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Media Contact: Christopher Taranto
Phone: 805-239-8463

New Epicurean Enhancements Target Culinary Tourists at 26th Annual Festival

Paso Robles, CA (May 1, 2008) - Wine enthusiasts, foodies, and culinary travelers from far and wide celebrated today when the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance announced the new epicurean enhancements to their favorite celebration of wine and food - the Paso Robles Wine Festival. On Saturday, May 17, the local culinary community converges on the Downtown City Park for the 2008 Paso Robles Wine Festival offering attendees a tasty experience. Ingredients include a new demonstration kitchen featuring local chefs; an Artisan Alley offering samples from artisanal food producers; two new wine education seminars; eight food vendors selling specially prepared wine country cuisine; and more than 90 Paso Robles wineries showcasing their premium wines at this 26th annual jubilee. Tickets to be a part of the tasting extravaganza are available online at or by calling 800-549-WINE (9463).

"The complement of wine and food has long been celebrated at our collective dinner tables so elevating the food experience at the Paso Robles Wine Festival was a perfect next step for this successful event," said Joeli Yaguda of Pasolivo Olive Oil and Wine Festival committee member. "The Wine Festival committee is confident that the 2008 Paso Robles Wine Festival will satisfy the appetite of visitors and locals alike who crave such an experience."

The excitement of the Paso Robles Wine Festival and its appeal to Culinary Tourists has earned it recognition with the County of San Luis Obispo and City of Paso Robles. In conjunction with the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau and Hospice du Rhone the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance will accept County and City resolutions on May 6 entitling the month of May 2008 as Paso Robles Wine Month and the week of May 10 - 18, 2008 as National Tourism Week.

"The Wine Festival is a great example of the nationwide trend to travel in pursuit of a food and wine experience," said Stacie Jacob, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "California is the nation's top culinary tourist destination so enhancing the food aspects of the Wine Festival offers culinary travelers education and flavors reflective of a specific region."

This concept, better known as Culinary Tourism, is defined as the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences according to the International Culinary Tourism Association. In 2007 the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) profiled the Culinary Tourist as a younger, more affluent and better educated traveler. TIA reports 27 million American leisure travelers engaged in culinary or wine-related activities annually while traveling. The report indicates that wine tourists spend an average of one thousand dollars per visit. Paso Robles attracts 1.2 million winery tourist annually according to the region's recent economic impact study conducted by MKF Research in 2007.

ARTISAN ALLEY SHOWCASES CULINARY TOURISM PARTNERS - Sponsored by Saveur Magazine and Pasolivo Olive Oil, Artisan Alley is a new addition to the Paso Robles Wine Festival. Debuting in 2007, Artisan Alley proved to be a very popular new element that has been greatly enhanced for 2008. This small expo showcases local artisan producers that strengthen Paso Robles' position as a premiere culinary destination. The specially tented area includes four olive oil (Pasolivo, We Olive, Carriage Vineyards and Allure Estates); one cheese (Vivant Cheese); Nature's Touch (organic vegetable retailer); Bread (Central Coast Bread); Abalone Farm; Windrose Farms; Green Acres Lavender Farm; Hearst Ranch Beef; American Lamb Board; and Saveur Magazine Wine Club & Saveur Magazine.

DEMONSTRATION KITCHEN - It's well accepted that the party always ends up in the kitchen. This year we are bringing the kitchen to the party with this very exciting culinary treat. Thanks to Idlers Home Appliances, local culinary masters will be dishing out their secrets; including Tom Fundaro of Villa Creek, Matthew Riley of Matthew's, Kelly Wangard from Paso Robles Inn & Steakhouse, Andre Averseng of Dining with Andre, and Chris Kobayashi of The Artisan Restaurant.

Each chef will do a 30 minute demonstration that is sure to send your taste buds wild. The American Lamb Board and Hearst Ranch Beef will provide product samples prepared at the outdoor grilling station, guaranteed to complement every last taste of wine. Guests are sure to take home some wine country cuisine secrets after learning from the best-of-the-best here in Paso Robles.

WINE EDUCATION CLASSES OFFER FESTIVAL ATTENDEES MORE INSIDER KNOWLEDGE - Sponsored by The Wine Enthusiast and lead by West Coast editor, Steve Heimoff the Wine Festival features two wine education classes held at Villa Creek Restaurant. The classes will take attendees through an overview of Paso Robles wines and be held at noon and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 17. Wine classes are available to Festival attendees on a first come first serve basis. Check out the class and test your Paso Wine IQ.

The Paso Robles Wine Festival offers three levels of admission tickets, RESERVE ($125), Premium ($75) and Festival ($55). All admission levels can enjoy the new culinary enhancements of the Wine Festival. All tickets are limited, with RESERVE and Premium being offered by advance purchase only. Festival tickets may be available on the day of the event if they do not sell out in advance. For more ticket information or to purchase tickets visit or call 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 200 wineries.
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