July 17, 2008

Sterling Vineyards Donates $30,000 to The Land Trust of Napa County

NAPA VALLEY, Calif., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Land Trust of Napa County is thrilled to announce that Napa Valley winery Sterling Vineyards has donated $30,000 to The Land Trust, through the sale of the premium 2004 Napa Valley Wildlake Ranch Merlot. In addition, Sterling Vineyards has announced the release of the 2005 vintage of Wildlake Ranch Merlot benefiting The Land Trust's preservation of the spectacular Duff & Wildlake Ranch properties in the eastern viewshed of the Napa Valley. The official release date for this second vintage of Wildlake Ranch Merlot is July 17, 2008.

The Land Trust of Napa County, spearheaded by the efforts of vintner Randy Dunn, was able to acquire the Wildlake Ranch property in July of 2006 and is in the middle of a campaign to also secure the Duff property in 2008. When combined, the Duff & Wildlake Ranch properties will connect to Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, creating 10,000 acres of permanently-protected open space with 15 miles of public access trails -- one of the largest and most significant undeveloped, pristine and natural properties in Napa Valley. The property's relationship with Sterling Vineyards is both physical and emotional, as the entire eastern view from the winery's iconic vista terrace consists of the Duff & Wildlake Ranch ridgeline.

"The Sterling Vineyards donation through sales of Wildlake Ranch Merlot is emblematic of the support that the Napa Valley Wild Campaign has received from Napa's agricultural community," said John Hoffnagle, Executive Director of the Land Trust. "What better way to celebrate the acquisition of the Wildlake and Duff Ranch properties than to purchase a bottle of Wildlake Ranch Merlot, knowing that proceeds from each bottle are going directly to the purchase and stewardship of this stunning landscape," Hoffnagle added.

"This special wine is a testament to our commitment to ensure this special property remains enjoyable to the Napa Valley community and all of its visitors," said Michael Westrick, VP of Winemaking for Sterling Vineyards. "Everyone at Sterling Vineyards -- from the cellar to the tasting room and in between -- is proud to support and is committed to raising important funds for the preservation of this unspoiled piece of land."

Only available at the winery, the 2005 Wildlake Ranch Merlot gives spicy, wild cherry, vanilla, plum, black pepper and vanilla aromatics. This dark ruby wine is rich and velvety, with a long mocha/cherry finish. The wine retails for $50/bottle, with $10/bottle sold donated to the Land Trust of Napa County. Throughout the release weekend (July 17 - July 20), Sterling Vineyards will increase the donation to $20/bottle sold.

About Sterling Vineyards

Sterling Vineyards wine is produced by Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines (DC&E), part of Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O); the world's leading premium drinks business. DC&E produces and markets premium wines from around the globe including Napa Valley, Sonoma, the California Central Coast, Washington, France, New Zealand and Australia. Brands include: Sterling Vineyards, Sterling Vintner's Collection, Chalone Vineyard, Acacia Vineyard, Edna Valley Vineyard, Rosenblum Cellars and Provenance Vineyards as well as the French wines of Barton & Guestier. DC&E is also a leading importer of classified Bordeaux and Burgundy estate-bottled wines and F.E. Trimbach.

Diageo's broader business includes an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wine and beer including Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan and Crown Royal. Diageo is a global company, listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com/.

   Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.    About The Trust of Napa County  

The Land Trust of Napa County works to protect the natural diversity, scenic open space and agricultural vitality of Napa County by preserving lands with significant conservation values for present and future generations and by fostering an appreciation and understanding of the natural environment.

The Land Trust of Napa County

CONTACT: For more information on the Wildlake Ranch Merlot, MaireGriffin of Sterling Vineyards, +1-707-299-2626, [email protected], forThe Land Trust of Napa County; or Tom Fuller of The Land Trust of Napa County,+1-707-253-0868, [email protected]

Web site: http://www.diageo.com/