All eyes on county for California Wine Month

The grape harvest has begun to draw attention to the state’s wine industry. Gov. Jerry Brown and the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors have again proclaimed September as California Wine Month.

The San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau is promoting upcoming consumer wine events, while regional trade groups are on the road.

“California wine is so important to our local area here,” said Brittany Garcia, the visitors bureau’s community and member relations manager. “I think it really shines a light on San Luis Obispo County wines and wine regions.”

Members of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and the San Luis Obispo Vintners Association collaborated on an industry tasting at Grand Central Station in New York on Wednesday.

On Saturday, they will pour for consumers in San Francisco. They’ll be in Hollywood on Sept. 23.

“The wineries on their own can gain attention for their wines and their vineyards,” Garcia said. “But it’s also about celebrating everything that our wine region encompasses, including our lifestyle and our culture.”

A study conducted in 2007 by MKF Research estimated that wine, vineyards and related businesses generate nearly $1.8 billion in the county. In 2010, according to the agricultural commissioner’s crop report, wine grape sales accounted for about $173 million.

As part of their promotional efforts, the visitors bureau is offering a contest to win a festival weekend for those who follow them on Facebook.

To enter, visit by Sept. 30 and click the “Like” button on the organization’s Facebook page. Winners will be announced Oct. 1.

The prize is a weekend stay during the Paso Robles Harvest Wine Weekend Oct. 21-23 or the San Luis Obispo Wine Country Rockin’ Harvest event Nov. 4-6. Packages include hands-on winery tours, vintner dinners, balloon rides over vineyards, a tour of Hearst Castle and lodging for two.

Local winery honored

Eberle Winery in Paso Robles was named 2011 Winery of the Year at the annual International Sommelier Challenge in San Diego.

The 33-year-old winery was one of 213 entrants from 17 countries that entered the competition to be judged by 13 sommeliers.

Annual ‘Taste’ event

Nearly 40 local wineries, breweries, restaurants and dessert makers will be featured at the eighth annual Taste of the Central Coast on Sunday afternoon.

Held at Cypress Ridge Pavilion on the Nipomo Mesa southeast of Arroyo Grande at 3 p.m., the tasting supports local foster and special-needs children and families served by the nonprofit Family Care Network.

Tickets are $75 per person. Visit or call 781-3535.

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