance (at 1:00 p.m.) as well as a complimentary members-only lounge with seminars throughout the day. Tickets are $49 ZAP members, $59 non-members and $69 at the door.

ZAP Grand Tasting Festival

Also new in 2012 are coordinated tasting—events during the days before the Festival at Beverages & More, K & L Wines, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants, Piedmont Grocery, Napa Valley Winery Exchange and The Press Club.

The Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers is a not-for-profit, member-based, educational 501(c)(3) organization. ZAP’s mission is to advance public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history.

Winegrowers, winemakers and wine enthusiasts combine to form the membership. The common focus is the preservation and recognition of Zinfandel as America’s heritage wine. ZAP’s membership includes approximately 250 winery-members, 4,000 advocate members and 100 associate members.