Specialty Crop Block Grant from CDFA Awarded to Zinfandel Advocates & Producers for Zinfandel: Stories of America’s Heritage Grape

coffee-cup-zapThe Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) recently announced the award of a Specialty Crop Block Grant in the amount of $256,291 from The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).  The funds awarded during the next two years will support the association’s launch of a campaign called:  “Zinfandel: Stories of America’s Heritage Grape.”
“This grant will give us the opportunity to expand Zinfandel’s appreciation and reach,” explains Rebecca Robinson, Executive Director of ZAP.  “The project will utilize a compelling mix of video and the latest technology to connect with millennials through social media platforms. Combined with wine tasting and educational events that will be developed throughout California, this is a game‐changing approach to increasing our impact,” Robinson notes.


Zinfandel, which is almost exclusively grown in California and is often called “America’s Heritage Grape,” has not been receiving the attention it deserves. As such, Zinfandel: Stories of America’s Heritage Grape will build on ZAP’s 25 year history of creating meaningful experiences and building relationships between Zinfandel producers, winemakers, growers, and enthusiasts. Through compelling storytelling captured on video and shared on social media, educational exhibits, and live events, the world of Zinfandel will captivate new audiences throughout California and beyond. As a result, the interest for Zinfandel will increase because a wider base of new and existing wine lovers will personally identify with the grape’s rich history, the vibrant personalities of today’s wine producers, and the dynamic community of Zinfandel consumers.

In addition to documenting and sharing the vibrant stories of Zinfandel and producing notable regional events, ZAP will also use the grant to help preserve 100 acres of “old vine” Zinfandel (much of which is dry‐farmed) and increase new Zinfandel plantings by 2,500 acres both by 2020.  By increasing demand and education about Zinfandel, including its water‐wise abilities, we anticipate more acres of Zinfandel will be planted and preserved, raising capacity for small‐scale Zinfandel production.

This project is anticipated to benefit California Zinfandel producers, wine industry enterprises, growers, commercial grape nurseries, wine distributors and retailers, restaurants, tourism businesses and the thousands of direct employees, contractors and vendors employed by the California wine industry.

ZAP is one of 72 organizations to receive a marketing grant for agriculture education and outreach and one of approximately four organizations focused on California wine. CDFA awarded a total of $22.3 million to Specialty Crop Block Grants relating to the categories of research, marketing and nutrition.

The Lodi Winegrape Commission is currently working with ZAP to prepare a Zinfandel Technical Conference, so stay tuned for more information!

About Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP)

Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is a non‐profit 501(c)(3) association dedicated to advancing public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history. Members include over 200 winegrowers and winemakers, as well as thousands of wine enthusiasts. The common focus is the preservation and recognition of Zinfandel as America’s Heritage Grape. Started in 1991, ZAP is reported to be one of the largest consumer‐based wine advocacy groups in the world. ZAP’s showcase event is Zinfandel Experience (ZinEX) in San Francisco, taking place February 23 – 25, 2017. ZAP can be found online at Zinfandel.org and ZinEX can be found at Zinfandelexperiene.com, on Facebook @ZAP.org and on Twitter

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