El Dorado County wineries make a showing at Zinfandel Festival | TahoeDailyTribune.com

El Dorado County wineries make a showing at Zinfandel Festival

William Ferchland
Volunteer Brian Beer pours some wine samples during a Zinfandel Festival event on January 25. / Photo by Wayde Carroll / Zinfandel Advocates & Producers

SAN FRANCISCO – Occupying the second booth on the left wall in the pavilion hosting wineries from A to G, Justin Boeger had a good view of the thousands who flocked to the annual Zinfandel Festival.

Boeger, winemaker of Boeger Winery in Placerville and vice president of the festival that ended Jan. 28 at Fort Mason, liked what he saw.

“Of course it’s always good to see the consumers, because they end up remembering the wine,” Boeger said.

Other El Dorado County wineries reported a good showing.

Bill Johnson, national sales director for Lava Cap, was in his 12th year of representing the Placerville winery at the San Francisco festival.

“It’s always good to get your wines in front of people,” he said, occasionally pouring shallow, dark purple pools into wine glasses from three bottles: the 2002 Reserve, Sierra Foothills; the 2003 Reserve, El Dorado; and the 2003 Star Bit Springs, El Dorado.

“It’s a long day but I’m liking it,” he said.

Each of the three Zinfandels at the Lava Cap table had a price tag of $20.

Wineries with tables at the event were mostly from California, but one, Chateau Camou, is based out of Ensenada, Mexico, while TerraMeter has its roots in Chile.

The most expensive Zinfandel poured was a 1997 vintage Old Vine Casa Santinamaria from Saxon Brown Wines. It was listed at $100 a bottle.

The cheapest Zinfandels hovered around $10.

Saturday was the climax of the event, which celebrated its 15th year, with more than 300 wineries exhibiting their Zinfandel products. The day was divided into two parts: the first half for those in the trade and media, while the doors opened at 1:30 p.m. for the general public.

The motive of the afternoon group sometimes differs from that of the morning group, becoming more of a “drunkfest” than an educational outing, according to Andre Larouche, sales manager for Fair Play’s Perry Creek Vineyards, which had three wines at the event.

“It’s safer behind the table,” Larouche said. “I don’t venture out there sometimes.”

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