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2009-01-30
Media Contact: Christopher Taranto
Phone: 805-239-8463

STEPHEN MILLER AND FAMILY HONORED AS PASO ROBLES 2008 WINE INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR
Family Vision Champions Local Brands

PASO ROBLES, CA January 30, 2009 - The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance honored Stephen Miller and Family as the 2008 Wine Industry Person of the Year during the organization's 17th annual Wine Country Gala held Friday night (Jan. 30) at the Park Ballroom in downtown Paso Robles. Miller along with his late brother Bob began their vision for the Central Coast wine industry in the early 70s. From growing world-class wine grapes at French Camp Vineyards to establishing Paso Robles Wine Services, a full service wine processing facility, the Miller Family champions the Paso Robles American Viticulture Area (AVA) working with more than 150 brands.

The Miller Family vision for the region began in the late 60s with the purchase of the Camatta Ranch and the decision to plant wine grapes in the early 70s. Named from the shepherds who lived there, French Camp Vineyard is home to more than 1,700 vineyard acres and 30 different varietals. The client list for the vineyard extends to more than 75 wine brands with 20 vineyard designated French Camp wines.

As the acclaim for Paso Robles wine grapes grew the Miller Family recognized a need to further develop the Paso Robles AVA, help small wineries begin their businesses and keep the area's premium fruit going into brands with appellation distinction. Paso Robles Wine Services was created in 2002. Home to more than 40 wineries the full service facility also offers case good storage, barrel storage and vendors located onsite who offer direct-to-consumer shipping, trucking and sensory/laboratory services.

"The Miller Family vision for Paso Robles provides a foundation for the region's growth," said Steve Lohr, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Chairman and Senior Vice President of Planning and Development for J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines. "Stephen is also involved on a state level with Wine Institute and California Association of Wine Grape Growers further demonstrating his leadership for the Paso Robles AVA.

Paso Robles Mayor Duane Picanco honored Miller on behalf of the City of Paso Robles. Paying tribute on behalf of the County of San Luis Obispo was Supervisor Frank Mecham. Furthermore, the offices of Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee and Senator Abel Maldonado honored The Miller Family.

The Miller Family and their team are involved in many aspects of the Wine Alliance's promotional efforts. Serving on committees, hosting the trade and media to the region and sharing knowledge through educational panels the Miller Family continues to share their vision for the Paso Robles AVA.

The evening also recognized members of the Board of Directors for the Wine Country Alliance. Outgoing board member Don Brady, winemaker at Robert Hall Winery was presented with an etched wine bottle thanking him for his four years of service.

The 2009 Wine Alliance Board of Directors and executive team were also announced.

•Steve Lohr - J. Lohr Vineyards & Winery - Chairman
•Alex Villicana - Villicana Winery - Vice Chairman
•Jerry Reaugh - Sereno Vista Vineyards - Treasurer
•Tony Domingos - Brave Oak Vineyards - Nominating Committee
•Stephan Asseo - L'Aventure Winery
•Austin Hope - Treana Winery
•Gary Eberle - Eberle Winery
•Paul Hoover - Still Waters Vineyards
•Cindy Newkirk - Steinbeck Vineyards


The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (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 200 wineries. For more information, visit www.pasowine.com.

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