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PRESS RELEASES: PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY ALLIANCE PRESS

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2009-05-21
Media Contact: Chris Taranto
Phone: 805.239.8463

2009 PASO ROBLES WINE FESTIVAL CREATES AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE FOR FESTIVAL GOERS
Environmentally Friendly Event Features Local Wine, Food, Education and Auction

Paso Robles, CA (May 21, 2009) - The 27th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival created an authentic experience for 4,200 wine enthusiasts from across the country on Saturday, May 16, 2009. A new Wine Country Auction, culinary themes focused on local foods, an educational seminar and enhanced green programs like ReCork America, made local, by Sip the Good Life â„¢ encouraged wine enthusiasts to purchase their tickets in advance. February ticket sales reached an all-time high in 2009 with the Can Hardly Wait for Wine Festival promotion offering attendees a $10 discount on RESERVE, Premium and Festival ticket levels if purchased by February 28. The Wine Festival is a weekend experience offering wine enthusiasts many options to treat the senses from wine tasting, winemaker dinners, spa treatments and everything in between.

Kicking off the weekend, in its second year, was RESERVE on Friday, May 15. Nearly 500 attendees enjoyed a leisurely taste of barrel sample, library and reserve tier wines provided by 70 Paso Robles wineries with the historic library serving as the centerpiece of the Downtown Park. Thanks to the many culinary partners, RESERVE featured complementary cuisine from eight local chefs and specialty shops. The evening was completed with a new Live Wine Country Auction on the steps of the Carnegie Library featuring five auction lots, from Wineries of Paso Robles 46 East, Paso Robles Downtown Wineries, Back Roads Wineries of Paso Robles, Scenic Coast Wineries and the Far Out Wineries of Paso Robles. This new enhancement was an exciting feature for guests, leaving those who were unable to take home auction items intrigued with all Paso Robles has to offer.

On Saturday, May 16, Paso Robles Wine Country came together for the marquee wine tasting event of California’s Central Coast. Attendees had access to taste more than 400 wines offered by 93 wineries for the Wine Festival Grand Tasting – a benchmark for the 27th Annual Festival. Wine Festival guests and wineries were invited to recycle natural corks at the ReCork America, made local, by Sip the Good Life ™ booth. More than 4,000 corks were collected at the Festival where they will be ground and used as mulch for the Urban Farming’s Vineyards Growing Veggies program ™ whose pilot garden is located at Steinbeck Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles. Collecting corks was a natural addition to the glass, water bottles, paper and cardboard that the Wine Festival recycles every year.

Culinary enhancements continued in 2009 at the Demonstration Kitchen featuring the talents of Chefs Evan Treadwell of Lido Restaurant, Maegen Loring of Park Restaurant and André Averseng of Dining with André. These masters dished out their secrets offering tasty bites of abalone, lamb and beef provided by the Abalone Farm, California Lamb and Hearst Ranch Beef. Artisan Alley included purveyors of local olive oil, cookies, bread, lamb, beef and cheese. Attendees cleansed their palates with more than 10,000 chilled bottles of water courtesy of Hope Family Wines.

The 2009 Festival did not stop within the Wine Festival event gates. The Educational Seminar held at Villa Creek and led by a local Sommelier team told the story of Paso Robles Wine Country while informing guests of the various characteristics of each of the 10 Paso Robles wines poured. Another new component outside the Festival grounds was the Silent Wine Country Auction held at Studios on the Park. All auction items were unavailable through commercial outlets including special blends, large format bottles and lifestyle packages exclusive to Paso Robles Wine Country. The live and silent auctions raised a cumulative of $12,000. A portion of the proceeds raised will go toward the health, education and community services for the growing winery and vineyard workforce and their families (to be allocated in the fourth quarter of 2009).

“The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance continues to enhance Wine Festival with new components each year and we are thrilled with the success of the Wine Country Auction,” said Stacie Jacob, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “The Paso Robles Wine Festival continues to be a marquee event for Paso Robles Wine Country and provides visitors a prime opportunity to have a Wine Country experience packaged into a single weekend.”

The Paso Robles Wine Festival Weekend is framed by individual events at the area wineries throughout the three days with more than 110 area wineries holding winemaker dinners, food pairings, cooking classes and winery and vineyard tours, and more on Sunday, May 17, 2009.

By the numbers:

• Advance Ticket Sales – 3,469 or 83 percent of total tickets sold
• Total Ticket Sales – 4,200
• Live and Silent Wine Country Auction Funds Raised - $12,000
• Total Water Bottles Consumed – 10,000
• Total Wine Bottles, Water Bottles, Case Boxes and other Materials Recycled – 28 Cubic Yards = 7 Loads on a Full Size Truck
• Total Corks Collected – 4,000
• Volunteers – 130 Individuals and three Service Groups
• Wineries Showcased at the 2009 Festival – 93
• Pounds of food provided – 1,000
• Economic impact of wine tourism to San Luis Obispo County - $113M
• Wine country visitors to San Luis Obispo County annually – 1.2M

The Paso Robles Wine Festival weekend is held annually on the third weekend of May. The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, with the guidance of the Paso Robles Wine Festival Committee, organizes the logistics, markets and implements the annual event. The 2010 Paso Robles Wine Festival weekend is set for May 21 - 23, with the marquee events on Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22. More information is available on www.pasowine.com.

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 180 wineries. For more information, visit www.pasowine.com
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