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
April 24, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Exotic wines, lush Delta & words from the Grape Goddess at 2012 ZinFest


Why have more and more wine lovers been flocking to Lodi’s ZinFest Wine Festival, a yearly celebration taking place this year on Saturday, May 19, 2012 (12-5 PM)?  More than 6,000 attended last year’s festival, yet amazingly…

Couple at 2011 ZinFest

  • It is never so much of a “crowd” than a gathering of people of like mind and palates, thanks to the ZinFest setting in Lodi Lake Park:  strolls over lush green grass crowned by giant cypress trees, with swans and ducks floating along the reedy Mokelumne River to one side and the postcard-pretty Lodi Lake to the other, the gentle Delta breezes soothing mind, body and soul.
  • You can experience over 250 Lodi grown wines, which are by definition lush and juicy (especially Lodi’s Zinfandels), yet also amazingly adventurous:  many of Lodi’s vintners have been forging reputations for cutting-edge varietal wines crafted from grapes like Albariño and Alicante Bouschet, Tempranillo and Graciano, Charbono and Teroldego, Verdelho and Torrontes, and even totally exotic, unheard varieties like Marzemino and Dreirebe (if you wanna know what wines like these taste like, come to ZinFest!).
  • For the curious, there are two tents housing the ZinFest Wine School and the ZinFest Cooking School:  the former at this year’s ZinFest featuring Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis (a.k.a. “Grape Goddess”), Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Virginie Boone, Restaurant Taste’s Tracey Berkener, m2 Wines educator Michael Perry, and’s own Randy Caparoso – all taking on various subjects like wine and chocolate matching, wine and cheese do’s and don’ts, and introductions to Lodi’s most unusual wines.

… and more, much more, including

  • An array of foods (available for purchase) prepared by San Joaquin County’s finest
  • Live music throughout the day
  • The ZinFest Wine Shoppe, where you can purchase merchandise and wines, including a commemorative ZinFest bottling of classic Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel
  • Wine country merchandise, from Lodi olive oils and artisanal jewelry to ZinFest clothing and wine barrel furniture

Catherine Fallis MS, the "Wine Goddess"/p>

Tickets ($45 in advance, $55 at the gate) are available for purchase, and will include a commemorative ZinFest wine glass, tasting of all the wines poured by over 50 wineries, and options to enjoy all the seminars and live entertainment.

Attendees must be 21 years of age to attend, and special designated driver tickets are available for just $10 each.  Visit here for directions and parking information, and…

See you all at the 2012 ZinFest!

Wine lovers at the 2011 ZinFest



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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