Cuesta College’s Business and Entrepreneurship Center collaborated in a virtual wine tasting event at the Le Vigne Winery in Paso Robles on May 6. The “tasters” were located in Istanbul, Turkey, with participants including the U.S. Consulate General, staff of the U.S. Embassy in Istanbul, and various wine importers. The event was intended to connect local wineries to overseas buyers via high-quality video conference.


"The Paso Robles wineries hosted a fabulous wine tasting event for the U.S. Consulate General, his staff, and distributors from Istanbul,” said Glen Roberts of the U.S. Department of Commerce/International Trade Administration. “The event was pulled off due to American ingenuity." 


The five participating wine distributors shipped their product to the U.S. Embassy in Istanbul, where importers, staff, and the U.S. Consulate General participated in a tasting. Via the video conference, the tasters heard from the local wine makers about the wines, appellation, and varietals. The long-distance tasting was the result of a partnership between the Cuesta College BEC, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service in Istanbul, Turkey, the U. S. Department of Commerce/International Trade Administration, Embassy Wines International, Federal Express and the following local wine makers: Locatelli Vineyards and Winery, Twin Pomegranates Wines, Le Vigne Winery, Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery and Sylvester Winery.


“As a small winery, I couldn’t be more pleased with the guidance, support and encouragement that I have received and continue to receive from the Business & Entrepreneurship Center of Cuesta College,” said Raynette Gregory of Locatelli Vineyards and Winery.  “The virtual tasting in Turkey allowed a small producer as myself the opportunity to expand the U.S. borders, all with limited funds and experience.”


“It was great to see the response of the Turkish wine importers and embassy officials to our wines,” said Matt Merrill, general manager of Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery. “Being able to use the business partnerships with today's technology was an extremely cost-effective way for our wines to be sampled by key businesses in Turkey.”  


Cuesta College’s BEC program, an initiative of the Economic and Workforce Development Program through the California Community Colleges, is a network of community college professionals working in strategic partnerships with businesses, industry and community organizations to identify and meet California's economic development needs in the areas of business improvements and entrepreneurship training.

Lauren Milbourne / (805) 546-3108 / Email: / Posted 5/10/13