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May 1, 2013 | 7:00 AM

Shannon Wesley from the Russian River Valley Winegrowers sent in this announcement; a preview of the film follows. 

"From Obscurity to Excellence: The Story of Grapes & Wine in The Russian River Valley,” a documentary film produced in Sonoma County, will be the opening feature at the Russian River Valley Winegrower’s Passport to Pinot Event on June 7.

The film will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Vintner’s Inn, 4350 Barns Rd in Santa Rosa after a wine reception at 6:30 p.m. Tickets ($15) can be purchased online at

The film, which documents the Russian River Valley wine region’s rise to world-class prominence, is told by growers and winemakers whose ties to the region go back more than a century. Their recollections, accompanied by historic film clips, are filled with humor and drama as the area around the Russian River makes the transition from the foggy river resort of the 1890s to a wine superpower.

Some people will recognize the story tellers, but this film will contain surprises for everyone. Viewers will meet the woman who saved the region’s largest winery, the fatherless farm boy who was mentored by a tycoon to become an industry giant, and many of the people whose struggles changed this area to a winemaking capitol.

The 2nd Annual Passport to Pinot barrel tasting weekend follows, featuring more than 30 wineries that will share exclusive offerings with ticket holders.

Passport to Pinot – June 8-9, 2013, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Weekend ticket price is $65/per person and includes both days. For details, including participating wineries, and to purchase tickets, or call 877-650-3717. A limited number of Sunday-only and Designated Driver tickets are available.

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