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2007-03-22
Media Contact: Christopher Taranto
Phone: 805-239-8463
Website: http://

PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL FESTIVAL GRAND TASTING SELLS OUT IN ADVANCE
15th annual wine event raises a record $75,000 through auctions

PASO ROBLES, CA — More than 850 Paso Robles Zinfandel enthusiasts came to celebrate the area’s heritage varietal grape at the Paso Robles Events Center Saturday evening, March 17, for the 15th Annual Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival marquee event. The event included a live auction from 5 to 7 p.m. and a Grand Tasting with silent auction from 7 to 10 p.m., where 45 area wineries showcased Zinfandels and Zinfandel blends exclusively. The auctions raised more than $75,000, a portion of which will be given to support healthcare, health education and education for vineyard workers and their families. The festival, which included three days of activities at more than 90 wineries throughout Paso Robles Wine Country in addition to the marquee event, was created to recognize Zinfandel, California’s heritage wine grape and the first variety to bring acclaim to the Paso Robles region.

This year marked the second annual sell out for this popular festival. Organizers are encouraged by the event’s popularity and following that it has accrued.

"This year we sold out in advance of the doors opening," said Stacie Jacob, Executive Director for the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "This is proof positive that we have some very dedicated wine enthusiasts that enjoy coming to our events."

Increased consumer awareness can be attributed to the consistent marketing and public relations efforts of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance as well as the independent marketing efforts and numerous accolades garnered from the industry as a whole. Paso Robles is the third largest and fastest growing wine region in California, with more than 170 bonded wineries and 26,000 vineyard acres.

Auction lots garnered more than $75,000 during the course of the evening. Top lots included a winter ski and dine getaway to Mammoth Mountain; a unique dinner for 50, sold in groups of 10, where you dine with the Paso Robles wine community at Villa Creek; another dining experience at McPhee’s Grill where Paso Robles wines from San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Wine of 2006 will be paired with the cuisine of Chef Ian McPhee; and the festival artwork, a 42" X 42" oil on canvas produced by Lisa Roche entitled "Jammy". The team of Doug Beckett and Doug Filipponi served as the auctioneers. At the opening of the auction, Becket and Filipponi quickly got the crowd of 250 to their feet with a game of heads or tails where the winner walked away with a large format bottle of the 2007 commemorative Zinfandel Festival blend. The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and the Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival Committee wish to extend many thanks to auctioneers Doug Beckett and Doug Filipponi for using their expertise and charisma to maximize the evening’s fundraising effort.

Joe Barton, wine maker at Grey Wolf Cellars served as Blend Master for the 2007 commemorative Zinfandel Festival blend. 40 producers provided juice for this annual tradition which was created blended and bottled for tasting and purchase during the live auction only. The wine will again be up for bid as part of vertical packages during future years of the Zinfandel Festival, held the third weekend in March each year.

The next event slated for Paso Robles Wine Country is the 25th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival, one of the largest outdoor wine tastings in California, scheduled for Saturday, May 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the downtown Paso Robles city park. A new Silver Pass admission is being unveiled in recognition of the 25th anniversary of this well established event. The Paso Robles Wine Festival is surrounded by three days of activities at more than 90 Paso Robles wineries every third weekend of May. Tickets and more information about the 2007 Paso Robles Wine Festival are available at pasowine.com or by calling 800-549-WINE (9463).

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 www.pasowine.com

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