Vine Hill Winemaker Sal Godinez to Speak at Central Coast Wine Classic

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Vine Hill Winery, one of the Santa Cruz Mountains wine growing region’s most historic viticultural treasures, announced today that the winery’s acclaimed winemaker, Sal Godinez, will be one of the featured guests invited to speak at this year’s Central Coast Wine Classic on Friday, July 9, 2010 at the Dolphin Bay Resort in Pismo Beach, California.

At the Central Coast Wine Classic, winemaker Sal Godinez and managing partner Nick Guerrero will be representing Vine Hill Winery in a California Pinot Noir Terroir Symposium that will also feature other selected wineries that produce fine Pinot Noir from ideal Pinot Noir growing regions in Central California. With an impressive cache of awards and accolades garnered in the past few years for Vine Hill’s Cumbre, Vine Hill and Gatos Locos Pinot Noirs, Godinez plans on shedding some light on what makes Pinots from the Santa Cruz Mountains distinct and different from other Pinots grown in other wine appellations and sub-appellations throughout the Central Coast.

Guerrero says of the Santa Cruz Mountains wine growing region, “Certain geologic areas of our appellation, when combined with coastal influences and selected clones, are exceptionally adaptive to producing Pinot Noir. There are also small sub-regions within the appellation that each have their own stand-alone soil, elevation and climatic characteristics and influences.” Godinez complemented Guerrero’s observations by adding, “We select vineyard partners based on the traits of their terroir that show through in the fruit that will most closely help us achieve what we are looking for in the final bottle. But equally as important as terroir . . . is that once we’ve harvested and begun the winemaking process, I then allow the grapes to determine where they will go, without undue intervention. You can’t force great Pinot Noir — yes, there needs to be consistency, yet it’s a sensitive and intuitive process.”

Watch Sal Godinez at the recent 2010 Affairs of the Vine Pinot Noir Shootout & Summit at:

Central Coast Wine Classic Celebrates Its 26th Gala Year
The Central Coast Wine Classic, to be held from July 8th through 11th, 2010 in Avila Beach, Shell Beach, San Simeon, Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles, will celebrate the wines, cuisine, music, art and lifestyle of California’s Central Coast. With distinguished guest Emeril Lagasse, winery dinners at acclaimed restaurants as well as at participating wineries, a Riedel stemware symposium, barrel tastings, a number of exciting auctions and a grand dinner at Hearst Castle, the event will be memorable without a doubt.

Net proceeds from the event will fund specific projects for 501(c)3 non-profit corporations in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties whose missions are in the healing, performing or studio arts. Over the past six years the Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation has conferred grants totalling $1,370,025 to 62 such non-profits. Grants for 2010 will be conferred in early October in San Luis Obispo. For tickets and more information visit the event website at:

Vine Hill’s Acclaimed Heritage of Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noirs
Vine Hill produces wine varietals that include Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Syrah, but the winery’s true flagship wine varietal is Pinot Noir. Pinot bottled under Vine Hill’s three brands has garnered numerous awards and accolades in the past few years since the winery’s founding in 2004.

The Vine Hill 2007 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, for example, received a gold medal at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, as well as 92-points at the 2010 Affairs of the Vine Pinot Noir Shootout. Vine Hill’s Cumbre, a limited-production label devoted almost entirely to Pinot Noir, and exclusively Santa Cruz Mountains fruit, has developed an impressive collection of critical achievements, including a gold medal at the 2010 West Coast Wine Competition and 92-points at the 2010 Affairs of the Vine Pinot Noir Shootout for the 2007 Barrel 31, and a gold medal for the 2007 Cumbre Hicks Family Vineyard from the 2010 San Diego Critics Challenge International Competition. Three 2006 Cumbre Pinot Noirs - the Hicks Family Vineyard, Raffaelli Vineyard and Santa Cruz Mountains — were each bestowed with high ratings from Wine Enthusiast in July 2009 with 94, 93 and 92-points, respectively. Gatos Locos Pinots have also shown exceptionally well, as recently demonstrated with the 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains vintage, which received three gold and three silver medals from major wine competitions, in addition to a rating of 89-points in the November 2008 issue of Wine Enthusiast.

For a complete description of all of Vine Hill's current wine releases, visit:

About Vine Hill Winery, Santa Cruz Mountains
Vine Hill Winery is committed to making the highest quality wines, focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals.  With three distinguished and award-winning labels — Cumbre, Vine Hill and Gatos Locos — winemaker Sal Godinez focuses predominantly on making wines from fruit grown in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation.  Vineyard manager, Rachel Ormes, uses organic and sustainable farming practices in the winery’s recently planted vineyards, with first estate releases anticipated to appear in late 2011 with the 2009 vintage.

Vine Hill Winery’s inviting tasting room and panoramic vineyards are perched high in the Santa Cruz Mountains, just minutes from Silicon Valley and all points around the Monterey Bay. It’s a perfect, welcoming setting for an afternoon of wine tasting, as well as one of the most scenic locations in the area for weddings and social and corporate events.

Vine Hill Winery is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 2300 Jarvis Road, Santa Cruz, California 95065, and accessed from the City of Santa Cruz via Branciforte Road, and from Los Gatos via Highway 17 and Vine Hill Road. The tasting room is open to the public on the third weekend of each month from noon to 5pm and for special events and selected holidays. Tastings, winery and vineyard tours by appointment for groups of 10 or more are also available. For more information and directions, or to purchase wine directly from the winery, please visit:; or call: 831-427-0436.

For more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with key Vine Hill Winery personnel, please contact Fred Gillaspy at Wine Marketing Works by phone at: 831-438-2809.


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Fred Gillaspy

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