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PRESS RELEASES: PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY ALLIANCE PRESS

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2009-03-27
Media Contact: Meagan Callahan
Phone: 805.239.8463

17TH ANNUAL PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL FESTIVAL, MARCH 20 - 22, A RESOUNDING SUCCESS
New Venue and RESERVE Event Proved to be Popular Enhancements for Festival Goers

Paso Robles, CA (March 27, 2009) More than 700 Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival goers were thrilled with the fresh enhancements brought to this time honored festival held on March 20 - 22, 2009. The Festival, which also included three days of activities at more than 100 wineries throughout Paso Robles Wine Country, was created to recognize Zinfandel, America's heritage wine grape and the first variety to bring acclaim to the Paso Robles region. The new RESERVE event kicked-off the weekend, attracting more than 200 attendees who enjoyed barrel samples and reserve tier wines complemented by local wine country cuisine. The Wine Country Auction and Grand Tasting events on Saturday featured larger venues, allowing attendees more room for a leisurely celebration of the bold berry Zinfandel.

More than 200 bidders were in attendance for the Wine Country Auction, which featured 25 live and 24 silent auction lots. Thanks to the efforts of auctioneer duo Doug Beckett (Peachy Canyon Winery) and Doug Filipponi (Ancient Peaks Winery) who graciously donated their time, the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance raised $61,000. Auction items of note included -- Villa Creek dinner for 50 with Paso Robles Winemakers ($7,500) and two Zoller Wine Styling Winemaking packages ($4,500 each). A special thanks to the collective efforts of the wine community who donated popular and unique auction items which included -- generous offerings from the Back Road Wineries, Downtown Paso Robles Wineries, Far Out Wineries of Paso Robles, Scenic Coast Wineries and Wineries of the 46 East whose lots integrated large format bottles, overnight stays, personalized tours and exclusive dining experiences.

The Finale of Zinfandel Festival was the Grand Tasting, which attracted more than 700 ticketed attendees. This year, the Grand Tasting featured 52 wineries pouring Zinfandel and Zinfandel blends, as well as 10 local chefs serving Zinfandel friendly hors d'oeuvres. Festival goers enjoyed the larger venue which allowed them access to more wineries and the space to compare and discuss wines showcased.

"The Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival grows each year, and this year included more wineries and more local chefs," said Stacie Jacob, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "Zinfandel Festival continues to have a positive impact on the local community by supporting wine tourism and by raising funds through the Wine Country Auction."

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will go toward health, education and community services for the growing winery and vineyard workforce and their families (to be allocated in the fourth quarter of 2009). In 2008, funds went to support ongoing dental care programs through La Clinica de Tolosa; the California Wine Grape Growers Foundation Scholarship Program; the San Luis Obispo North County Food Bank; the Paso Robles City Library Foundation Summer Reading Program and to the Paso Robles Children's Museum.

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 begins with the Friday evening RESERVE event and individual winery activities, followed by the Saturday Wine Country Auction and Grand Tasting, as well as more winery events that span the day on Sunday.

The next Paso Robles Wine Country event scheduled is the 27th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival, May 15 - 17, 2009. Save the date for Saturday, May 16, where more than 90 Paso Robles wineries congregate in the Downtown City Park for the largest outdoor wine tasting event of its kind in the state of California. Festival goers will enjoy the distinct and different wines of Paso Robles along with culinary delights that complete The Festival experience. A Demonstration Kitchen, an Artisan Alley and Educational Seminars are only a few of the complements offered at the Saturday Grand Tasting in the park. 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 200 wineries.
For more information, visit www.pasowine.com

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