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15th Annual ZAP Zinfandel Festival: January 25-28, San Francisco

It's time for Zinfandel. Or perhaps it would better be said: it's the Zinfandel time of year. While January is a quiet month in the vineyards of Northern California, it's anything but quiet in San Francisco, as lots of wine events come to town. None is quite as big nor as well known as the annual ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) Festival.

The festival takes place over several days, and includes winemaker dinners, seminars, and smaller tastings, but the zap_logo.gifcrown jewel and focus of the event is the public tasting which brings throngs (and that's actually putting it mildly) of wine drinkers to taste for an afternoon at Fort Mason in San Francisco. It's a bit of a madhouse, and it seems to get more popular every year, but there's just no avoiding the fact that if you enjoy Zinfandel, there's just no better place to taste what is available. I've covered the event several times here on Vinography, so you can check out last year's coverage here, if you like.

This year's events include a big seminar based tasting at City College, a food and wine "dine-around" meal where food and wine pairing stations are set up for wandering guests, and a winemaker dinner at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental. For details and tickets on these events, check the ZAP festival web site.

The public and trade tasting will take place two weeks from today on Saturday, January 28th at Fort Mason. 10:00 to 1:00 for the trade, 1:30 to 5:00 for the public. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing tickets in advance, and I also highly recommend getting there early. By the time 1:30 or 2:00 rolls around, there is usually a long line to get in.

15th Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Festival Tasting
January 28, 2006 1:30 - 5:00 PM
Fort Mason Center
99 Marina Boulevard (at Buchanan)
San Francisco, CA 94123

Wear dark clothes you don't mind getting spills on, wear comfortable shoes, come with a good lunch in your stomach, and SPIT!

Comments (9)

rama wrote:
01.15.06 at 5:37 PM

Alder- are you considered "trade" since you have a wine blog? Is that sufficient credentials?

Alder wrote:
01.15.06 at 8:19 PM


Yes, I can get press credentials, as I have a business card for Vinography and my site is well known enough to pass scrutiny as an official media outlet.

Steve Maiolini wrote:
01.17.06 at 10:44 AM

Alder, I head up the ZAP Home Winemakers group and we will be pouring our wines at the tasting. Stop by if you have a chance and taste some interesting wines. We are located alphabetically under home winemakers, in the second pavillion.


Casey wrote:
01.18.06 at 10:53 AM

This is a great festival and a bit overwhelming the first time you go! My husband and I (owners of Mountain Vines Publishing) also get there early. It's just more sane. The restaurant, Greens, is also on the Fort Mason property and has great food. You must, however, make reservatons for lunch as it's always crowded during these festivals.

rama wrote:
01.18.06 at 2:11 PM

Steve Maiolini-

thanks for the heads-up. I'll be looking for you, I need all the help I can get securing good grapes next year as an amateur myself...


Jeremy wrote:
01.18.06 at 5:21 PM


If you come to ZAP, stop by the Welsh Stewart booth and say hello.


Natester wrote:
01.30.06 at 5:37 PM

Just got back from ZAP a cornucoopia of various ideological and trade-related.... oh crap we all got drunk, lest be honest.

Well, just wanted to report that the most impressive Zinfandel producers reamin:

Howell Mountain Vineyards

But there were some very new and VERY exciting wineries showing their stuff.
The best two new kids were Four Vines with their antics and incredible Paso and Amador Zins and the other was Toffanelli Vineyard -their 2004 barrel sample took the cake for me. Same vineyard that Turley buys from.

Alder wrote:
01.30.06 at 6:29 PM


Thanks for the comments. I should have my notes up later this week. Looks like I tasted around 200 wines, but I had to skip so many. Realized today that I never got to Ridge or a couple of others...

CHERYL wrote:
12.27.06 at 12:22 PM

I would love to get press credentials for the upcoming ZAP Festival on Saturday, January 27th. It is my husbands 50th b-day and we'd love to get in early! What do I need to do? Please e-mail me and let me know!!! THANKS - Cheryl

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