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Garagiste Wine Festival Showcases 70 California Winemakers in Paso Robles November 8th and 9th


Wineries from all over CA, including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Barbara and Sierra Foothills, join Paso Robles’ most exciting artisan winemakers for two days of wine tasting ‘nirvana’ at the US’ Best Wine Festival; Tickets on sale now 

Paso Robles, CA – July 30th, 2019 – The Garagiste Wine Festival, which was named America’s Best Wine Festival by USA Today,* will showcase 70 winemakers from across California at its ninth annual Paso Garagiste Festival to be held at the festival’s home base in Paso Robles on November 9th and 10th.  Wineries from Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Barbara, Sierra Foothills, and more, join Paso Robles’ most exciting artisan winemakers to pour over 200 ultra-premium wines representing a wide diversity of grape varieties and blends. Tickets on sale now at http://garagistefestival.com

This year’s festival features the return of the popular Rare and Reserve Paella Party, a ‘How to Taste Wine Like a Pro’ seminar, the epic Grand Tasting and Paso-signature Keep It Rockin’ After Party.  Marking its 25th festival with the Paso Robles event, The Garagiste Festival is the first and only organization to gather these undiscovered artisan ‘garagiste’ winemakers – who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot wines in the world – all under one roof. 

“Our Paso Garagiste Festival is, in many ways, the culmination of the wine discoveries we make during the year at our festivals in Los Angeles, Solvang and Sonoma, and we are pleased to bring so many exciting new finds – nearly 20% of our winemakers are Paso firsts – along with so many festival favorites to the wine public.  These winemakers know just how to push the winemaking envelope to create some of the most exciting, audacious and delicious wines you will taste anywhere in the US,” said Doug Minnick, Garagiste Festival Co-founder.  “Join us in Paso and discover the biggest ‘small’ thing happening in the world of wine.” 

Dubbed “tasting nirvana,” “strange and wondrous,” and “one not to miss” by the LA Times, the Garagiste Festival is renowned for its renegade spirit, passionate winemakers, handcrafted wines and rules-breaking, ‘no snobs allowed’ ethos.  Launched in Paso Robles in 2011, the festival features the wines of commercial garagiste** winemakers, who make under 1500 cases, at festivals across California, including Solvang, Sonoma, Los Angeles and Paso Robles. Over 400 different wineries have poured over 3,500 wines for over 11,000 wine lovers at Garagiste Festivals since inception.  

The festival kicks off on Friday night in Templeton with its popular ‘Rare and Reserve – No Repeats’ tasting, featuring 30 winemakers and special wines that will be poured only that night, accompanied by delicious Paella from Chef John Carson of JC Catering.

Saturday’s line-up at the Paso Robles Fairgrounds includes the Grand Tasting with 70 winemakers; the Paso festival’s signature Keep it Rocking After Party, featuring the music of Erin and the Earthquakes; and a ‘How to Taste Wine Like a Pro’ interactive seminar from wine educator and certified wine specialist Melanie Webber, DipWSET/FWS, who will help attendees learn how to assess wine quality apart from personal likes and dislikes through an easy-to-implement systematic tasting process.  The seminar, which includes six wines, a take-home tasting grid, and a collaborative blind tasting, offers a great refresher for those in the know, and a fun primer and confidence builder for those who are just starting their wine exploration.

“There are three main things we want our attendees to experience at our festival – new winery discoveries, a whole lot of fun and truly great tasting.  This seminar will help enhance each of those goals,” said Stewart McLennan, Garagiste Festival Co-founder.  “Whether you already know a lot about wine or are just beginning your wine journey, the ‘How to Taste Wine Like a Pro’ seminar will help you discover (or rediscover) your wine palate and enhance the experience of every wine you taste.”

Time and Place:

Friday, November 8th 6:00-9:00pm – American Legion Hall, Templeton

Rare & Reserve Paella Party – 40 Wines plus Paella Buffet Dinner 

Saturday, November 9th 11:30am-8:30pm Paso Robles Fairgrounds

11:30 – 12:30: How to Taste Wine Like a Pro: An Interactive Tasting Experience! 

Includes a tasting components exercise, a take-home tasting grid, tasting/assessment of six wines and a collaborative blind tasting. (VIP ticket holders only: VIP tickets include wine country lunch, early access to the Grand Tasting and After Party.) 

2pm – 5:00pm The Grand Tasting showcasing over 70 winemakers pouring 200+ wines and 20+ varieties. Includes unlimited tastes, complimentary cheese & charcuterie, food samples and a souvenir Stolzle crystal wine glass. 

5:30 – 8:30 Keep it Rockin’ After Party – Grab a cold brew, mingle with the winemakers and rock out with the music of Erin and the Earthquakes. 


13th & Third Wines*, Alta Colina Winery, Arndt Cellars*, Ascension Cellars, Autry Cellars*, Bodega de Edgar, Bolt To Wines*, Bon Niche Cellars, Brophy Clark Cellars, Burning Bench Cellars, Bushong Vintage Company, Caliza Winery, Camlow Cellars, Carpenter Wines*, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Concur Wines*, Copia Vineyards, Cutruzzola Vineyards, Cypher Winery, DB Cellars*, Decroux Wines, DENO Wines, DeWitt Vineyard, Diablo Paso, Dusty Nabor Wines, Ferguson Family Winery, Frisco Cellars*, Gary Kramer Guitar Cellars, Golden Triangle, Greyscale Wines, Hoi Polloi Winery, Hoyt Vineyards, Hubba Wines, Jardesca, Kaleidos Winery, Lasorda Family Wines*, Leverage Wines, Lions Peak Vineyards, Lost Blues, Marin’s Vineyard, Mastro Scheidt, MCV Wines, Monochrome Wines, Montagne Russe, On Your Left Wines, Pelletiere Estate, Powell Mountain Cellars, Powicana Farms Winery, Quench & Temper*, Rails Nap*, Ranchero Cellars, RF Fine Wines, Rhondonnee Wines*, Saint K Wines, San Rucci Winery*, Seven Angels Cellars, T. Berkley Wines, Torch Cellars, TW Ferm Co., Two Papas Wines*, Ultima Tulie, Vinemark Cellars, Vino Vargas, Volatus Wines, and Wildeye Winery*.

* New to Paso Festival

Tickets: To preserve an intimate experience with one-on-one interaction with winemakers, tickets are very limited for the Garagiste Festivals and always sell out. Tickets are available at http://garagistefestival.com.  For special discounts and updates on Urban Exposure, Taste of Garagiste mini-tastings and other Garagiste Festival events and news, sign up for The Dirt at http://garagistefestival.com/sign-up/, or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook (http://on.fb.me/1rgBC80).

Festival Sponsors include: The Allegretto, Bank of Marin, ETS, AEB, Laffort, Digital Dogma, Hanover Insurance, Farm Credit, mWEBB Communications, Glenn Burdette, G3, SLO New Times, WIVI, House Copper.  

Sponsor Hotels: For “Garagiste” weekend deals.

La Quinta Inn & Suites, Paso Oaks Hotel 

For sponsorship info, email [email protected].

About The Garagiste Wine Festival

The Garagiste Wine Festival (http://www.garagistefestival.com), named the ‘Best Wine Festival in the US in 2018 in USA Today’s 10Best Readers Choice Awards, is the first and only wine festival dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized American artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festivals are committed to discovering the best and most innovative limited-production winemakers and promoting and showcasing them to a broad audience of discerning wine consumers. In addition to its flagship annual festival in Paso Robles, CA, the Garagiste Festival line-up includes Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, featuring Santa Ynez Valley garagistes; the Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure, in Los Angeles; the Garagiste Festival, Northern Exposure, in Sonoma; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. 

In addition to being named the US’ Best Wine Festival, the Garagiste Festival was named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News, * “one of the premier wine events of the year,” by the LA Times and “Best Festival” by Sunset Magazine’s ‘Best of the West.’ The festivals are produced by Garagiste Events, a non-profit dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry. Proceeds from the festivals support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund of the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture Department.

* The Garagiste Wine Festival was named America’s Best Wine Festival by USA Today in 2018.

**Garagistes (garage-east) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world.  The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011.

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