Letters from Lodi

An insightful and objective look at viticulture and winemaking from the Lodi
Appellation and the growers and vintners behind these crafts. Told from the
perspective of multi-award winning wine journalist, Randy Caparoso.

Randy Caparoso
May 16, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Fun in sun and perfect Lodi Lake day at 2016 ZinFest

Another perfect Lodi day and memorable ZinFest for these colorful wine lovers

Are Lodi wine lovers different? We think so. At least judging from over 4,000 of them who entered through the gates to Lodi Lake Park to enjoy the 2016 Lodi ZinFest Wine Festival this past Saturday, May 14.

What we saw were peeps looking to enjoy wine without a speck of attitude, pretension or self-consciousness, among many more of like mind. Sure, many were there to learn; or more like, to enhance their experience by discovering new and delicious things. Some came dressed in crafty style, although everyone came just to have fun, and to enjoy the perfect, breezy, sun splashed 72°-average-temperature Lodi spring day. You know, the things that make Lodi and its wines so Lodi... 

Adding up to another terrific ZinFest; as anyone can glean through these vivid photos-memories:

Entrance to 2016 ZinFest in Lodi Lake Park

Oh, happy day: the first 2016 ZinFesters entering Lodi Lake Park

2016 ZinFest getting underway alongside Lodi Lake

Young ZinFest volunteers opening the shades

These lady ZinFesters are dressed for style and wine tasting comfort

While thousands of wine lovers are filing in behind them, the Oak Farm Vineyards team is raring to go

Smartly dressed Lodi wine lover in straw fedora and Hawaiian Style tee

Lodi wine lovers are cool (note the custom designed pendant and earrings)

Always time for fresh, luscious Lodi grown cherries

Signs and way to more ZinFest pleasures

Spring fashion and Lodi wine passions

That-a-way to find the ZinFest sommelier seminars

Always a few ways to get around at Lodi ZinFest

The Robert Lauchland Vineyards team in their "Lodi spirit" wine label shirts

This family came in their own "30 Years of Zinnin'" tees commemorating a birthday boy (in orange)

No worries, just being Lodi Zin-happy

ZinFest Cooking School in session

Chef Tony Lawrence (left) and Klinker Brick owner/grower Steve Felten (center) on the Cooking School stage

San Francisco's most unusual Paper Dolls taking the stage at Lodi ZinFest

Cowboy up, Lodi ZinFest style

For encores, letting the young man do that Zin thing he do

Quiet time by the Lodi Lake under a pillowy blue sky

At ZinFest Wine School, Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis regaling a curious crowd

So many wines, so little time, but plenty of time to chill


A taste of Acquiesce's refreshingly pure, unoaked, sleek and crisp whites

Life is good when you're sampling Oak Farms' elegantly textured wines

Deep, vivid Mettler Family Vineyards red

When there's good times, absolutely everyone else must know

Instagram shot with Lodi Lake New Freedom Bell (Liberty Bell replica)

Lovin' us some Lodi ZinFest

What else is there to do at the ZinFest kissing booth?

More quiet time by Lodi Lake

Joe Spraker entertaining at his piano bar by the lake

Gettin' serious about Lodi wine can be as fun as it gets

The good life during Lodi ZinFest

What it's all about: seriously dry (from 130-year-old ancient vine Cinsaut), world class Lodi rosé by Onesta Wines

San Francisco Wine School's Fred Swan talks about Lodi's many alternative varietals

Swirling to examine a nose at ZinFest Wine School

At ZinFest Wine School, nothing like new sensory experiences

Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players firing up the ZinFest energy

Speaking of fire: Lodi homegrown Lockeford sausages (world's best, sez us!)

The fresh face of today's Lodi wine lovers

A McCay Cellars Lodi wine lover, all the way

Taking the electric wheels around Lodi Lake Park

Gotta luv it at Lodi ZinFest

At ZinFest, a you-had-to-be-there moment

Civilized fun at Lodi's ZinFest

Now we're really starting to have fun...

Hanging out by the main stage at Lodi ZinFest

Kinda says it all about Lodi wine lovers

Winding down towards the end of the day at ZinFest

One more Kodak moment, and it's farewell to another great ZinFest!



Tom Hoffman's Gravatar
Tom Hoffman
@ May 17, 2016 at 5:30 AM
Nice collection

Ruby Feldman's Gravatar
Ruby Feldman
@ May 17, 2016 at 11:03 AM
I am totally honored to be featured not only in your cover shot, but also as an individual photo! If anyone is interested in my Housewife Chic by Ruby brooch, feel free to contact me via


Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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