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Media Contact: Christoper Taranto
Phone: 805-239-8463
Website: http://


Paso Robles, CA – Joe Barton is known as the winemaker at Grey Wolf Vineyards & Cellars and this year has been entrusted with the title and responsibility of "Blend Master" for the 15th Annual Zinfandel Festival. This esteemed honor was bestowed in November of 2005 and the fruits of his labor will be featured at the upcoming Zinfandel Festival Grand Tasting – Saturday, March 17, 2007.

Every year the Zinfandel producers of Paso Robles get together at an annual barbeque to commune, coalesce, and choose who will be the next Zinfandel Festival Blend Master. This long standing tradition is a brotherhood of sorts, where all the producers bring their Zinfandel wine and after their vote the newly elected magnate ceremoniously blends the wine to the palette of his peers. This custom typically happens well in advance, thus the 2007 Zinfandel Festival will feature Barton’s 2005 vintage blend.

"The Blend Master tradition is another example in a list of many on how the winemakers of Paso Robles work together in creating this collaborative blend," lauds Stacie Jacob, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance takes pride in showcasing this signature blend and celebrating the Blend Master’s artistry at the Zinfandel Festival each and every year."

The signature blend is featured at the live auction component of Zinfandel Festival Weekend’s marquee event, the Zinfandel Grand Tasting. On Saturday, March 17th, Joe Barton’s blend will be sampled to a crowd of many and will also exclusively feature varietals from Grey Wolf Vineyards & Cellars. "As a second generation wine maker in Paso Robles, I am honored to be a chosen as the Blend Master," notes Barton. "This year’s blend was aged in 50% new French oak. I believe this will add some layers to the wine and enhance an already solid collection of lots contributed for the blend". New to the collaborative blend tradition is the generous donation of a French Oak barrel from Radoux Cooperage which was signed by all the Zinfandel Producers contributing to the blend.

The Zinfandel Festival is a celebration of Paso Robles Wine Country’s heritage grape variety which currently makes up 9% of the planted acreage in the Paso Robles appellation. 45 wineries will sample over 150 wines at the festival’s grand tasting. The auction component, the only auction conducted by Paso Robles Wine Country, features the finest in Paso Robles Wine Country lots.

Zinfandel Festival weekend happens each year on the third weekend of March and hosts an array of individual events at area wineries, including winemaker dinners, exclusive barrel sampling opportunities, barbeques, live music, art shows, winery tours and more. Tickets are on sale now and are sure to sell out, advance purchase is highly recommended. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call 800-549-WINE.

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance 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 170 wineries.
For more information, visit

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