Home Industry News Releases Garagiste Festival Brings New Wine Discoveries to Sonoma, April 27th

Garagiste Festival Brings New Wine Discoveries to Sonoma, April 27th


America’s Best Wine Festival returns to Sonoma’s historic downtown for the sixth year with over 40 micro-production wineries from Northern California, pouring 100+ wines, from 20+ grape varieties

The Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure

Paso Robles, CA –February 27th, 2024– America’s Best Wine Festival, The Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure, brings new wine discoveries from over 40 micro-production wineries to Sonoma on April 27th. The festival, which offers first-look access to some of the best, hard-to-find wines from Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lodi, Sierra Foothills, Suisun Valley, Anderson Valley, El Dorado County and Santa Clara Valleytakes place at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall, walking distance from Sonoma’s historic downtown plaza.  Tickets are now on sale: https://www.caltix.com/e/northern-exposure-garagiste-wine-festival/tickets.

The Garagiste Festival, which Sonoma Magazine said is ‘Beloved by wine geeks from near and far…offering tiny gems that are difficult to come by…” returns to Sonoma for the sixth time and is the only wine festival that exclusively features high quality wines from small-lot, commercial California ‘garagiste’* winemakers.  Unlike other festivals, the wines are poured by the winemakers/owners themselves, so attendees can interact with the creative forces behind the wines and be among the first to discover some of the best of the area’s hand-crafted wines from wineries who produce under 1500 cases per year.

“We love Sonoma, for its beauty, for its trend-setting and innovative winemakers and for its very ‘enthusiastic’ wine enthusiasts. We are so pleased to bring these 40 dynamic wineries all together under one roof, each wine and each winery with its own fascinating origin story,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick.  “And, because only 10% of these wineries have a tasting room, this truly is a singular chance for the public to taste all of these remarkable wines in one day.”

Among the wineries pouring for the first time at the Sonoma festival are: Aubry Wines, Cary Q Wines, Cote des Cailloux, Cruess Wine, Lost Sierra Wine Co., Mon Premier Wines, MoniClaire Vineyards, Oxlee Graham Wines, Panther Ridge Vineyards, Spur Road Wines and Vine Wrangler.  Among the stories behind these wineries are:

  • A winery that is a love letter to the winemaker’s grandmothers, with each label carrying the name of someone who has left a lasting impression
  • A cowboy, lawyer and grape grower returns home to make the perfect Pinot Noir
  • Wines that are a celebration of a Cuban descent and vibrant Hispanic culture
  • A vineyard that turned into a blackberry nest but now is back to its former glory
  • ….and many more.

The Northern Exposure festival is the second event of the 2024 Garagiste Festival season, which was preceded by the sold out Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure in Solvang earlier this month, of which GeorgeEats said: “Garagiste is a place to drink deep of inspiration, experimentation, passion, play…the point (for winemakers) is to make wine because it’s fun…to try new things and please new drinkers, or reinvigorate the palates of more experienced drinkers.”

The line-up for the 6th Annual Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure includes:

  • Rare and Reserve Early Access (1-5pm), which gives attendees exclusive access to library, club only or reserve wines, only being poured during the first hour of the Festival (from 1-2pm).
  • Grand Tasting (2pm-5pm) featuring over 40 excellent, hard-to-find micro-wineries pouring 100+ wines and 20+ varietals. Includes complimentary cheese and charcuterie, along with samples from local artisan vendors and a souvenir crystal wine glass.
  • Silent Wine Auction with proceeds supporting the Garagiste Festival Scholarship at Cal Poly SLO, to help fund the future of California winemaking.

The Garagiste Festival, which premiered in Paso Robles in 2011, held its first festival in Sonoma in 2018 to focus on the wines of Sonoma and surrounding Northern California AVAs. The Northern Exposure festival will be followed by The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure in Los Angeles (June 22) and the ‘OG’ Festival in Paso Robles (November 8-9). 

Among the 40+ winemakers scheduled to pour are:  

*Aubry Wines, Boonville Road Wines, Burning Bench, Calstar Cellars, Carpenter Wine, *Cary Q Wines, Cazadero Winery, Corkwood Cellars, *Cote des Cailloux, *Cruess Wine, Elaine Wines, Fest Wine Co., Forgotten Union Wines, Greyscale Wines, Intent Wines, Kendric Vineyards, *Lost Sierra Wine Co., Lunasa Wines, Lussier Wine Co., Manzanita Grove Vineyard, *Mon Premier Wines, *Moniclaire Vineyards, Monroy Wines, Montagne Russe, *Oxlee Graham Wines, *Panther Ridge Vineyards, Parea Wines, Perri Jaye Vineyards, Pine Mountain Vineyards, Playground Cellars, Puppione Family Wines, Rock & Clay Wines, *Spur Road Wines, Stressed Vines Cellars, T. Berkley Wines, The Grenachista Wine Co., Theopolis Vineyards, Thomas T Thomas Vineyards, and *Vine Wrangler.

*New to the festival  

For more information and full Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure schedule details, go to: http://www.garagistefestival.com/

Tickets are limited for Garagiste Festival Northern Exposure.  Garagiste Festivals always sell out in advance. To buy tickets, go to: https://www.caltix.com/e/northern-exposure-garagiste-wine-festival/tickets

For breaking Garagiste Festival news and special discounts, sign-up for our free newsletter, The Dirt, at https://www.garagistefestival.com/garagiste-blog or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook.

Sponsors include:

G3 Enterprises, ETS Laboratories, Laffort USA, AgWest Farm Credit, mWEBB Communications, Fortis Solutions Group, Glenn Burdette, KSYV, Sonoma Valley Sun.

About The Garagiste Wine Festival

The Garagiste Wine Festival (http://www.garagistefestival.com), named “Best of the Fests” for 2019 by Fest Forums and 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’ micro-wineries 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; and The Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure, in Sonoma

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. 

*Garagiste (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.