I’m not exactly sure how long a particular event has to have been going on for it to be credibly labeled an institution, but whatever that length of time, the ZAP Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco would certainly qualify. For nearly 25 years lovers of Zinfandel have been descending upon San Francisco in late January to celebrate their favorite grape.
While there are now many Pinot Noir festivals, several Cabernet happenings, and more than one event focused on Rhone grape varieties, there has only ever been one ZAP. And while Zinfandel might be poured at other regional tastings, no event ever offered such a comprehensive view into the grape that very nearly became California’s official state grape.
But after more than two decades of opening the floodgates of Zinfandel to the masses each winter, ZAP has been in a mode of reinvention. For starters, the event is no longer known as ZAP, it is known as the Zinfandel Experience, or ZinEX for short.
Starting on Friday, February 24th, the event kicks off with a seated tasting and then an evening filled with winemaker dinners.
The main event, however, comes the next day, when Pier 27 hosts a complete day of Zinfandel immersion. From 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM attendees can wander around and taste Zinfandel to their heart’s content. In a new format this year, attendees can sit down at designated tables and chat with winemakers from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM to get a little story with their wines. And finally, for a little extra coin attendees can taste some of the highest rated Zinfandels in the world as part of an exclusive “best of” afternoon tasting.
Perennially popular, this event is likely to sell out, so you’ll want to get your tickets soon. I’ve got four tickets to give away to aspiring Zin drinkers, so hit me with a Zinfandel poem or limerick. The first four to do so will get in free!
Now go get your Zin on!
2017 Zinfandel Experience
Saturday, February 25, 2017
11:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Pier 27 – Cruise Terminal
San Francisco, CA 94111
Tickets for the various events range from $60 to $315 for the winemaker dinner. Purchase your tickets online soon, as they will certainly sell out.