The 15th annual ZinFest Wine Festival runs May 17-19, with the Grand Tasting taking place from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at Lodi Lake Park.
Additional weekend activities include a blind tasting of old vine Zinfandel wines and Vintner’s Grille on Friday, May 17, as well as Cellar Tours on Sunday, May 19. More than 4,000 wine lovers are expected to attend this year’s weekend activities.
New this year is the ability to purchase an early entrance admission ticket to Saturday’s Grand Tasting. Guests can beat the crowds and enter one hour early at noon where they can taste reserve wines not made available to the general public. The early entrance admission tickets are limited to 500.
Although Zinfandel can certainly be considered Lodi’s heritage grape, at Saturday’s Grand Tasting at least 200 wines from more than 40 Lodi wineries will be poured, including Iberian varietals like Albariño and Tempranillo to Rhône Valley stunners like Picpoul Blanc and Grenache.
The ZinFest Wine School will feature a new presentation starting at 1:30 p.m.
The ZinFest Barbecue Experience is headlined by chef Chad Rosenthal of Food Network. He is the owner of The Lucky Well in Philadelphia, and winner of multiple barbecue competitions. Rosenthal will offer tips and summer grilling favorites in three 45-minute demonstrations.
In addition to the wine and barbecue schools, guests can enjoy gourmet food from local restaurants, live music, and unique merchandise from artisan purveyors, such as local olive oils and reclaimed wine barrel furniture.
ZinFest tickets can be purchased online at ZinFest.com or by calling the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center at 209-365-0621. Early entrance admission tickets cost $75 and are not available at the gate. General admission tickets cost $55 per person in advance and $65 the day of the event. Designated driver tickets (no wine tasting) are also available at $25 per person for early entrance and $20 in advance for general admission.
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.