Creedence Clearwater Revival probably wouldn't have written the line "Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again" if they had managed to be in town for the annual Zinfandel festival, which is happening next weekend in this little town at the far end of the Sacramento river delta.
Lodi could have become (and indeed, was, at various times) famous for any number of things including being the birthplace of A&W Root Beer in 1919, as well as the infamous inspiration for the aforementioned rock song. Luckily for all of us, after an ill-fated fling with the Flame Tokay grape that peaked in the Eighties, Lodi decided to become the Zinfandel capital of the world, and that is the title that it has held for some time now.
Of course, the decision to become the epicenter of Zinfandel doesn't necessarily make it so. But as luck would have it, Lodi and other surrounding appellations include some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the state, and quite possibly the world.
So when Lodi throws a Zinfandel party, anyone who appreciates this variety ought to pay attention. Or even better, show up.
The Lodi ZinFest takes place, as is typical for these sorts of wine festivals, over three days. The event starts Friday the 18th with a "vintners grille," which as far as I can tell is just a fancy name for a barbecue with lots of winemakers there pouring their wines. Then on Saturday, the park by the lake is filled with scores of wineries pouring wines for eager tasters, and plenty of food and entertainment are also on offer. There's a tent where you can try your hand at blending your own Zinfandel (with a little Petite Sirah and Syrah if you like), arts and crafts for sale, and the opportunity to buy many of the wines from the area.
So if you're looking for something to do next weekend, and want to drink some nice wine in a fairly low key, friendly setting, you'd be hard pressed to find a better occasion than the ZinFest.
ZinFest Wine Festival
Saturday, May 19, 2007 12 noon - 7 PM
Lodi Lake Park
1101 W. Turner Road
Lodi, CA 95242
Tickets for the main festival event are $25 per person in advance and available for sale online. You can also buy them the day of the event for $35 per person. Tickets for the Friday night dinner are $75 in advance.
It's looking like the weather is gonna be stellar, so make sure to bring a sun hat, lots of sunscreen, and drink lots of water. Dehydration + heatstroke + alcohol = an ugly combination.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Ridiculous Recommendations about Wine and Pregnancy Vinography Images: Storm Clouds I'll Drink to That: Brad Hickey of Brash Higgins Winery The 25th Annual Zinfandel Experience Tasting: February 27, San Francisco Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 2/1/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of January 24, 2016 I'll Drink to That: Paul Roberts of Colgin Cellars Vinography Images: Forward and Back Martha Stewart's Wine Cellar is a Disaster I'll Drink to That: Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga of Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune