GARAGISTES – (garage-east) n, Fr. – A term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their garage, who refused to follow the “rules.” Now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. Who’s laughing now, Francois? Syn: Rule-breakers, pioneers, renegades, mavericks, driven by passion.

Welcome to Garagiste, a place for the underground, the different, and the cutting edge of small production winemaking with no rules.

Remember, whether you see the glass as half empty or half full,
there’s always room for more wine.

Thanks for joining us in 2015! We hope you had a great time tasting with us.


4th Annual Southern Exposure Festival
Solvang Veterans’ Memorial Hall
FEBRUARY 12-14, 2016

Ticket on sale soon!

>>Book your room today!<<

Our very first video describing who and what a “garagiste” is.

Garagiste Festival Scholarship Fund Established for Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Students

Annual scholarships awarded to high-achieving, entrepreneurial students of viticulture, enology or wine business; funded by donations from Garagiste Festival events

Paso Robles, CA – July 22, 2015 – The Garagiste Wine Festival, in conjunction with California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, today announced the establishment of the Garagiste Festival Scholarship Fund which will award scholarships annually to high-achieving, entrepreneurial students of viticulture, enology or wine business in the university’s wine and viticulture department. Seeded with a $20,000 donation, the fund will be a beneficiary of proceeds from future Garagiste Festival events which include Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure in Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez, Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure in Los Angeles, and the Festival’s annual flagship November event in Paso Robles.

“Five years ago, the Garagiste Festival was born on the Central Coast, fueled by the passion and talents of the area’s artisan, and often rebel, winemakers – and dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Douglas Minnick. “And, what began as a local event has blossomed into a full-fledged movement, with impact across the wine industry.”

“From day one, it made perfect sense that Cal Poly University’s Wine and Viticulture department should be a beneficiary of the festival,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Stewart McLennan. “Today, the Garagiste team could not be more proud to celebrate our fifth anniversary with the announcement of the establishment of a permanent scholarship fund at Cal Poly for those future winemakers who aspire to challenge, enrich and move the wine industry forward.”

The Garagiste Festival Scholarships will be awarded annually to high-performing undergraduate wine and viticulture department students who have demonstrated leadership and entrepreneurial creativity. Recipients of the 2015/2016 Garagiste Festival scholarship will be announced as part of fifth anniversary celebrations at The Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles, November 5th – 7th.

“It is no secret to anyone that higher education today is incredibly expensive; and we are so grateful for the hard work and commitment of The Garagiste Festival team – and to their sponsors, winemakers and the consumers who attend – for making this scholarship possible. It will help some of our most accomplished students as they seek to broaden their education,” said Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department Interim Head Marianne McGarry Wolf. “The Garagiste Festival Scholarship students will be a reflection of the spirit of the garagiste winemakers: leaders with entrepreneurial DNA and a passion for excellence and innovation.”

The Garagiste Wine Festivals, which first exposed the American garagiste** movement, are among the most unique and influential wine events in the world and are the only wine events that exclusively showcase ultra-premium, cutting-edge, micro-production commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,500 (and many under 800) cases a year. The Garagiste Festival just wrapped its second annual, and highly successful, Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure in Los Angeles.

The Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture department includes nearly 300 undergraduate majors, making Cal Poly among the largest Wine and Viticulture departments in the country. The program uniquely integrates three fundamental components of the modern wine industry, with a curriculum emphasizing the inherent connectivity between wine grape growing in the vineyard, wine making in the winery, and wine selling in the marketplace through a unique “learn-by-doing” approach. The department is currently developing a Center for Wine and Viticulture that will include new state-of-the-art teaching facilities.

To support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund as a Garagiste Festival sponsor or individual, contact info@garagistefestival.com.