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2008-06-26
Media Contact: Christopher Taranto
Phone: 805-239-8463

CALIFORNIA TOURISM LEADER TO ADDRESS PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY
$10M State Culinary Tourism Marketing Campaign to be Highlighted at Association's General Meeting

Paso Robles, CA (June 26, 2008) - The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance announced today that Caroline Beteta*, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Travel and Tourism Commission will be the keynote speaker at the Alliance's upcoming General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, July 15, 2008. Ms. Beteta's address will feature the state's new national Culinary Tourism campaign - The Land of Wine and Food - geared to increase the awareness of California as a destination for such epicurean assets. Attracting wine tourism, an important segment of the culinary tourist niche market, is one of the key strategies of the Alliance's branding programs. The statewide campaign strengthens the message and creates broader awareness of culinary tourism opportunities across California, which is an important economic driver for Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County.

On January 29, 2008 the California Travel and Tourism Commission and California's Wine Institute launched a national campaign entitled - The Land of Wine and Food. This historic partnership between the state's leading wine and tourism organizations is designed to keep California top of mind as the pioneer of culinary trends and the premiere travel destination. This five year, $10 million campaign extends into key domestic and international markets, utilizing notable Californian celebrities as spokespersons through TV commercials and print advertisements. Call to action of this campaign leads culinary travelers to a powerful Web site www.landofwineandfood.com designed to promote California's unique wine and food offerings. The online community features culinary destinations, blogs from wine and food celebrities, local Californian's travel tips, chances to win culinary adventures and information on regional wine and food events.

"We are excited to have Ms. Beteta speak about The Land of Wine and Food and this historic collaboration at our upcoming General Membership Meeting," said Steve Lohr**, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Board Chairman. "A key goal of this campaign is to influence Culinary Tourists to visit the State of California's wine regions, which fits well into the Alliance's strategies as we increase our focus on the epicurean traveler." As research shows that consumer interest in wine and food travel is growing, Paso Robles Wine Country is well positioned as a destination for tourists seeking such experiences. The Land of Wine and Food campaign provides a valuable vehicle to leverage the individual efforts of culinary destinations such as Paso Robles Wine Country to a prequalified audience attracted by these national and international marketing efforts.

One of the key strategies that attracts out of area visitors to the Paso Robles region is the annual Paso Robles Wine Festival which reports that 44% of the total pre-sale tickets are purchased from out of area guests. Through national partnerships - Saveur Magazine, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, FIJI Water, American Lamb Board and Hearst Ranch Beef - as well as a national public relations effort and the use of event touting Web sites such as The Land of Wine and Food, the Alliance is able to promote the Wine Festival and the Paso Robles wine region.

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance General Membership meeting is a bi-annual members-only gathering and takes place on Tuesday, July 15 at the Paso Robles Wine Services location at 6305 Buena Vista Drive in Paso Robles. The meeting, open to members of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, begins at 5 p.m. and includes branding program updates and timely association business. Businesses interested in becoming a member of the Alliance are encouraged to contact the Alliance office at 805-239-8463 or visit www.pasowine.com.

*Beteta serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the industry-led California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) and is National Chair of the Travel Industry Association (TIA). CTTC, a non-profit organization created to market California as a premier travel destination and to increase the State's share of tourism-related revenues. She also serves as the Deputy Secretary for Tourism under the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. Caroline is responsible for implementing the CTTC's $50 million marketing plan and serving as the lead spokesperson for California's $96.7 billion tourism industry. Under her leadership, California Tourism's share of the domestic market increased from 9.7% to 11.5% from 1998-2006, reversing a decade-long decline.

**Mr. Steve Lohr is Vice President of Planning & Development for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines and also serves as a Director on The Wine Institute's Board of Directors.

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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