An annual event aimed at millennial-generation drinkers is taking a year off, according to officials at the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.
For three years, Crave has been a tasting event specifically designed to appeal to the 21 to mid-30s crowd.
Last year’s October tasting at the San Luis Obispo Veterans Memorial Building near Cal Poly sold out with more than 500 attendees and samples from 38 local wineries.
“Crave San Luis Obispo will be making a comeback in fall 2012 with the goal of revamping the overall look and feel, through design, new themes and trends,” said Meagan Callahan, communications director for the trade alliance.
“The alliance prides itself on Crave being an edgy and hip event,” she said. “In our minds, it will not continue to stay edgy and hip if we continue in the same format every year.”
The event, which promotes educational aspects of wine and responsible drinking, has attracted both young consumers and those interested in working in the industry.
Since the event has always broken even, its financial aspect isn’t a concern, Callahan said. Rather, the time will be used to create a new format that she said will be “timely” for next year.
In the meantime, the trade organization will continue trying to interest the 21 to mid-30 crowd in Paso Robles wines with an Internet video to be released in October and a new iPhone application being designed to launch for its annual Harvest Wine Weekend, slated for Oct. 21-23.
As part of its outreach to a younger market, the group also began a Crave College Tour that visited Stanford University in January and UCLA in March. Callahan said those will continue in early 2012, with dates and locations to be set later this year.
New winemaker at Pomar Junction
Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery in Templeton has hired Jim Shumate as winemaker.
Owned by the Merrill family, the estate label has been making wine since 2002. Since 1989, Dana Merrill has also operated Mesa Vineyard Management Inc., one of the largest grape farming contractors on the Central Coast.
“We believe that Jim will enable us to bring our processing in-house to fit with our family’s organizational vision of vertical integration, from vine-planting to farming to crush,” Merrill said. “As we expand our line of SIP-certified sustainably produced wines, it is critical that we have full control of both the winegrowing and winemaking processes.”
His son, Matt Merrill, is overseeing the winery as general managing partner. Consulting winemaker Kevin Riley also will continue in that role.
Since 2008, Schumate has worked as Cal Poly’s enology instructor and cellar master for the new campus winery, including implementing a new bottling line.
Before that, Schumate was cellar master and consulting winemaker for Templeton Wine Services, a custom crush facility and a division of Meridian Vineyards in Paso Robles.
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