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2008-03-27
Media Contact: Christopher Taranto
Phone: 805-239-8463

2008 ZINFANDEL FESTIVAL AUCTIONS REACH NEW RECORDS
16th Annual Marquee Wine Event Raises a Record $85,000

Paso Robles, CA (March 27, 2008) The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance announced today that a new record amount was raised at the 2008 Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival Live and Silent Auctions. On the evening of Saturday, March 15 the auctions raised a cumulative $85,000 - a 14% increase from 2007. This is an all time high record for the Zinfandel Festival, where portions of the proceeds raised go toward health and educational programs for the vineyard worker population in the Paso Robles community. Over 180 auction goers were in attendance and over 800 wine enthusiasts purchased tickets to the Grand Tasting. A total of 106 wineries hosted individual events throughout the weekend.

Thanks to the efforts of auctioneer duo Doug Beckett (Peachy Canyon Winery) and Doug Filipponi (Ancient Peaks Winery) who graciously donated their time and the spotter crew of Bernie Brauer (wine enthusiast), Dennis Cassidy (Paso Robles Police Chief-Ret) and 1st District County Supervisor Harry Ovitt, this team of magnanimous individuals helped bids reach their highest potential. Popular and unique auction items that lifted the competitive fervor amongst bidders in the room included generous offerings from Eberle Winery, Peachy Canyon Winery, and Brave Oak Vineyard; whose individual lots included large format bottles, overnight stays, personalized tours and unique dining experiences. Each of these items had their hosts in attendance, whose generosity spilled over by duplicating the lot for other high bidders. Auction lots of note include - Villa Creek Restaurant dinner for 50 with Paso Robles Winemakers ($9,100); Artisan Restaurant dinner for 40 with Steve Heimhoff, West Coast Wine Editor, The Wine Enthusiast Magazine ($8,000); and The 2008 Zinfandel Festival Commemorative Artwork by Silvia Santos-Hunt and etched six liter Zinfandel Festival Collaborative Blend ($3,000).

There were 25 live auction lots and 60 silent auction lots available over the duration of the evening. A new milestone of 185 tickets to the Live Auction were sold in advance. This is a record amount and proof positive of the growing popularity to this one and only Paso Robles Wine Country focused auction. The Zinfandel Festival Grand Tasting also featured a new record in wineries showcased with 51 Paso Robles producers pouring their best Zinfandel and Zinfandel blend wines. A crowd of more than 800 guests filled the grand tasting, sampling the fine wines and tastes from 12 of the best chefs and caterers from Paso Robles Wine Country.

"This annual event is a perfect example of the Paso Robles Wine Industry coming together for a evening of wine, art and food to support a worthy cause," said Stacie Jacob, Executive Director, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "This evening could not be possible without the amazing auction lots donated from the wineries, vineyards and associated businesses in Paso Robles Wine Country, as well as the diligent efforts of the Zinfandel Festival Committee."

A portion of the proceeds raised go toward health and educational programs for the vineyard worker population and their families in Paso Robles and will be allocated in the fourth quarter of 2008. In 2007 funds went to support four free flu immunization clinics in a partnership with Twin Cities Hospital; ongoing dental care programs through La Clinica de Tolosa and a remote study center by the Paso Robles City Library Foundation.

The Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival takes place on the third weekend in March and is a celebration of the area's heritage varietal - Zinfandel. The weekend traditionally begins with individual winery events on Friday, the marquee Zinfandel Festival Live Auction and Grand Tasting on Saturday, and more individual winery events that span the day on Sunday. Wineries reported record amounts of visitors throughout the three days of the 2008 Zinfandel Festival.

The next Paso Robles Wine Country event scheduled is the 26th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival. Save the date for Saturday, May 17, 2008 when more than 90 Paso Robles wineries converge on the Downtown City Park in the largest outdoor wine tasting event in the State of California. Many new aspects have been incorporated into this year's showing of the Paso Robles Wine Festival that pairs the culinary assets of Paso Robles Wine Country with the premium wines showcased in the park. These exciting new changes include an Artisan Alley, wine education seminars, a demonstration kitchen and new ticket levels. Visit www.pasowine.com to learn more and purchase tickets.

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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