Lodi ZinFest 2019

Lodi ZinFest is the annual celebration of Lodi wine, food and fun that takes place at Lodi Lake. The 2019 event will kick off on Friday, May 17 and run through Sunday, May 19.

ZinFest 2019 graphic from the ZinFest website.
ZinFest 2019 graphic from the ZinFest website.

A few of this year’s highlights include:

Friday, May 17

  • 2019 ZinFest Blind Tasting – A Study of Ancient Vine Zinfandels of California. This tasting will feature ancient vine Zinfandel from Lodi compared to ancient vine Zinfandel grown in Sonoma County, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, Contra Costa and Amador County. The wines will be tasted blind (for maximum objectivity) with guidance from a panel of wine experts that includes Mike Dunne (wine judge and Sacramento Bee columnist), Steve Eliot (editor, Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine) and Catherine Fallis MS (Planet Grape®, Grape Goddess®, author of 10 Grapes to Know). The tasting will be moderated by Lodi wine expert Randy Caparoso who is also the editor of lodiwine.com and The SOMM Journal. This tasting will be held at the Wine & Roses Ballroom. See the Lodi Wines website for time and ticket information. I will be attending this tasting as a guest of Lodi Wines and look forward to sharing my tasting experience with our readers.

Saturday, May 18

  • ZinFest Grand Tasting. The tasting kicks off at 1 pm at Lodi Lake with general admission. Early admission tickets, however, allow you access at noon and the opportunity to taste wines not available to general admission ticket holders. Designated driver tickets are available as well. See the ZinFest website for ticket details and purchase.
  • ZinFest Wine School. School begins at 1:30 and features three tastings: Blind Tasting 101 taught by Randy Caparoso, Six Grapes to Know by Catherine Fallis MS and One Grape to Know – Ancient Vine Single-Vineyard Lodi Zinfandel also taught by Ms. Fallis. These classes will offer an excellent opportunity to develop or refine your wine tasting abilities and taste some amazing wines with true wine experts.
  • Up in Smoke! ZinFest BBQ Experience. Chef Chad Rosenthal, who recently appeared on season 9 and 10 of the Food Network Star and was a finalist on Chopped Grill Masters Napa, will offer three demonstrations that will allow you to hone your BBQ skills: Brisket Meatball Sliders, Charcoal Wings and 15-Spice Dry-Rub Pork Baby Back Ribs. Oh, they all sound delicious!
  • Entertainment. Music is a big part of the ZinFest celebration and includes the ZinFest Music Lounge and the Main Entertainment Stage.
  • Food. Don’t forget the food to go along with your Lodi wines. A variety of food for purchase will be available with something to please every palate.

Sunday, May 18

Continue your Lodi wine tasting experience by visiting individual wineries. This is an opportunity to visit wineries of note from your ZinFest Grand Tasting experience. Many will have special activities planned.

However you participate in this year’s ZinFest activities, remember that moderation is key. It’s OK to sip and spit. Remember to drink plenty of water and to eat. Using a designated driver is always advisable. 

I hope you have a delicious experience.


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