SLO County Wineries News

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

26th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival Wrap-up

From the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance: The 26th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival provided an unparalleled experience for more than 5,200 wine enthusiasts on Saturday, May 17, 2008.

The Wine Festival is a weekend experience offering wine enthusiasts many options from wine tasting to golf to winemakers dinners to shopping in downtown.

Kicking off the weekend was the RESERVE event on the evening of Friday, May 16. More than 70 wineries showcased Reserve, Library or Barrel Sample wines to more than 350 wine enthusiasts in the Downtown City Park. This new event offered attendees a unique opportunity to taste special wines not normally featured at the Wine Festival or tasting rooms. Guests were greeted by winery representatives as winemakers, growers and sommeliers mingled within the crowd, ready to discuss the wines featured.

On Saturday, May 17, the main tasting event offered samples of more than 300 wines by 91 Paso Robles wineries in the Paso Robles Downtown City Park. The region's marquee event featured new culinary components –- a Demonstration Kitchen featuring the talent of top local chefs and culinary bites of lamb and beef provided by the American Lamb Board and Hearst Ranch Beef. Artisan Alley included purveyors of local olive oil, lavender, bread, Abalone, and cheese.

“Festival goers experienced what makes Paso Robles such a great wine grape growing region on Saturday,” said Alex Villicana, co-chair of the Paso Robles Wine Festival committee and owner of Villicana Winery. “The hot days and cool nights are pivotal to the development of Paso’s high quality grapes which translates into the premium wines sampled at the annual Festival.”

The premium wines of Paso Robles were also featured and discussed at wine education seminars, a new component to the Paso Robles Wine Festival. The first seminar, led by a local Sommelier team, tasted and discussed representative varietal samples of wines from Paso Robles. The second seminar was conducted by Steve Heimoff, West Coast Editor of The Wine Enthusiast Magazine, provided attendees a unique chance to discuss Paso Robles wines with an industry expert.

“The Paso Robles Wine Festival continues to be a marquee event for Paso Robles Wine Country and provides new and repeat visitors a prime opportunity to have a Wine Country experience neatly packaged into a single weekend,” said Stacie Jacob, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “The new epicurean enhancements to the Paso Robles Wine Festival truly round out this event by bringing in the natural complement of food to wine, offering Festival goers another reason to enjoy the Festival weekend.”

The Paso Robles Wine Festival weekend is framed by individual events at the area wineries throughout the three days with more than 110 wineries holding special open houses, barbecues, exhibitions, food pairing seminars, and more on Sunday, May 18, 2008.