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Media Contact: Stacie Jacob
Phone: 805-239-8463 ext.202


Paso Robles wineries, wine grape growers and area businesses contributed more than $100,000 to support the New Orleans community dramatically altered by Hurricane Katrina last August. Members of the industry contributed in many ways -- through their individual companies, to charities of their choice and in a coordinated region wide effort to support the New Orleans hospitality workers. This week the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance donated $81,188.81 to the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund on behalf of its members’ contributions over the past five months.

The New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund was established in September 2005 as a result of Hurricane Katrina by Alex Brennan Martin, partner in the Commander’s Family of Restaurants. It benefits employees in the hospitality industry of Greater New Orleans and is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Ninety-five percent the more than $845,000 generated to date has been distributed. Grants received and funds administered averaged $2,000 per applicant. Currently, applications have been suspended as funds were exhausted at the end of 2005. More than 150 applications have been received and are waiting for possible assistance.

"The donation from the Paso Robles Wine community comes as a critical time as funds have been exhausted," said Alex Brennan, founder of the relief fund. "This contribution allows us to help more than 37 hospitality workers as many return to New Orleans to reestablish themselves."

The Paso Robles wine industry quickly came together after the disaster and kicked off the fundraising efforts Labor Day Weekend 2005. The industry responded in a variety of ways -- tasting fee contribution for a period of time, a percentage of wine sales, in some cases wineries contributed 100% of sales on certain days, special events were held supporting the victims of Hurricane Katrina and some donated directly to the charity of their choice.

"The Paso Robles wine community understands the importance of the New Orleans hospitality industry," said Stacie Jacob, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "It was the first stop during our 2005 Grand Tasting Tour and an important market for many area wineries because of its fine restaurant and culinary scene. We hope our donation helps the hospitality industry rebuild as we look forward to doing business again in New Orleans."

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRWCA), represents wineries, growers and businesses in Paso Robles Wine Country. Centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, along California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles Wine Country is California’s fastest growing wine region. It encompasses more than 26,000 vineyard acres and 100 wineries. With a greater day-to-night temperature swing than any other appellation in California, Paso Robles is an optimal area for producing more than 25 wine varieties. For more information, visit

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