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Gary Eberle honored with Wine Lifetime Achievement Award 

Gary Eberle

Gary Eberle

Gary Eberle, founder of Eberle Winery, has been honored with the 2015 Wine Lifetime Achievement Award. Announced today by the California State Fair, this award recognizes an individual or family who are pioneers in the wine industry based on their lifetime contributions to the California wine industry. Each year the California State Fair Winery Advisory Task Force puts forth recommendations and selects an honoree through an open meeting process. Eberle joins the ranks of industry legends Robert Mondavi, Jerry Lohr, Mike Grgich, and Dr. Richard Peterson in receiving this prestigious honor.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition. I pursued wine enology because it fascinated me – the vineyard aspect of growing grapes and the technical art of making age-worthy wines. It’s taken me on a journey that I’m still enjoying today,” said Eberle.

Eberle, who has worked for 42 years building the acclaim of the Paso Robles region through his brand, is affectionately known as the “Godfather” of the Paso Robles wine industry. Eberle is the chief promoter for the winery and works with customers, distributors and restaurateurs to tout the virtues of the Paso Robles American Viticulture Area (AVA), which he help co-found in 1983.

Eberle began his academic studies at Penn State College where he played football and earned a bachelor’s of science in biology. He then attended Louisiana State University before heading west to California. He received a degree in enology from U.C. Davis in 1971. “I chose Paso Robles based on Dr. Olmo’s recommendation that Paso Robles was the place to grow world-class cabernet sauvignon,” said Eberle, “And I think we’ve achieved that.”

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, He released his first Eberle wine, the 1979 cabernet sauvignon and opened the winery and tasting room in 1983.

Eberle’s contributions to the California wine trade are significant. Eberle Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon was the first wine to place the Paso Robles AVA designation on its label. Eberle was also the first to plant syrah on the Central Coast and make a 100 percent syrah varietal wine in the United States. These milestones have proven to be important, as both syrah and Paso Robles have become significant forces in California’s wine industry.

The State Fair awards, which also include Winery of the Year, Vineyard of the Year and Agriculturalist of the Year, will be formally awarded at the State Fair Gala on June 25 at Cal Expo in Sacramento. The California State Fair takes place July 10 – 26, 2015 in Sacramento.

About Eberle Winery

Eberle Winery is a pioneer in the Paso Robles wine region with a rich 35-year history. The winery was recognized as Winery of the Year at the 2013 Central Coast Wine Competition, an award given at the California Mid-State Fair. In 2015, Gary Eberle is honored with the Wine Lifetime Achievement Award from the California State Fair. With an annual case production of 25,000, Eberle wines are distributed in 34 states and six countries. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with wine tasting and cave tours. For more information call (805) 238-9607, or go


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