The Lodi Life & Times

In Lodi, wine comes first. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Meet the passionate people behind our handcrafted wines and gnarly old vines.

Randy Caparoso
March 14, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

The Grape Goddess® to speak at 2013 ZinFest

Wine lovers touching soil at 2012 ZinFest Wine School

Not only is the annual ZinFest Wine Festival the perfect opportunity to taste the finest wines produced by over 50 Lodi wineries, but it’s also a great place to learn from the best.

Catherine Fallis MS

At this year’s ZinFest – taking place Saturday, May 18, 2013 (12-5 PM) at Lodi Lake Park – the ZinFest Wine School will be headlined by two incredible instant-wine-lessons given by none other than the Grape Goddess® herself:  Catherine Fallis, a Bay Area MS – or Master Sommelier.

It’s not easy to be a Master Sommelier.  The blind tastings and examinations to become one are so rigorous, only 129 Americans have earned this title since 1973.  Of those 129, only 18 of them have been women.  Ms. Fallis is also the only person (male or female) to have earned both an MS from Court of Master Sommeliers, and an Advanced Certified Wine Professional™ (ACWP) from the Culinary Institute of America.

Since then, like the Wine Goddess® she is, Fallis has devoted her professional life to bringing wine back down to earth.  She is an instructor at the San Francisco Wine School, and she has also designed her own web-based wine course called SIX WEEK WINE EXPERT, conducted under the auspices of her wine education company, planet grape®.

This year’s ZinFest Wine School will begin at 1 PM under its own tent, which you will find next to the gargantuan willow trees along Lodi Lake.  Ms. Fallis will be joined by two other brilliant women wine instructors, and we promise:  they will all make Lodi wine come alive for you!

The ZinFest Wine School lineup:

Ellen Landis CS, CSW

1:00-1:40 PM
Jammy, Balanced and Pure:  Lodi Old Vine Zins
A tasting of Lodi’s finest wines from vineyards averaging over 100 years of age, presented by Ellen Landis, Certified Sommelier/Certified Wine Specialist, Proprietor, Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn.

2:00 – 2:40 PM
Wine Tasting 101 with Grape Goddess®
A 40 minute synopsis of the SIX WEEK WINE EXPERT wine course, presented by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis of planet grape® Wine School.

3:00 – 3:40 PM
Lodi’s Best & Most Beautiful Blends
A tasting of Lodi’f finest white and red wine blends presented by Tracey Berkner, the Sommelier/Proprietor of Restaurant Taste in Plymouth, Proprietor of Volcano Union Pub + Inn in Volcano, and Adjunct Instructor of Culinary Arts at San Joaquin Delta College.

4:00 – 4:40 PM
Secrets of Wine & Cheese Matching with Grape Goddess® & Cheese Central
Just about everything you wanted to know about enjoying wines with artisanal cheeses, presented planet grape® Wine School’s Catherine Fallis MS and Cindy Della Monica, Proprietor or Lodi’s own Cheese Central.

Tracey Berkner

Ellen Landis CS, CWS is the better half (the wine side) of Chef Ken Landis, and the two of them own and operate the beautiful Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn in Half Moon Bay (Chef Landis will also be presenting his Zinfandel-friendly oxtail stew at the ZinFest Cooking School).  Ms. Landis has become so renowned as a wine professional that she is now frequently in demand as wine judge for national and international wine competitions, and as a wine educator, speaker and consultant.  She is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) with the Society of Wine Educators, and Certified Sommelier (CS) with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Tracey Berkner makes a back-by-popular-demand return from last year, when she presented wines and bags of dirt for wine lovers to taste or smell (some in the audience insisted on tasting not just the wines, but also the soil from which the grapes were grown!) in her memorable ZinFest seminar entitled “Taste of Terroir in Lodi.”  This year she will talk about her favorite Lodi wines made from blends of different grapes, which are among the most exquisite wines you will ever experience.

So please be sure to mark May 18, 2013 on your calendar for your close encounter with the one and only Wine Goddess® – and more! – at the Lodi ZinFest.  Advance tickets are available for $45 through ($55 at the gate), or by calling Lodi Wine & Visitor Center at 209.365.0621.

2012 ZinFesters


Commenting has been turned off.