‘I Just Fell In Love With Paso Robles,’ Says Gary Eberle, American Wine Legend | Wine Enthusiast’s 2020 Wine Star Awards
Gary Eberle will be Honored as an “American Wine Legend” at the
Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards
Prestigious recognition is given to an industry pioneer.
November 11, 2020 (Paso Robles, Calif.) Wine Enthusiast magazine announced it will be honoring Gary Eberle, the “Godfather” of the Paso Robles AVA, as an “American Wine Legend” at the highly anticipated 21st Annual Wine Star Awards, a distinction only bestowed 5 times in the last twenty years. The ceremony will be held virtually in January 2021. Eberle will also be recognized in the Wine Enthusiast “Best of Year” special issue, December 31, 2020.
The American Wine Legend Award recognizes an individual or family who, based on their lifetime contributions, has been noteworthy pioneers in the wine industry. “Gary Eberle has demonstrated his commitment and passion to the industry for decades, and always thinking years ahead to make a positive and lasting impact on the industry as a whole. It is a pleasure to recognize his contributions with this award,” said Founder and Chairman and of Wine Enthusiast Companies, Adam Strum.
Affectionately known as the “Godfather” of the Paso Robles wine region, Eberle’s contributions to the California and U.S. wine trade are significant. Eberle was the first to place the Paso Robles AVA designation on the Eberle Winery Cabernet Sauvignon label and he subsequently co-founded the distinctive Paso Robles terroir as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 1983. With a staunch commitment to the possibility of age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Eberle was also the first to plant Syrah on the Central Coast and make a 100 percent Syrah varietal wine in the United States. As chief promoter for his brand, Eberle has worked relentlessly for almost 50 years building awareness of the Paso Robles and California wines through his passionate promotion to consumers, media and trade across the country. These milestones have proven to be significant as Paso Robles has become a respected force in the wine industry.
“The science and technical art of winemaking, from respecting the terroir and what it can offer to growing grapes and making age-worthy wines, has taken me on a life’s journey that I’m thankful for every day. I am humbled and honored to be recognized with this award,” said Eberle.
Eberle began his academic studies at Penn State University where he played football and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He then attended Louisiana State University before heading west to California where he completed his coursework for a PhD. In enology and viticulture from U.C. Davis in 1973. “I chose Paso Robles based on Dr. Olmo’s recommendation that Paso Robles was the place to grow world-class Cabernet Sauvignon,” said Eberle. “I think we’ve achieved that,” he added.
Once in Paso Robles, Eberle launched his career as partner and winemaker with Estrella River Winery & Vineyards. In the late 70s, he decided to pursue his own project and acquired nearly 64 acres just down the road from Estrella River Winery. Shortly thereafter, Gary released his first Eberle wine, the 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon and opened the winery and tasting room in 1983.
Gary has served as a board member on several professional organizations including Founding Board Member of the Central Coast Wine Growers, Founding Board Member of the Paso Robles Vintners & Growers Association, and a Board Member of the California Family Winemakers.
In addition to being named Wine Enthusiast’s 2020 American Wine Legend, Eberle earned the 2019 Robert Mondavi Hospitality Award, and the 2015 Wine Lifetime Achievement award by the California State Fair. Eberle is the only American winemaker to be awarded all three distinguished honors. He was also named Wine Industry Person of the Year from the California Mid-State Fair in 2002 and the Wine Industry Person of the Year from the PRWCA (back then the PRVGA) in 1997.
Charitable giving has been a key value throughout Eberle’s career, whether through donations of his wines, or hosting memorable events at the winery. Eberle conceptualized and launched the Paso Robles Rotary Club’s Annual Winemaker’s Cookoff which has raised more than $400,000 for educational scholarships over the past 22 years. “If I had not had the good fortune of receiving a scholarship to play football at Penn State, I would not have been able to receive a college education and be where I am today. Seeing that kids who work hard and have the ability to receive higher education remains near and dear to my heart.”
About the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Award
This year marks the 21st anniversary of Wine Enthusiast’s Annual Wine Star Awards, honoring the individuals and companies that make outstanding contributions to the wine and alcohol beverage world. The winners plus special Lifetime Achievement Award and American Wine Legend, will be announced in the magazine’s Best of Year issue. In a challenging year for all industries, we salute the dedicated beverage professionals who have innovated and flourished.
About Eberle Winery
Eberle Winery has showcased the history and diversity of the Paso Robles Appellation since 1979. Eberle Winery continues to be family owned and operated. With an annual case production of 26,000, Eberle wines are distributed in 34 states and six countries. Open daily from 10am to 5pm with wine tasting and cave tours. 805-238-9607, www.eberlewinery.com.
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Dear Valued Club Members and Guests,
We thank you for continued support and inquiries over the weekend regarding Eberle Winery’s operations amid this current health crisis. After thorough examination of the recommendations from the (Center for Disease Control) CDC, (World Health Organization) WHO, and (California Department of Public Health) CDPH we are adjusting our operations accordingly.
As of March 16th, we will halt our daily cave tours and tastings until further notice. We will however continue the retail sales of our wine in our tasting room and online. If you would like to place an order for pickup, please call 805.238.9607 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we may process your order and pack up your order ahead of your arranged pick-up time at the winery. If you have any standing reservations for a VIP tasting or otherwise, we will be reaching out directly to postpone, cancel, or reschedule your appointment.
In the meantime, may you all stay healthy and safe. We appreciate your continued support and patience as we work through this trying time together.
Gary Eberle and the Eberle Winery Team
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marcy Eberle, Eberle Winery 805-238-9607 or email@example.com
FEBRUARY, 2019—PASO ROBLES, CA—Long time pioneer of the Paso Robles Wine Appellation, Gary Eberle will celebrate his 40 years at Eberle Winery with a year-long tribute to his longevity and success in the world’s wine industry. Labeled “Legacy,” this year will be a conglomeration of awards, seminars, wine tastings and dinners to celebrate Gary’s 46 year vision and tireless work to support the local wine industry in Paso Robles.
On March 2nd, 2019, Eberle will be awarded the esteemed Robert Mondavi Hospitality Award at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, CA. This event, in addition to an exclusive “Legacy” Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon and a gala at the winery on July 13, 2019 will help spotlight the many contributions Eberle has made to the wine industry. Other events, educational seminars and museum-quality installations are being created by the San Luis Obispo County Wine History Project and its Director, Libbie Agran.
Marcy Eberle, who is working with everyone involved, says she’s overcome by the importance of this milestone. “Gary has been in the wine industry for 46 years. He founded two wineries—Estrella River Winery and Eberle Winery—and continues to be the backbone of what we do here. Forty years for a family-run winery is huge. The fact that we are one of the highest award-winning wineries in the country is huge. The reality that he truly loves every day of his life being a part of Eberle—not too many people get to live life like this. I’m so proud of him and his legacy.”
Please join Eberle Winery throughout 2019 as we celebrate Gary Eberle’s 75th birthday, his Robert Mondavi award, a film showcasing his history and 40 years of living his Legacy. For events information, please visit www.eberlewinery.com. Or call 805-238-9607.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eberle Winery 805-238-9607
January 31, 2020—PASO ROBLES, CA— On January 22nd, Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery donated $8600 to three local non-profit organizations. The beneficiaries of these donations included the Seneca Family of Agencies formerly known as the Kinship Center, Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation, and the Central Coast Honor Flight. “We are ever so thankful to our patrons for their donations raised from various events held at Eberle Winery. Because of their generosity, we can provide support for these important non-profits who provide programs for our local youth and veterans.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eberle Winery 805-238-9607
OCTOBER 2019—PASO ROBLES, CA— Eberle Winery will be cancelling the Haunted Caves this year due to late harvest conditions and the caves being filled to capacity with grapes. “We have enjoyed putting on the Haunted Caves for the past 20 years and this event has been a successful fundraiser for us as we have been able to donate the proceeds to several children’s charities.” says Gary Eberle, owner of Eberle Winery. “Hopefully, we will be able to bring this fun event back in the future at some point.”
Eberle Winery will still be in the spirit over the weekend of Oct.27-29th with live music and food by Lu Lu’s Cheese Trailer. Come dressed in costume and receive 15% your wine purchase. Enjoy a glass of our Spooky Sangria, for every glass sold $1 will go towards Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Eberle Winery will be open Monday through Sunday from 10am through 6pm. For more information about our events please visit www.eberlewinery.com.