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Media Contact: Sarah Flickinger
Phone: 805-239-8463 x 207
Website: http://

14th annual wine event features four days of events including auctions, Grand Tasting

A weekend of events celebrating California’s heritage wine variety, Zinfandel, begins Thursday, March 16 with an artist’s reception at Vinoteca Wine Bar in Paso Robles. During the three days that follow, activities will continue at more than 80 Paso Robles Wine Country wineries, with a marquee Zinfandel Festival event Saturday evening from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Paso Robles Events Center (formerly the California Mid-State Fairgrounds).

The Thursday night reception will showcase the work of Nona Haydon, creator of the official 2006 Zinfandel Festival artwork, "Grape Leaves," a two-foot by four-foot oil on canvas. The reception will run 5 to 7 p.m. at Vinoteca Wine Bar in downtown Paso Robles (835 12th Street, Suite A, 805-227-7154). Admission is free; food and wine tasting will be available for purchase.

At the Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival marquee event on Saturday evening at the Paso Robles Events Center (formerly the California Mid-State Fairgrounds), guests will enjoy live and silent auctions and a Zinfandel Grand Tasting featuring wines from more than 40 area wineries. A special collaborative Zinfandel Festival Blend, only available to taste and purchase during the live auction will also be available. Hors d’oeuvres from Paso Robles area restaurants will be served at both the Live Auction and Zinfandel Grand Tasting/Silent Auction.

"This is the second largest Zinfandel tasting in the country and so many Paso Robles wine enthusiasts look forward to it each year," said Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Executive Director Stacie Jacob. "The Winery Music Awards is providing exceptional music, there are great lots up for bid and more than 40 wineries will be pouring their Zinfandels—it should be a great evening."

Two ticket options are available for Saturday night’s events: an $85 complete ticket that includes the live auction (5 to 7 p.m.), silent auction and Zinfandel Grand Tasting (7 to 10 p.m.), and a $50 ticket to attend the silent auction and Zinfandel Grand Tasting (7 to 10 p.m.). Tickets are limited and may sell out prior to Saturday night; guests are encouraged to purchase them early at or by calling 800-549-WINE (9463).

A portion of the proceeds from the 2006 Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival will be used to fund three Mobile Health Days for the vineyard worker populations of San Luis Obispo County in April 2006. Proceeds will also be donated to the Paso Robles City Library Foundation to fund an after-school program for Spanish-speaking students.

"We've made a commitment to support the people who make our business possible," said Zinfandel Festival Committee Chair Doug Beckett. "These two programs were selected for 2006, but the committee agrees that everything we do for future years should also support this population. They are instrumental to all that we do in the wine industry. We recognize and appreciate their commitment to us, and the wineries of Paso Robles want to do all that we can to support them this year and in future years."

The live auction will also be the only chance to taste and purchase the 2006 collaborative Zinfandel Festival Blend, created by Paso Robles winemakers and blended by 2006 Blend Master Josh Beckett, winemaker for Peachy Canyon Winery.

"The wineries have brought out their best for this blend," said Josh Beckett. "This is the best juice from the best fruit from the award-winning Zinfandel producers of Paso Robles. It’s definitely a wine you won’t want to miss."

Throughout the weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, more than 80 Paso Robles wineries will host other special events for the Zinfandel Festival. Activities include winemaker dinners, exclusive barrel tastings, seminars, barbeques, winery tours and more. A complete list of Zinfandel Festival weekend activities is available at

"This year’s Zinfandel Festival is going to be spectacular," said Beckett. "We have twice as many wineries hosting activities during the weekend, we’ve opened up more space for Saturday night and we have expanded the auction lots with hopes of generating twice the revenue we did last year to better benefit the community. We look forward to seeing everyone there."

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRWCA), formerly Paso Robles Vintners and Growers Association (PRVGA), 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 more than 100 wineries. For more information, visit
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