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WINE COUNTRY PRESS: PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY ALLIANCE PRESS

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2008-03-04
Media Contact: Christopher Taranto
Phone: 805-239-8463
Website: http://

THE ANNUAL PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL FESTIVAL SET FOR MARCH 14-16, 2008
Live Auction and Grand Tasting on Saturday, March 15

Paso Robles, CA (March 4, 2008) – The 2008 Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival, presented by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, is set to take place the evening of Saturday, March 15, 2008, with tickets currently on sale at www.pasowine.com. This marquee event consists of a Live Auction from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and features a tasting of the annual Zinfandel Collaborative Blend, wine country cuisine by five of the premier restaurants in Paso Robles, and unique wine country / lifestyle auction lots not available through retail channels. The Zinfandel Grand Tasting promptly follows the Live Auction from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The Grand Tasting showcases over 40 wineries from the Paso Robles appellation that will present more than 200 Zinfandel and Zinfandel blend wines in an unlimited tasting format. A celebration in Paso Robles would not be complete without an entire weekend dedicated to it. Look for individual events at a majority of area wineries beginning on Friday, March 14 ending Sunday, March 16. A full list of events searchable by activity, day or winery is available on www.pasowine.com.

The Zinfandel Festival is a celebration of Paso Robles Wine Country’s heritage grape variety which provides the basis for an annual highlight – the Zinfandel Collaborative Blend. Each year a collection of Paso Robles Wine Country Zinfandel producers come together at their annual barbecue to choose who will be the next Zinfandel Festival Blend Master. Through a process of convincing, jibing and goading that can only come from camaraderie of this sort; a Blend Master is elected in admiration. This annual tradition is much like a fellowship, where the producers bring their Zinfandel wine and following their vote the current year Blend Master ceremoniously creates a blend for the palette of his peers. Steve Felten, winemaker at Norman Vineyards takes the helm of Blend Master for 2008 and will feature a 2006 vintage blend during the Zinfandel Festival’s Live Auction.

"As the winemaker at Norman Vineyards, which specializes in Zinfandel, I was delighted to be chosen Blend Master for the 2008 Collaborative Zinfandel bottling," notes Steve Felten, General Manager and Winemaker for Norman Vineyards. "The 2006 vintage was particularly exciting, as record rainfall and cool temperatures delayed harvest by five or six weeks from normal. The long hang-time and late autumn harvest dates resulted in unusual ripeness, intensity and complexity across the board in the diverse Paso Robles terroir. All of the wines contributed were stellar and were blended and aged in two barrels, including the once-used Radoux barrel signed by all the winemakers in 2007."

The only opportunity to sample the Collaborative Blend is at the Live Auction component of the Zinfandel Festival on Saturday, March 15th which is shared with attendees ready to place the highest bid on a number of wine country auction lots. Tickets are on sale now for the March 15, 2008 event and are sure to sell out. Advance purchase is highly recommended. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.pasowine.com 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 200 wineries.
For more information, visit www.pasowine.com

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