Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Board of Directors for 2023 installed
PASO ROBLES — On Thursday, Feb. 2, the Paso Robles wine community will come together to recognize one of its own who has exemplified the spirit of Paso Robles Wine Country with outstanding leadership and vision. Eric Jensen, farmer-winemaker at Booker Vineyard, will receive the 2022 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year award at the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance’s Annual Gala.
Eric Jensen has been a champion for the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA), its wines, people, and community since 2001 when he first planted his vineyard. In 2005, Jensen, and his wife Lisa, launched Booker Vineyard’s first vintage. Jensen began making wine with the help of his mentors, Stephan Asseo of L’Aventure and Justin Smith of Saxum Vineyards, both past Industry Person of the Year awardees. Eric’s wines have since been recognized with the highest of accolades from all publications and industry notables.
“What an unbelievable honor to even be nominated for an award that is selected by industry friends whom I’ve respected and worked alongside for more than two decades,” Jensen said. “Lisa and I chose to get married here in 1997 and to move to Paso Robles permanently in 2001. It’s where our hearts were. We wanted to keep the name Booker and with that the responsibility of putting our neighbors and community first. Watching Paso Robles continue to grow and reach new heights has been the greatest journey of our lives. I’m grateful and humbled that we can play even a small part in that. Thanks to my wonderful friends and the entire wine industry.”
Eric is one of the founding supporters of Must! Charities, and the originator-host of the organization’s annual PURPOSE auction event, which raised $2.5 million in its second year this past summer. He is also a founding supporter of the Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides academic opportunities to children of vineyard and winery workers.
“We built our business in Paso Robles, our kids grew up here,” Eric says. “We want to help make sure that we have a community that serves everyone and leaves no one behind.”
“Eric Jensen’s commitment to the region is special,” said Joel Peterson, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “His tireless promotion professionally and his personal support for the community is steadfast, which makes him more than deserving of this award.”
Jensen was nominated and named the 2022 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance membership, which represents 450-plus companies, including wineries, vineyards, and associated businesses. Industry colleagues will recognize Jensen at the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance’s Annual Gala on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m. at Rava Wines. 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 2023 Board of Directors and will recognize the departing board members. The 2023 Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Board of Directors (in alphabetic order) are as follows:
- Chloe Asseo — L’Aventure
- Josh Beckett — Peachy Canyon Winery
- Cris Cherry — MAHA Estate / Villa Creek
- Randy Heinzen — Coakley Vineyard / VPS
- Carole MacDonal — Il Cortile Ristorante / La Cosecha
- Noreen Martin — Martin Resorts
- Molly Scott — JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery
- Jeff Strekas — ONX Winery
- Maggie Tillman — Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery
Austin Hope, Hope Family Wines, departs the board with Tillman set to replace his seat. Hope has served on the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Board of Directors since 2008.
About Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance
The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance is the official trade organization that represents wineries, growers, and businesses in Paso Robles Wine Country. Paso Robles Wine Country is California’s third-largest wine region, and encompasses more than 40,000 vineyard acres and 250 wineries. For more information, visit PasoWine.com.