With 80 wineries and tasting rooms and 750-plus grape growers invested in 100,000 acres of vineyards, the Lodi area is obviously well-positioned to host the annual Zinfest, a celebration of zinfandel. The red wine is famous for its flavors of berry, licorice and black pepper.
Tasters can choose from among 200 wines (zins and other varietals) from more than 40 area wineries, and stroll the banks of the Mokelumne River, enjoy live music and wandering entertainers, buy wine-country goods from merchants, and dine on regional cuisine from many of San Joaquin County's restaurants.
Not enough? Chefs, wine experts and guest speakers will host cooking classes, wine-pairing lessons and hands-on seminars, including how to blend your own zinfandel.
Zinfest will be noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at Lodi Lake Park, 1101 W. Turner Road in Lodi. Tickets are $45 in advance, $55 at the door. Advance tickets are at www.zinfest.com/wine-festival and at the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center, 2545 W. Turner Road in Lodi, (209) 365-0621.