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Media Contact: Meagan Callahan
Phone: 805.239.8463

New Wine Country Auction & Dinner Raises $105,000

The 28th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival, the area’s premier Wine Country Weekend, hosted 4,400 wine enthusiasts from across the country on Saturday, May 22. A new early evening time-slot (3 – 7 p.m.), expanded Winemaker Seminar and wines from 97 Paso Robles wineries set the tone for area’s annual celebration in the Downtown City Park. The authentic, Wine Country Auction & Dinner debuted (6:30 – 10:30 p.m.) raising $105,000 for local charities and giving auction goers one-on-one time with local celebrity winemakers while dining on a local farm-to-table inspired menu.

Paso Robles Wine Festival is a weekend experience, May 21 – 23, offering wine enthusiasts many options to treat the senses from wine tasting, winemaker dinners, special winery events and more. The weekend kicked-off during the Friday evening RESERVE tasting (4 – 6 p.m.) featuring barrel, library, reserve and power white and Rosé wines. The evening was complemented with tasty bites from nine restaurants and chefs, including FOOD & WINE Magazine’s Best New Chef, Mark Sullivan. These innovative chefs served California Lamb, Hearst Ranch Beef, Kerrygold Cheese, Pier 46 Seafood and everything in between.

On Saturday, May 22 more than 120 guests attended the Winemaker Seminar (2 – 3 p.m.) featuring eight winemakers and two local sommeliers providing a distinct, different overview of Paso Robles wines. Paso Robles Wine Country then came together during the Saturday Grand Tasting where wineries showcased more than 400 wines complemented by culinary bites. The Grand Tasting featured two Chef Demonstrations from celebrity guest chef, Mark Sullivan and Paso’s own Matthew Riley of Matthew’s. Artisan Alley featured half-a-dozen artisanal treats allowing Festival goers the opportunity to eat like a locovore. The new Water, Cheese & Bread Stations, featuring Kerrygold cheese offered guests a delicious way to cleanse their palates and enjoy more tastes throughout the day.

The culinary emphasis came to the forefront during the Wine Country Auction & Dinner where a team of stellar chefs showcased a family style, farm-to-table, five course meal. The chef team included Charles D. Paladin Wayne, wine country cuisine specialist, Mark Sullivan, executive chef of the Village Pub and Spruce in the Bay Area, Chef de Cuisine, Jeffrey Scott, local caterer extraordinaire, Chef Julie Simon, of Thomas Hill Organics and Chef Kelly Wangard, of Summerwood Winery.

The culmination of the evening began at the start of the live auction, where bidders vied to take a piece of Paso Robles home. Top selling auction lots included Living the Hearst Dream, $13,000; The Caribbean Surf, $8,000; The Ultimate Paso Robles Getaway, $7,000; Paso Robles French Connection, $6,500 and Take a Ride on the Wild Side, $4,300. These top tier lots included everything from large format and magnum bottles, exclusive wine country getaways featuring personalized tours by road, by air and by horse, and exotic Caribbean cruises. The complete auction catalog is available on This festive dinner and auction was the party of the year as winemakers and guests competed to come out on top of these exceptionally special auction lots.

“The community’s generosity was key to our success raising $105,385. From the winemakers’ unique auction packages to our community partners providing one-of-a kind experiences, to our patrons who took home the special auction items, thank you,” said Stacie Jacob, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “The auction funds include patrons who pledged $5,110 to the Food Bank Coalition of SLO County’s as part of the evening’s Fund-a-Need Program. Additional funds raised through this auction will be gifted back into the local community through organizations that support healthcare, education and greater community services.”

The Paso Robles Wine Festival Weekend is framed by individual events at the area wineries throughout the three days with more than 140 area wineries holding winemaker dinners, food pairings, cooking classes and winery and vineyard tours, and more on Sunday, May 23, 2010.

By the numbers:
• Advance Ticket Sales – 3,200 or 73 percent of total tickets sold
• Total Ticket Sales – 4,433
• Wine Country Auction Funds Raised - $105,110
• Fund a Need Dollars Raised - $5,110
• Volunteers – 180 Individuals and five service groups
• Wineries Showcased at the 2010 Festival – 97
• Pounds of food provided – 2,000
• Total Bottles, Case Boxes and other Materials Recycled – 38 Cubic Yards = 8.5 Loads on a Full Size Truck
• 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. Please visit for more information, as well as to see photos of the 2010 Festival. The 2011 Paso Robles Wine Festival weekend is slated for May 20 - 22, with the marquee events on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21.

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

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