70 ZINFANDEL WINERIES ATTRACT 2,400 PEOPLE
Rough & Ready, California, May 2003 ----Zinfandel poured like a mighty river along the East Coast this spring when 70 Zinfandel wineries, members of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers, poured their wines at tastings for a total of 2,400 people in Washington D.C. (on April 24 at the Marriott Metro Hotel), Boston (April 29 at the Boston Center For The Arts) and New York City (May 1 at 200 Fifth Club). "There's a genuine groundswell of interest in Zinfandel all along the East Coast," said Dave Pramuk of Robert Biale Vineyards, in summing up the three tastings. The 2001 vintage shows all that is good about Zinfandel - bold, forward fruit with rich full texture. Many people were surprised at how well this vintage is showing in its youth, but it will only get better. It was exciting to pour our California Zinfandels in three of the most important East Coast cities, This is at the heart of ZAP's mission - to take the story of Zinfandel, its heritage and wine quality, to the people."
The Zinfandel vintners were also invited to pour their wines for the Gala Preview for the 21st Annual Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington D.C. on April 23. More than 800 people attended this event (and over the weekend the exhibition attracted more than 20,000 people). "This is the first time there was a wine tasting at the Smithsonian's Craft Show," explains Rebecca Robinson, Executive Director, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers. "This Gala and ZAP were a match made in heaven," said Tim Crull of The Terraces. "The event showcased the best of American crafts with the American grape varietal, Zinfandel. The folks attending were thrilled that ZAP was participating and as a ZAP member I was proud to be pouring," he added.
"Since the early 1990s when ZAP began conducting tours to various cities, we have visited Washington D.C. three times (1994, 1999, 2003)," explains Robinson. "ZAP was welcomed back with rave reviews from the trade and the public who attended and the participating winemakers reported that the crowds were keenly interested in the wines and were very receptive to the multitude of Zinfandels represented by the producers," she added.
"It was surprising to see the number of people who came to the Boston tasting from all over New England---New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and beyond," said Dave Pramuk. "It was truly a Boston 'Zin Party' where quite a throng gathered in the unique Civil War-era brick and glass-domed space at the Boston Center for the Arts," he added.
"There was a very enthusiastic crowd in New York," explains Pramuk. "There was a big turn-out of high profile restaurants, which was great because we'd had some trepidation going into a market which is so saturated with wines from all around the world," he added. "People really lingered at the tasting in New York," says Erin Cline of Trinitas Cellars," because of the quality of the wines and the opportunity to taste such an array of Zinfandels."
Some of the ZAP vintners also poured their wines on Acela Express trains between Washington D.C., Boston and New York. "Many of the folks we met were regular commuters who were thrilled with the diversion and education that the wineries provided and wished we could be on board every week," explains Tim Crull of The Terraces. "The train was incredibly fun, going up to 150 mph," adds Carol Shelton of Carol Shelton Wines. "I had wondered if we'd be able to pour while the train was lurching around at that speed but it is so well-stabilized that you barely feel it," she adds.
Profits from these events will support the ongoing research at the Heritage Vineyard, a collection of old-vine Zinfandels maintained by the University of California, Davis. A complete list of the participating wineries is below and at www.zinfandel.org.PARTICIPATING WINERIES
ZAP FOR THE CALENDAR
Zinfandel has a unique spot in American cultural history as well as American viticulture. Zinfandel is the only wine grape varietal considered unique to the U.S. by the B.A.T.F. It once was the most widely planted varietal in California. Zinfandel is the most stylistically diverse wine made in the U.S. and possibly in the world. "Zinfandel has no historical stylistic context elsewhere in the world that restricts our winemakers' creativity. Few New World wine regions have had the opportunity to create a new great wine. With other varieties, we have constantly compared our efforts to European standards. Zinfandel gives us an unparalleled opportunity to create unique world-class wines," explains Dr. James Wolpert of the Viticulture & Enology Department at University of California, Davis.
THE HERITAGE VINEYARD
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Zinfandel Advocates & Producers
PO Box 1487
Rough & Ready, CA 95975