Thousands of visitors from all over the country flocked to Lodi Lake on Saturday to enjoy some sunshine, spring breeze and 40-odd zinfandels for the city's annual ZinFest, a showcase of the area's many wine offerings.
Roughly 3,800 guests from not only Lodi, but the Bay Area and as far away as Tennessee, Florida and British Columbia sampled not only zinfandels, but a myriad of red and white wines that 46 of the Lodi area's wineries had to offer.
Lodi Winegrape Commission spokesman Stuart Spencer said the event boasted similar attendance numbers to last year's ZinFest, and that the international gathering Saturday went off without a hitch.
"People truly enjoyed themselves, and the weather behaved," he said. "We are happy to see the day come to an end on such a good note. This was a very, very good crowd. We had a good time today."
A long line spanned around Lodi Lake prior to the event opening its gates Saturday afternoon, and both new guests and repeat attendees could not wait to taste test everything from Chardonnay to dessert wines.
Sisters and second-time attendees Cindy O'Halloran and Connie Reule, from Modesto and Sacramento respectively, arrived just as the event began Saturday afternoon. O'Halloran said she truly enjoyed Toasted Toad's dessert wine, which is known as "Toadilly Lickable."
When asked how long the women planned on staying at the event, Reule smiled.
"Oh, until it closes," she said definitively.
In addition to the multitude of wine options available, local restaurants came out to provide people with tasty treats.
Among the food options were cheesecake with fruit from Toby's Cheesecake, caramel-fudge brownies and ice cream sandwiches from The Dancing Fox Winery & Bakery and a tri-tip sandwich from Tin Roof BBQ & Catering.
But Saturday's festivities were not the end of this year's ZinFest.
On Sunday, guests could head to open houses at individual wineries, where they could experience a more intimate tasting experience with winery owners and staff.
"This truly is a great place to meet friends," said Ripon resident Carol Power. "I came with people that I met last year that are from all over — Manteca, Turlock, etc. It is great."
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.