Lodi Celebrates its Zinfandel Heritage While Shining a Light on the Region’s Diversity of Varietals During 13th Annual ZinFest Wine Festival, May 19th-21st, 2017

Lodi, CA, April 5, 2017 – Join your favorite Lodi vintners to celebrate the 13th annual ZinFest Wine Festival with a weekend full of fabulous Lodi wine, food and entertainment. Events run May 19th through May 21st, with the main festival taking place Saturday, May 20th, at Lodi Lake Park from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. Additional weekend activities include the sold-out Vintner’s Grille on Friday, May 19th, as well as Winery Tours & Open Houses Sunday, May 21st. More than 4,000 wine lovers are expected to attend this year’s festival.

At least 200 wines from over 40 Lodi wineries will be featured at the ZinFest Wine Festival. Beyond the glass, guests will enjoy gourmet food from local restaurants, live music, and one-of-a-kind merchandise from artisan purveyors such as local olive oils and reclaimed wine barrel furniture.

ZinFest attendees are invited to expand their knowledge of Lodi wine and food pairings during any of the sessions scheduled each hour at the al fresco ZinFest Cooking School and Wine School. Not to be missed is the “Up in Smoke” ZinFest BBQ Experience, headlined by Chef Chad Rosenthal of Food Network. Rosenthal is the owner of acclaimed restaurants such as The Lucky Well and Bánh Street in Philadelphia and winner of multiple barbeque competitions. Chef will be demonstrating three of his favorite barbecue regions – Texas, Memphis, and Alabama – during three 45-minute demonstrations. Attendees’ palates will be thrilled by  summer grilling favorites like Texas beef brisket sliders and Alabama smoked chicken tacos topped with Lexington red slaw and white BBQ sauce.  

For all of those serious oenophiles, the not-to-be-missed ZinFest Wine School begins at 1:00 p.m. and features the following line-up:

1:00-1:45 p.m. | Reds & Rosés from Bechthold Vineyard (Lodi’s Oldest Heritage Planting)

Presented by Fred Swan CSW, author of NorCal Wine and educator at San Francisco Wine School.

Tasting includes red and dry rosé wines crafted by multiple producers from Lodi’s historic Bechthold Vineyard.

2:00-2:45 PM | Iberia (Spanish & Portuguese Varietals) in Lodi

Presented by Deborah Parker Wong DWSET, writer for The Tasting Panel/ The SOMM Journal and the Director of Education at Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

The class will explore Lodi wines made from grapes such as Albariño, Verdelho, Verdejo, Garnacha Blanca, Garnacha, Tempranillo, Graciano and Touriga.

3:00-3:45 PM | Lodi Wine & Artisanal Cheese Matching

Presented by Randy Caparoso, author of’s blog entitled “The LoCA Life & Times” and Editor at Large for The SOMM Journal.

Taste a variety of Lodi wines matched perfectly to Lodi cheeses with Cindy Della Monica, the owner and acclaimed cheesemonger of Cheese Central in downtown Lodi.

“ZinFest is one of the most exciting and celebratory events in the Lodi wine region,” says Wendy Brannen, Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission. “ZinFest not only celebrates Lodi’s heritage with Zinfandel, but also showcases the bounty of varietals grown in Lodi and regional cuisines from the best of our county’s gourmet food purveyors.”

ZinFest tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at or by calling the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center at 209.365.0621. Advance tickets cost $55 per person and $65 the day of the event. Designated driver tickets (no wine tasting) are also available for $15 per person. Tickets include a ZinFest wine glass, wine tasting, and participation in all seminars and entertainment. All attendees must be 21 years of age or older, including designated drivers.

About Lodi Wine Country

Located 40 miles south of Sacramento and 90 miles east of San Francisco, the Lodi wine region benefits from a classic Mediterranean climate of warm days and cool evenings. A major winegrowing region since the 1850’s, Lodi cultivates more than 100 diverse winegrape varieties. From Iberian varietals like Tempranillo and Albariño to classic Rhône varietals such as Grenache and Cinsault, Lodi offers wines for even the most discerning palate.

The region also serves as home to 85 boutique wineries specializing in small-lot, handmade wines that have garnered major awards at domestic and international wine competitions. In 2015, Lodi was awarded the prestigious Wine Star Award for “Wine Region of the Year” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The recent increase in critic and consumer attention paid to Lodi-designate wines has fueled an astronomical growth in demand for Lodi wines, as well as tourism to the wine region.

Lodi is a leader when it comes to sustainable viticulture. Created in 2005, Lodi Rules™ is California’s first 3rd-party-certified sustainable winegrowing program and has received significant recognition over the years, having been awarded the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in 2006 and again in 2014. For more information about the Lodi wine region, visit and