OVER 10,000 PEOPLE ATTEND ZAP FESTIVAL EVENTS
San Francisco CA February 2005---More than 10,000 people enthusiastically celebrated America's grape during the four events comprising the 14 th Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Festival, January 26-29, 2005. A large friendly crowd eagerly awaited the opening bell at the 14 th Annual Tasting on Saturday (1/29); inside tasters were greeted with a lively array of enthusiastic winemakers and a huge diversity of Zinfandel styles---all expressing the theme of this year's Festival, “Experience The Art of Zin.” On Saturday over 8,000 people walked through the two pavilions at Ft. Mason Center to taste new releases (primarily 2002 vintage) and 2003 barrel samples, poured by 275 Zinfandel wineries. How can you explain the huge appeal of Zinfandel and this Festival? “If there's a fun grape, it may be Zinfandel, and that may explain the enormous and continuing success of our events,” offers Rebecca Robinson, ZAP's Executive Director . “ The ZAP Festival is a wonderful place to observe America's wine community in microcosm. You can see the newest and most established wineries, the family businesses and the corporations--all focused on one of our tastiest wines--Zinfandel. As an educator and observer, I found it fascinating to be there and see the Festival up close,” commented Mack Schwing, Director of The Wine Business Program at The School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University.
“It's no surprise to me that this was the biggest Zinfest ever,” said Joel Peterson, Co-Founder of Ravenswood Winery and ZAP Board President. “Over the past 14 years, I've watched this event grow from 22 wineries to 275, and from 50 attendees to over 10,000 simply because people recognize that Zinfandel is an approachable varietal that doesn't try to be something it's not. Zinfandel is like your friend who is the life of the party – it creates conviviality and fun in a way that other varietals just don't. That's something ZAP, and the 400 volunteers who make this event possible, understand and convey to anyone who will listen.”
Approximately $85,000 was raised at two separate auctions during the Festival----which supports research and education about and into Zinfandel, including the Heritage Vineyard (under the direction of the Department of Viticulture & Enology, University of California, Davis, see end of this release).
An unusual prelude to this year's ZAP Festival was a ceremony at San Francisco's City Hall on January 4, where a mayoral proclamation announcing ‘Zinfandel Appreciation Week' was presented to an enthusiastic crowd of ZAP vintners by Acting Mayor and 7 th District Supervisor Sean Elsbernd (in Gavin Newsom's unexpected absence). Elsbernd and the vintners signed a 12L bottle of the 2003 Heritage Vineyard wine which was auctioned off at ZAP's ‘Evening With The Winemakers' event January 28. “It's unprecedented; no other American city has honored a grape this way,” Joel Peterson said in his remarks. Elsbernd acknowledged Zinfandel's fascinating and lengthy history, intertwined especially with the city of San Francisco. The proclamation by the Mayor of San Francisco provides a distinctive stamp of approval on efforts to inform the public about the importance of Zinfandel as America's heritage grape. Zinfandel Appreciation Week intentionally coincided with the ZAP Festival and also highlighted that all four events took place in San Francisco for the first time.
Wineries new to the Tasting this year were Abundance Vineyards, Adobe Road Wines, Artezin, Bargetto Winery, Borra Winery, Brasset Cellars, Chateau Montelena Winery, Clay Station, Curtis & David Wines, DeLoach Vineyards, Ehlers Estates, Esterlina Vineyards, Fernwood Cellars, Four Vines Winery, Grands Amis Winery, Handley Cellars, Homefire Cellars, Hunnicutt, Inspiration Vineyards & Winery, J Benton Furrow Winery, Jus Soli Winery, LaRocca Vineyards, Magito Wines, Mantra Wines, Mitchell Katz Winery, Mount Aukum Winery, Mountain View Vintners, Oakville Ranch, Orchid Hill Vineyard, Passalacqua Winery, R & B Cellars, Rabbit Ridge Winery & Vineyards, Ravenswood Quarry, RHR, Rued Wines, Scott Harvey Wines, Selby Winery, Stacked Stone Cellars, Valdez Family Winery, Vino Noceto and XYZin.
Tasters are handed their own baguette as they enter; more than 2,000 pounds of cheeses are enjoyed during the day (an assortment of Old Amsterdam, Leyden, Gruyere, Emmenthaler, Wisconsin Cheddar, Dry Sonoma Jack, Vermont Cheddar and Oregon Blue Vein).
This event has grown hugely from its first ‘incarnation' in 1992 with 22 wineries pouring their Zinfandels. This year people came to the Festival from all over the U.S. and the world, including Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New York and Massachusetts.
Zin aficionados could take the Festival home in many ways---for example, this is the only place where wine from the research vineyard is sold. This year the 2002 and 2001 Heritage Vineyard wines were sold for $20.00 per 750 ml bottle (the winemakers rotate; for the 2002 the winemaker was Ehren Jordan of Turley Cellars; for 2001 the winemaker was Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery). You could also purchase ZAP-logo'd items (such as clocks inscribed with “it's always time for Zin”) as well as mixed sampler cases of ZAP winery-members' wines.
A silent auction was conducted until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday in the Festival Pavilion. 106 lots----a mix of entertainment packages and collections of wine----raised approximately $25,000.
FLIGHTS: A Showcase of California Zinfandels was the first event of this year's Festival. 150 people attended an afternoon of panel discussions and tastings at City College in San Francisco on January 26. Peter Granoff moderated four different panels with 16 winemakers; the goal was an extremely detailed examination of Zinfandel through many facets. The topics were Out Of The Barrel: The 2004 Zinfandel Vintage; Zinfandel Style: Taste The Range; Old Vine Zinfandel: Myth & Reality and Vineyard Blends vs. Single Vineyards: Personality Profiles ). “This was a wonderfully educational afternoon, made light-hearted by the fun of Zinfandel itself,” explained Duane Dappen, owner/winemaker of D-Cubed Cellars. Participating wineries: Boeger Winery, Bourassa Vineyards, D-Cubed Cellars, Edmeades Winery, Macchia, Mara Winery, Marr Cellars, Peachy Canyon Winery, Rancho Zabaco Winery, Ravenswood, Ridge Vineyards, Robert Biale Vineyards, Rosenblum Cellars, Saxon Brown Winery, Storybook Mountain Vineyards and Tres Sabores.
GOOD EATS & ZINFANDEL welcomed more than 800 people to Herbst Pavilion (Ft. Mason) on January 27. For the ninth year, 37 Zinfandel producers paired with 37 restaurants, offering attendees an enormous array of foods to try with Zinfandel. Participating restaurants and wineries: Acorn Winery & Zin Restaurant & Wine Bar, Alexander Valley Vineyards & Alexander Valley Vineyards Culinary Group, Amador Foothill Winery & Amador Vintage Market, Artezin & One Market Restaurant, Ballentine Vineyards & Pacific Restaurant, Bourassa Vineyards & A16, Brutocao Cellars & The Crushed Grape, Carol Shelton Wines & Willi's Wine Bar, Clay Station & Habana Restaurant, Clos du Lac Cellars & San Francisco Chocolate Factory, Crystal Basin Cellars & Pearl's Café, Dry Creek Vineyard & Santi Restaurant, Edmeades Winery & Roy's, Hendry & Lark Creek Restaurant, Karly Wines & In Cahoots, Koves-Newlan Vineyards & Compadre's Bar & Grill, Mitchell Katz Winery & Catering At The Palm, Moss Creek Winery & Tulocay & Co., Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery & Rubicon, Ottimino & Barndiva, Pezzi King Vineyards & Knickerbocker's Catering, Quivira Estate Vineyards & Winery & San Francisco French Bread Co., Rancho Zabaco Winery & Izzy's Steak & Chop House, Ravenswood & Central Market, Renwood Winery & Annabelle's Bar & Bistro, Ridge Vineyards & Bacar, Rosenblum Cellars & Bucci's, Rued Wines, Sharp Cellars & Sonoma Sausage Factory, Sobon Estate & P.F. Chang's China Bistro, St. Amant Winery & Tresetti's World Cafe, Stone's Throw Winery, Storybook Mountain Vineyards & Stomp, The Terraces & Brenda Bosetti Fine Foods, THEA Wine Company & Indigo Restaurant, Trentadue Winery & Langley's On The Green, Z-52 & Besos Food Company, Cellars, Zoom Vineyards & North Main BBQ. Several recipes will be available.
EVENING WITH THE WINEMAKERS offered 300 people yet a different format---a walk-around tasting of Zinfandels preceding an elegant dinner at the Mark Hopkins InterContinental Hotel on Nob Hill in San Francisco on January 28. Auctioneer Dave Reynolds coaxed $65,000 from the crowd, following an introduction from Peterson explaining that the Heritage Vineyard's operating budget depends on ZAP's support. Executive Chef Clayton Van Hooijdonkchef prepared a feast which delighted the Zinfandel enthusiasts: an Arugula and Duck Confit Salad (served with Roasted Beet Carpaccio, Goat Cheese and Pesto Roulade) Beef Filet with Dried Fig and Tomato Stuffing (Garnished with Wild Mushroom Ragout in a Zinfandel reduction, Yam and Celery Root Puree, Grilled Asparagus and Yellow Beans) and Chocolate Mousse Dome (with White Chocolate Curl, Caramelized Seckel Pears Poached in Vanilla Essence, Caramel Sauce, Raspberry Coulis and Fresh Raspberries).
Participating wineries were Amphora Winery, Boeger Winery, Bourassa Vineyards, Charter Oak Winery, Chase Cellars, Chateau Felice, Chateau Potelle Winery, Claudia Springs Winery, D-Cubed Cellars, Edmeades Winery, Mara Winery, Michael-David Vineyards, Montevina Winery, Norman Vineyards, Peachy Canyon Winery, Quivira Estate Vineyards & Winery, Rancho Zabaco Winery, Ravenswood, Renwood Winery, Ridge Vineyards, Robert Biale Vineyards, Rosenblum Cellars, Saddleback Cellars, Saucelito Canyon Vineyard, Spelletich Cellars, Starry Night Winery, Trentadue Winery, Tres Sabores and Trinitas Cellars.
2006: The 15 th Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Festival will take place January 25-28, 2006. Watch www.zinfandel.org for details. Also in 2006: ZAP's Zinposium will take place July 8-9 at The Meritage Hotel in Napa.
More than 50 ZAP winery members will travel to San Diego (March 15), Los Angeles (March 17), Chicago (April 12) and New Orleans (April 14) this spring to conduct tastings for the trade and public. Details available at www.zinfandel.org .
Visit www.zinfandel.org to join ZAP, research Zinfandel and more! The Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is a non-profit, educational 501(c)(3) organization. ZAP is dedicated to advancing 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 over 320 winery-members, 6,000 advocate-members and 50 associate members.
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THE HERITAGE VINEYARD: The Zinfandel Heritage vineyard, at UC Davis' Viticultural Research Station in Oakville (Napa Valley), is an unusual and unprecedented collection of rare Zinfandel vine cuttings from all over California. Established in 1989 by a research team consisting of UC Davis' Prof. James Wolpert (Chair, Viticulture & Enology Department), UC Extension Viticulturist Emeritus Armand Kasimatis and UC Extension Farm Advisors Ed Weber (Napa County) and Rhonda Smith (Sonoma County), the one-acre vineyard includes a total of 90 selections from 14 counties in California. The goal of the Heritage Vineyard, according to Jim Wolpert, is to “help discover answers to some of the mysteries surrounding Zinfandel and to preserve the special qualities of the old vines for future generations.”
Not only is the Vineyard of tremendous historical and viticultural interest, it also has a special significance for the wine and grape growing industry because it represents a resource for future plantings of Zinfandel with a broad range of selections. The selections were taken from vineyards at least 60 years old, and many were much older. The cuttings were specifically chosen by the team because the mother vine was known to produce unique, high-quality wines. It is not clear whether the grapes' uniqueness is due to the particular clone of Zinfandel or the site, climate, soil and cultural practices. These differences will become clearer now that the vines have been collected in one site and will be farmed under a uniform set of practices. "By following variables such as cluster weight, berry size and cluster tightness," Wolpert says, "we can determine which might be genetic and which are due to other factors."
The Vineyard has been planted and designed keeping in mind that it is both a repository of plant material and a collection of historic material. The vineyard is planted at 6 ft x 8 foot (row x vine) spacing in gravelly Bale loam soil. St. George was used as the rootstock and the vines are head-trained and spur-pruned in the "goblet" shape as they would have been in the nineteenth century. These practices are not typical today, since they insure a low yield (of high quality). The Heritage Vineyard requires authenticity: "we need to replicate the conditions which have given Zinfandel its reputation," Wolpert explains. "Our use of St. George as the rootstock, nearly square spacing and head-trained spur-pruned vines supported only by stakes is a design much as you would have seen 100 years ago.”
Zinfandel Advocates & Producers oversees the production of wine from this unusual vineyard: "The Heritage Vineyard brings us all together as scientists, historians, farmers and artists," says Rebecca Robinson, ZAP's Executive Director.
City and County of San Francisco
Whereas, Zinfandel grapes have historical significance among agricultural products in California in that the origins of Zinfandel grapes in the United States date to the 1830s and the name Zinfandel was first used in 1832 establishing a unique and separate identity for the grape in America, eventually becoming the most widely planted wine grape in California by the 1880s; and
Whereas, the Zinfandel grape is an embodiment of the history and heritage of California, (in particular of the settlement and agricultural cultivation of the West) and Zinfandel grape vines were an integral part of the Gold Rush of 1849 and remain a living link to the time when gold was discovered in the Sierra Nevada Foothills with some Zinfandel vines in that area being at least 130 years old and still producing grapes; and
Whereas, Zinfandel wine is an excellent representative of the agricultural community of California because of its refinement and production throughout California grape growing regions, the research undertaken at the Heritage Vineyard in Oakville (under the direction of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis), which is preserving old vine Zinfandel for the future, and its recognition worldwide by scholars, growers and consumers as being a quintessential creation of California ; and
Whereas, the organization Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) has been sponsoring a Zinfandel Festival which has taken place each year in San Francisco since 1991, a festival which is recognized around the country and throughout the world as the pre-eminent varietal tasting, drawing over 10,000 people annually to San Francisco and for the first time in its 14-year history, all four events comprising ZAP's Annual Zinfandel Festival will be held exclusively in San Francisco, the principal departure point for Zinfandel shipments throughout the world; now
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED , that I, Gavin Newsom, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco, do hereby proclaim January 24 - 30, 2005 as…
Zinfandel Grape Appreciation Week
In San Francisco!
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto
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