August 13, 2008

Chalone Vineyard Benefits California Condors With Release of 2006 Estate Syrah Blend

MONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Chalone Vineyard, a recognized pioneer and the oldest bonded winery in Monterey County, is aiding wildlife preservation efforts through the release of a limited edition 2006 Chalone Vineyard Estate Syrah Blend. The wine, which was created with a commemorative Condor label, is a joint partnership with the Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS) benefiting the California Condor. The Pinnacles is one of the VWS release sites for the California Condor.

Chalone Vineyard is located high in the Gavilan Mountain range at the Pinnacles National Monument in Monterey County, California. The area is characterized by distinctive limestone soils and abundant wildlife. In addition to being a notable area for producing fine wines, the rugged and extreme territory is also an ideal habitat for the California Condor.

"Our unique location near the Pinnacles National Monument allows us to occasionally see the rare California Condor up close -- something no other winery in the world can boast, " said Chalone Vineyard Senior Winemaker, Robert Cook. "We want to be good stewards of this land and environment, and the much needed funds we will raise through the sale of Condor Syrah will raise awareness and interest in this special, highly endangered bird."

"The Condor is an endangered species and there are only 315 currently in existence, with over half of the wild flock of condors in California located in central California," said Kelly Sorenson from the Ventana Wildlife Society who is responsible for championing the Condors cause. "Preservation efforts in that area are imperative for the continued recovery of this highly endangered bird because there are so few places left in the world where condors can survive."

Estate grown from the Chalone appellation, the limited edition Syrah blend (69 percent Syrah, 31 percent Grenache) produced in honor of the California Condor will sell for $35 per 750 ml bottle. Five dollars from the sale of each bottle will go directly to the Ventana Wildlife Society. Only 500 cases were produced and are available online at, at the winery or by joining the Chalone Vineyard wine club.

   For more information, visit:    About The Ventana Wildlife Society  

The Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS) celebrated 30 years as a community-based private non-profit on May 10, 2007. VWS first began by rehabilitating and releasing wildlife at a 240-acre remote field site in the Ventana Wilderness. After five years, VWS began reintroducing prairie and peregrine falcons from this same location. Then, in 1986, a bald eagle restoration project began since a local population of eagles was absent for 60 years. VWS successfully restored this population in only 10 years. The Ventana Wildlife Society Research and Education Center was established in Big Sur's Andrew Molera State Park in January 1992. Inspired by the desire to reach out to the public, and with support from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, VWS expanded its programs to operate a year-round bird lab to monitor the populations of hundreds of species in the wild. Today, our current program areas include Species Recovery focusing on California Condor reintroduction, Conservation Ecology, Conservation Education, and Habitat Restoration. For more information, visit:

About Chalone Vineyard

Chalone Vineyard 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: Beaulieu Vineyard, 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

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.

Chalone Vineyard

CONTACT: Maire Griffin of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines,+1-707-299-2626, [email protected], for Chalone Vineyard; or KellySorenson of Ventana Wildlife Society, +1-831-455-9514,[email protected]

Web site: