The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRWCA), the official marketing and trade organization of the region, has run the event since its inception in May of 1983. Due to COVID-19 and limitations on large gatherings, the 2020 and 2021 events were canceled. With this time away from in-person events, there was an opportunity to reimagine the Paso Robles Wine Festival. The PRWCA board made the decision to make changes to this popular event while preserving elements that keep the spirit of this long-standing Paso Robles Wine Country celebration alive.
The Paso Robles Event Center offers built-in amenities and infrastructure for a festival that sees up to 3,000 attendees. Dedicated parking, concessions, restrooms, shade, and additional outdoor venues are just a few of the key offerings that make it ideal to host the festival. Set for May 19 and 22, 2022, the festival will also offer elevated guest experiences for visitors. Two stages will feature live entertainment, a large, covered patio provides space for an enhanced seated experience for wine presentations, and a shaded picnic area will give guests the opportunity to sit and dine while enjoying Paso’s delicious diversity of wines.
“This festival is often the first experience many have to Paso Robles Wine Country and motivates people to visit throughout the year,” said Joel Peterson, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “This event means so much to our region and our wineries and I’m excited to see this next chapter written at the Event Center. Paso Wine Fest will continue in its tradition of bringing people to the region and exposing them to the best that Paso Wine has to offer.”
This move comes with the support of many downtown merchants. The Paso Robles Wine Festival’s footprint within the Downtown City Park also includes street closures which tend to limit parking and business in the downtown core, hindering merchants’ abilities to serve their customers. Over 50% of the Paso Robles Wine Festival visitors are first-time attendees and from out of the area. By moving the festival, it will keep the downtown open for locals and visitors alike to patronize those businesses, and yet still allow for festivities to continue to attract guests to the region. Beyond the marquee event, more than 100 Paso Robles wineries host their own individual events during the weekend.
“With the continued growth of Paso Robles wine tourism, the time has come to relocate our famed Wine Festival to a space that can allow it to become one of the greatest in the country,” said Austin Hope, Winemaker and President of Hope Family Wines and PRWCA Board Member. “While so many love the downtown park location, including myself, our little wine festival has outgrown this location. A move to the proven Paso Event Center gives the Wine Alliance an opportunity to turn the event into a world-class gathering, just as our wine region has become.”
More changes to the Paso Robles Wine Festival include a new moniker, Paso Wine Fest, signifying the beginning of a refreshed and rethought design to this 38-year-old festival. The traditional Friday VIP Reserve Tasting will be replaced with a special Winemaker Dinner to highlight the camaraderie of Paso winemakers and their wines along with cuisine emblematic of the farm-to-table lifestyle abundant in Paso Robles Wine Country.
An announcement of festival specifics, experience levels, and when tickets go on sale will come in January 2022.
The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance is the official trade and marketing organization that 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 third-largest wine region. It encompasses more than 40,000 vineyard acres and 200 wineries. For more information, visit pasowine.com. Facebook – @PasoRoblesWine, Instagram – @Pasowine, and #pasowine.