"Zintopia" is a one-day tasting event in Dry Creek Valley on Sept. 19. It's pricey at $75, but for that you will get to taste more than 50 Zinfandels (bring a designated driver), eat some catered food, meet some winemakers and vineyard owners and breathe in the harvest ambience.
For me, this is a reasonable alternative for Zinfandel fans to ZAP, the massive San Francisco event that has become so enormous that, as Yogi Berra would say, "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." This event's timing is the best thing, as it's great to be in Sonoma County this time of year, when everything is abuzz with activity and you can literally smell wine being made while driving down the road.
Because it's a new event, it's hard to say how it's going to go. In terms of bang for your buck, the pressure's on the caterer, Park Avenue Catering, because ZAP tickets cost only $44 for more Zinfandels than Popeye, Tom Waits and Shane MacGowan could sample in a weekend.