May 26, 2018 |
Lasting images of Lodi's 2018 ZinFest weekend
Lodi grower/vintners Jorja and Kyle Lerner (Harney Lane Winery) at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Another year, another memorable Lodi ZinFest, which took place last week May 18-19, 2018.
ZinFest is Lodi wine country's biggest event of each year, and the thousands of wine lovers who attend cannot be wrong about that fact! For those who have attended ZinFests of years past, the exciting thing is being part of a wine culture that has quickly become one of the world's most important.
Lodi has already achieved this in terms of size: It is easily the largest winegrowing region in the U.S. in number of acres planted as well as amount of wine grapes crushed. More famous places, like Napa and Sonoma, can't touch Lodi in terms of sheer productivity. But for Lodi wine lovers, it's also been the satisfaction of seeing (or rather, tasting) the quality of the wines crafted by Lodi's premium producers steadily improve year after year - by leaps and bounds!
Pouring on the Zin at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Think about it. 10, 15 years ago, it was still pretty much about Zinfandel for Lodi. Today it's about Grenache or Garnacha, Vermentino or Albariño, Tempranillo or Graciano, Piquepoul or Petit Verdot, and at least a couple dozen more varieties of wine types, expanding everyone's horizon and tastes. If you love variety, you drink "Lodi!"
Plus, today's Lodi wines are becoming more well defined; that is, expressive of the region - the Delta's mild, warm Mediterranean climate, and variations of the type of porous soils that wine grapes absolutely love - in a way that makes Lodi Lodi; and not Napa or Sonoma, nor Washington, Oregon, Australia, France, Chile or any other region in the world. These perceived attributes weren't achieved overnight. It takes a while, often centuries, for every region's farmers and vintners to get a handle on what kinds of grapes, and wines, they can grow. Lodi has farmers whose families have been here for as long as over 150 years. They, more than anyone, know that to live is to learn; and what is learned is passed on to the next generation.
ZinFest Vintner's Grille sign with the event's signature red haired lady
But this, we are all now starting to realize: Lodi can grow its own style of wine. And if you love that style, you gotta come to Lodi to enjoy it; or at the very least, stick to buying bottles with "Lodi" on the label.
What is the style of wine natural to Lodi's terroir? Almost across the board, a kinder, gentler wine; fruit forward, often floral and sometimes earthy (as a pleasing complexity), with a refreshing crispness indicative of easy, natural grape acidity. An almost take me sort of sensory seductiveness, as opposed to the tough, austere or severe qualities often found in wines from other regions. This goes for not only Lodi's Zinfandel, but also for the region's Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon blanc, its Albariño and Tempranillo, its Grenache noir or its Grenache blanc - you name it, Lodi has its own take on it.
And that's why we think wine lovers have been flocking to Lodi's ZinFest each year. Each year their "pleasant surprise" gets all the more pleasant! Lodi is the good sized engine "that could."
Our guest photographer, Dale Goff
Which is what you will also see in the photographic images of 2018 ZinFest events shared in this post. All of them snapped by Dale Goff of Goff Photography, who has been photographing Lodi life, wine industry, and local businesses for some 25 years. He, too, has gotten pretty good at what he does.
So without further ado, take it away, Dale!
Entrance to ZinFest Wne Festival
ZinFest wine lovers making a photo-memory
Overhead shot of beautiful Lodi Lake Park duirng ZinFest
Line-up of Zinfandels at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Wine lovers on their way to ZinNirvana
Feeling one-with-Zin at Lodi ZinFest
Lodi vignerons at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
ZinFest Wine Festival moment along Lodi Lake
Sampling Klinker Brick Zinfandel at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Canadian contingent of ZinFest wine lovers pausing for their Kodak moment
Lodi wine lovers getting their "Freakshow" on ZinFest Wine Festival
Samplng Lodi Zins at Vintner's Grille
Enjoying rosés and reds at ZinFest Vintners Grille
Some serious (WFT!) wine lovers at ZinFest Wine Festival
"I want what she has" (commemorative ZinFest bottle)
Spring blooms and wine glasses at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Feeding the manimals (the Lodi farmer/volunteers serving up the wines at Vintner's Grille)
ZinFest Vintner's Grille table setting
Macchia Wines owner Lani Jean doing her thing at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
The Oak Farm Vineyards table at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Quintessentially lush, gentle Lodi Zinfandel at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Gang-of-7-selfie at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Dinner at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
All about Lodi wines at ZinFest Vintner's Grille tables
Dinner is served at Vintner's Grille
Toast to Lodi at Heritage Oak table at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Sun setting over Lodi Lake during ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Dining under the night lights and stars at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
The Vintner's Grille band warms up the crowd of farmers and vintners
And the farmers hit the dance-lawn at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
Dancing with Zinfandel in the dark
Gliding over the Lodi Lake Park turf at ZinFest Vintner's Grille
ZinFest tents surrounded by Lodi Lake
Lodi wine lovin' couple at ZinFest Wine Festival
ZinFest wine glasses and fesitival guides
Taking the boat across Lodi Lake to ZinFest Wine Festival
A good day for Lodi wine at ZinFest Wine Festival
Photo booth props at ZinFest Wine Festival
Just another ZinFest Wine Festival service
Discovering the Lodi grown wines of the new, exciting Paskett Winery
The civilizing ZinFest Wine Festival experience
Sampling San Joaquin Valley grown blueberries and cherries in high season freshness
Threesome-selfie at ZinFest Wine Festival
Photo-bombed couple at ZinFest Wine Festival
What it's all about: locally made Lockeford sausage dogs
Refreshing Lodi grown whites at ZinFest Wine Festival
Chef Chad Rosenthal doing his "Up In Smoke" BBQ demos
Chef Chad Rosenthal demonstrating the art of barbecue seasoning
Lodi wine lovers at Lodi ZinFest
Partners in Wine at ZinFest Wine Festival
Gang of 6 Lodi wine aficionados at ZinFest Wine Festival
This way to ZinFest Wine Festival Cooking School
Enjoying dry rosé matched with dish demonstrated at ZinFest Cooking School
At ZinFest Cooking School: Chef Tony Lawrence with winemaker Jeremy Trettevik, LangeTwins Family Winery's Randy Lange and KCRA host Teo Torres
Samplng Cooking School dishes ZinFest Wine Festival
What's not to love about Lodi's ZinFest Wine Festival?
Relaxing sounds at the ZinFest Music Lounge
BFF Lodi wine lovers at ZinFest Wine Festival
ZinFest Wine School tent
ZinFest Wine School guest speaker, Covenant Wines owner/winemaker Jeff Morgan
The Cripple Creek Band hits the ZinFest Wine Festival stage
Wine lovers getting happy feet near ZinFest Wine Festival stage
Lodi's finest with ZinFest Wine Festival wine lovers
The Cripple Creek Band's Eric Anderson on his crowd rockin' fiddle
Good times near ZinFest Wine Festival stage
During Lodi's ZinFest weekend it's ultimately about the juice