JANUARY 7, 2020 (Paso Robles, CA) On Thursday, January 23 the Paso Robles wine community will come together to recognize one of their own who has exemplified the spirit of Paso Robles Wine Country with outstanding leadership and vision. Neil Collins, Winemaker and Owner at Lone Madrone, Winemaker and Vineyard Manager at Tablas Creek, and Proprietor of Bristols Cider, will receive the 2019 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year award at the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance’s Annual Gala.

Neil Collins has been an advocate for the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA) for more than 20 years. Neil’s winemaking has played an important role in introducing wines of balance and elegance from Paso Robles to a global audience.

"To be nominated for this award and then to be chosen by my peers as the 2019 Wine Industry Person of the Year, is at once, surprising, humbling and a great honor,” said Neil Collins. “The Paso Robles wine community has always been good to me and to my family. I have been able to achieve successes far beyond my expectations, a few healthy failures along the way also! All with the support and encouragement of this community. I have strived to repay this by promoting and championing this great region before all else. I look forward to watching the continued growth in the reputation of our appellation as the very best in California and beyond. Thank you all so very much, my friends and neighbors."

Mr. Collins has emerged as a sought-after authority on the Paso Robles wine region, speaking to national and international trade and media audiences with a steadfast promotion of the AVA. Often speaking about biodynamic and dry farming, Neil’s expertise in the region is paramount. Neil, and his family, also add to the collective economic prosperity of the region with Lone Madrone winery and Bristols Cider. Along with Tablas Creek Vineyard, these are businesses that extend Mr. Collins’ vision of quality craft products from the Paso Robles region.

Neil Collins was nominated and named the 2019 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance membership which represents 450+ companies including wineries, vineyards, and associated businesses. Neil will be recognized by industry colleagues at the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance’s Annual Gala on Thursday, January 23 at Cass Winery at 6 p.m. This event is open to members of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and members of the media wishing to cover the event (with advance reservation.) Elected officials and representatives from national, state, and local offices are also on hand to commemorate the honor.

The evening will also feature the installation of the Alliance’s 2020 Board of Directors, executive committee, and recognition of departing board members. The incoming Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Board of Directors (in alphabetic order) are as follows:

· Malani Anderson – Turley Wine Cellars

· Josh Beckett – Peachy Canyon Winery

· Jason Haas – Tablas Creek Vineyard

· Randy Heinzen, Coakley Vineyard / VPS

· Austin Hope – Treana And Hope Family Wines

· Sarah Kramer – Umpqua Bank

· Tyler Russell – Cordant|Nelle

· Molly Scott – JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery

· Faith Wells – Faith Wells Communications

Bob Tillman, Alta Colina Winery, departs the board with Josh Beckett set to replace his seat. Bob has served on the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Board of Directors since 2014.

ABOUT PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY ALLIANCE The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance is the official trade and marketing organization that represents wineries, growers, and businesses in the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area. Centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, along California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles Wine Country encompasses more than 40,000 vineyard acres and 200 wineries. For more information, visit www.pasowine.com. FaceBook- @PasoRoblesWine, Instagram- @Pasowine, #pasowine