The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance recently honored Stephen Miller as its 2008 Wine Industry Person of the Year.|
Miller, the president and CEO of Paso Robles Wine Services and French Camp Vineyard owner, was honored at the Alliance¡¯s 17th annual Wine Country Gala held last Friday at the Park Ballroom.
¡°As I looked at the program and it listed the recipients in past years when the award has been given, it is really a list of outstanding people in the industry, not only in the Paso Robles area but really in the wine industry in general,¡± Miller said. ¡°I feel humbled to be included on that list. The honor is very special, and the success we have achieved has been a function of the entire team.¡±
Miller¡¯s role in the industry spans more than three decades. Miller and his late brother, Bob, developed a vision for the Central Coast wine industry in the early 1970s, growing world-class wine grapes at French Camp Vineyards and later establishing Paso Robles Wine Services in 2002.
The Miller family champions the Paso Robles American Viticulture Area, working with more than 150 brands now 30-plus years following purchase of the Camatta Ranch and planting of wine grapes in the early 1970s.
French Camp Vineyard is home to more than 1,700 vineyard acres, 30 different varietals and is named for the Basque farmers who settled there in the 1860s following the Gold Rush. Its client list now spans more than 75 wine brands with 20 vineyard designated French Camp wines, according to the PRWCA.
As the acclaim for Paso Robles wine grapes grew, the Miller Family recognized a need to further develop the Paso Robles AVA, help small wineries begin their businesses and keep the area¡¯s premium fruit going into brands with appellation distinction, according to the PRWCA.
When the Millers first planted vineyards in the Paso Robles area in 1973, they were selling grapes to wineries outside of the area, principally, Northern California, Miller said. He said the team came to fine that they would use the fruit when they ran short of there was a need.
¡°We recognized that if the industry was to achieve the recognition that it deserved, we needed to be having local wineries championing the cause,¡± he said.
By offering a model through Paso Robles Wine Services, prospective winemakers of all sizes, many of which bear the Paso Robles brand, were able to produce their product, fulfill their dreams and place it on the market.
Paso Robles Wine Services, created in 2002, is a full-service wine processing and custom crush facility with 40 alternating proprietors that operate out of its east Paso Robles location using its equipment to make wine, 45 custom crush clients where the facility crushes the wine and make it for clients¡¯ specifications and 50 to 60 case good storage customers in its consolidated warehouse. It also offers barrel storage and vendors located onsite who offer direct-to-consumer shipping, trucking and sensory/laboratory services.
¡°We wanted to create a home where people needed to be comfortable making their wines,¡± Miller said.
The Miller Family is also involved the PRWCA¡¯s promotional efforts, serving on committees, hosting the trade and media to the region and sharing knowledge through educational panels.
Meanwhile, Miller is responsible for overseeing the daily operations at various other family holdings ¡ª Solomon Hills Vineyard, Central Coast Wine Services and Bien Nacido Vineyard ¡ª with varietals being grown including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Napa Gamay, Syrah, Petite Syrah and La Grein.
¡°When our family bought the property in the Paso Robles area in 1968, we had a vision of what a special part of California it was,¡± Miller said. ¡°When we planted our fist vineyards in 1973 we came to realize that this was a very exciting industry, that Paso Robles has a very unique role to play and with the growth in the number of wineries in north San Luis Obispo County, Templeton through Paso Robles, I think it is an affirmation of how much the industry believes that it has a very unique role to play.¡±
Stacie Jacob, executive director of the PRWCA, said that the Millers¡¯ vision is ¡°very much what Paso Robles is all about,¡± and her colleagues agreed.
¡°The Miller Family vision for Paso Robles provides a foundation for the region¡¯s growth,¡± said Steve Lohr, PRWCA chairman and senior vice president of planning and development for J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines. ¡°Stephen is also involved on a state level with Wine Institute and California Association of Wine Grape Growers further demonstrating his leadership for the Paso Robles AVA.¡±
Miller, who currently resides in Santa Barbara, raised his eldest two children in Atascadero, his home at the time he met his wife. When asked what motivates him to be so deeply involved in championing the region, Miller said, ¡°My passion really comes from my love for the region.¡±
The special evening also recognized members of the Board of Directors for the PRWCA. Outgoing board member Don Brady, winemaker at Robert Hall Winery, received an etched wine bottle thanking him for his four years of service.
Paso Robles Mayor Duane Picanco, First District Supervisor Frank Mecham and representatives of the offices of Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee and Senator Abel Maldonado also honored Miller.
Besides honoring Miller, the 2009 PRWCA board of directors and executive team were announced:
-Steve Lohr ¨C J. Lohr Vineyards & Winery ¨C chairman
-Alex Villicana ¨C Villicana Winery ¨C vice chairman
-Jerry Reaugh ¨C Sereno Vista Vineyards ¨C treasurer
-Tony Domingos ¨C Brave Oak Vineyards ¨C nominating committee
-Stephan Asseo ¨C L¡¯Aventure Winery
-Austin Hope ¨C Treana Winery
-Gary Eberle ¨C Eberle Winery
-Paul Hoover ¨C Still Waters Vineyards
-Cindy Newkirk ¨C Steinbeck Vineyards
The PRWCA represents wineries, growers and businesses in Paso Robles Wine Country. For more information, visit
We are high quality suppliers, our products such as Fancy Floor Lamp Manufacturer , Art Deco Mirrors for oversee buyer. To know more, please visits Interior Ceiling Lights.
Related Articles -
Fancy Floor Lamp Manufacturer, Art Deco Mirrors,