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Sterling Vineyards(R) Celebrates the Summer of '69

CALISTOGA, Calif., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Nixon took office, Led Zeppelin I and Easy Rider were released, Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon, Woodstock changed the face of music, Sesame Street debuted and Sterling Vineyards was born. It was 1969, can you dig it?

To celebrate its birthday, Sterling Vineyards is inviting guests to take the Sterling Vineyards aerial tram back to the '60s for a one-night-only groovy evening celebrating the winery's 40 years of trendsetting winemaking.

It was 40 years ago that English paper broker Peter Newton purchased 70 acres of land in Calistoga and became a Napa Valley winemaker. Newton planted grapes others did not, bottled varietals others did not and built a dramatic hilltop winery with an aerial tramway. His innovations put Sterling Vineyards into the public eye and helped establish the Napa Valley as a premier travel destination.

"Forty years ago, Sterling Vineyards emerged when exploration was a gas. Over the years Sterling Vineyards has been a Napa Valley trendsetter - embracing unique varietals and continually finding innovative ways for visitors to learn about and enjoy wines," said Mike Westrick, Vice President of Winemaking for Sterling Vineyards. "As I dust off my tie-dye and peace signs for our outta sight anniversary celebration, I look forward to taking Sterling Vineyards to new heights in the future."

Celebrating the Summer of '69

On Saturday, August 22, 2009 from 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm, guests at Sterling Vineyards will enjoy far out food and wine, 1969 memorabilia and live 60's-style musical entertainment throughout the winery. Tie-dyed T-shirts, head bands and sandals optional!

Tickets bought in advance are $69 per person for the general public, $79 at the door; Sterling Cellar Club members $59 in advance, $69 at the door; and Sterling Platinum Club members $55 in advance, $65 at the door.

Tickets are available for purchase on-line at www.sterlingvineyards.com or for more information call 1-800-726-6136

Sterling Vineyards Timeline

1969 First harvest at Sterling Vineyards including the first Sterling Vineyards vintage-dated Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot are produced. This was one of the first vintage-dated bottling of Merlot in the United States.

1969 Martin Waterfield, an officer of Newton's company, designs a starkly beautiful, Mediterranean-style, white stucco winery complex, inspired by the structures on the Greek island of Mykonos.

1972 First harvest at new hilltop winery. Construction of the legendary Sterling Vineyards aerial tram begins. The Bells of St Dunstan's, an ancient London church destroyed in WWII, are installed at the winery.

1973 The Sterling Vineyards Visitors Center, featuring a unique salon-style tasting environment and aerial tram, opens to the public.

1974 Highly acclaimed Sterling Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot win New York tasting against Lafite and Petrus.

1977 Prince Charles Visits Sterling Vineyards (arrives via helicopter).

1986 Sterling Vineyards acquires Rene di Rosa's prestigious 250-acre Carneros property, Winery Lake - first vintage of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

2002 The end of the seven-year, multi-million dollar renovation of Sterling Vineyards visitor center, tour and tramway facilities.

2004 - 09 Sterling Vineyards creates the featured wines of the Academy Awards(R).

2004 Sterling Vineyards launches the Silver Screen Series, an outdoor summer screen series featuring modern and vintage classic films in a variety of genres benefiting the Stars & Vines Fund with the Community Foundation of the Napa Valley.

2006 Sterling Vineyards joins The Land Trust of Napa Valley's effort to protect Wildlake Ranch with the launch of Wildlake Ranch Merlot, proceeds of which go directly to the Land Trust of Napa Valley.

2008 Sterling Vineyards makes significant investments in the creation of a reserve winery located at the base of the winery's hill.

2008 The Legendary Sterling Vineyards aerial tram converts to solar energy.

2008 Launch of Sterling Vineyards Made with Organic Grapes line of organic wines.

2009 Sterling Vineyards is certified a Napa Valley Green Winery.

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. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

SOURCE Sterling Vineyards

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