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

Passion is the Philosophy He Lives

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The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance honored Dennis Collins, owner of Big Red Vineyard and General Manager of Treana Winery as the 2005 Wine Industry Person of the Year during the organization’s 14th annual Vintners and Growers Ball held Friday night (Feb. 3) at the Park Ballroom in downtown Paso Robles. Collins’ more than 35 years experience in the wine business, guidance for California wines and vision for establishing a strong generic program for the Paso Robles Wine Region attributes to his outstanding dedication, leadership and passion for the industry.

Paso Robles Mayor Frank Mecham honored Collins on behalf of the City of Paso Robles. Paying tribute on behalf of the County of San Luis Obispo was Harry Ovitt. Furthermore Mike Whiteford, district representative for Congressman William Thomas and Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee honored Collins.

"Dennis is passionate about the wine business. His experience from a local, state, national and global perspective has helped shape the Paso Robles wine industry, said Don Brady, chairman of the Wine Country Alliance and winemaker at Robert Hall Winery. "Dennis understands all aspects of the business from the economics of grape growing and wine production to branding and marketing, which has strengthened and moved our industry forward."

Collins is involved in many aspects of the Wine Alliance’s promotional efforts and served on the Board of Directors for five years. He helped establish and shape the Paso Robles Wine University, an educational series designed to create missionaries who experience the quality and diversity of Paso Robles wines. From working on educational programs through the Quality Alliance to serving on committees of the Wine Festival and Paso Robles Wine University to hosting trade and media through the Paso Robles AVA, Collins has demonstrated his leadership in many ways since moving to Paso Robles in 1996.

In addition to Collins’ announcement, the evening program recognized Wine Country Alliance outgoing board members. Each was presented with a plaque thanking them for their leadership.
• Neil Roberts – Roberts Vineyard Services - served has Chairman
• Dennis Collins – Big Red Vineyards – served as Vice Chairman
• Deborah Baldwin – Justin Vineyards & Wine – served as Marketing Committee Co-Chair
• Gary Stemper – Eagle Castle Winery – winery representative

The 2006 board members representing grower and winery members and executive team were announced.
• Don Brady – Robert Hall Winery – Chairman
• Dana Merrill – Pomar Junction Vineyards – Vice Chairman
• Jon Cagliero – Cagliero Vineyards – Secretary/Treasurer
• Justin Baldwin – Justin Vineyards & Winery
• Ric Fuller – Continental Vineyards
• Steve Lohr – J. Lohr Vineyard & Winery
• Cindy Newkirk – Steinbeck Vineyards
• Jerry Reaugh – Sereno Vista Vineyards
• Chris Vix – EOS Estate Winery

A veteran of the wine industry, Dennis Collins started with Gallo in the early 1970’s, working in quality control. He then went to work with Franzia Winery in Escalon, also working in quality control and wine filtration. Hired away by Cuno Filtration Company and later by Millipore Corporation, he was transferred to Boston, MA.

In the early 80’s, a desire to be closer to his son in California, and a passion for the wine business, inspired the development of his own winery equipment business – Vintners Supply Company. One of the company’s first clients was Bronco Wine Company. Through the course of this association, Vintner Supply Company became a sub-business of Bronco and Dennis’ position evolved into international wine sales. He directed the export program of Bronco wines and oversaw the Ambassador Wine Program, selling U.S. wines to embassies around the world. For a short time he opened an international office in Denmark.

In 1996, the Collins family moved to Paso Robles to establish Big Red Vineyard, a family run vineyard operation. During this time, he worked for the Joseph Ciatti Company as a wine broker.

In 2002, Collins was named General Manager at Treana Winery, a family owned and operated winery in Paso Robles, producing Treana and Liberty School wines. Here, he oversees daily operations of this 200,000 case winery. His Board affiliations include the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and the Wine Institute.

Dennis and his wife Kathy reside in Paso Robles, CA. Their daughter Amanda attends the University of Santa Clara, and son Carter attends Mission College Prep High School. Son, Tennyson lives with his wife Brynie Collins in Los Angeles, CA.

In addition to the wine business, Dennis enjoys hunting and working with the Boy Scouts – he has been the Scoutmaster for Troop 60 for over 5 years.

Collins’ philosophy about the wine business can be summed up in one word - "Passion" - the only way to be successful is to have a true passion for the business.

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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