Press Release: 10/13/11

Top Winemakers ‘Pay it Forward’ at Paso Garagiste Festival

Saxum’s Justin Smith, Adelaida’s Terry Culton, Tablas Creek’s Neil Collins and Cypher’s Christian Tietje Headline Paso Garagiste Seminars

Paso Garagiste ( announced today that four of the world’s top winemakers will headline the seminar line-up for the Paso Garagiste Festival: Celebrating the Artisan Winemaker, to be held November 11th and 12th at Windfall Farms in Paso Robles. A portion of the festival proceeds will go to support the renowned Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

The newly-announced seminars, which are targeted at aspiring garagistes* and wine enthusiasts, feature the artisan wisdom and in-the-trenches experience of winemakers Justin Smith of Saxum, whose ’07 James Berry GSM was named the #1 wine in the world for 2010 by Wine Spectator; Terry Culton of acclaimed Adelaida Cellars; Neil Collins of famed Tablas Creek Vineyards and Lone Madrone; and Christian Tietje, former partner and winemaker of the highly successful Four Vines Winery and, currently, winemaker and co-owner with Susan Mahler at Cypher Winery.

“The garagiste movement is thriving in Paso in part because of the camaraderie and friendly-sharing of knowledge among its winemakers — and the participation of these innovative, world-class winemakers in our seminars is testament to that spirit,” said Paso Garagiste Co-founder Stewart McLennan. “Not only are their wines an inspiration, but their generosity and willingness to pay it forward for future winemakers truly distinguishes them in the industry. Paso Garagiste is all about nurturing collaboration, and we are very excited to have the participation of these leading lights of the Paso – and world – wine scene.”

McLennan further noted that the front row of each seminar will be reserved for students from the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

The Paso Garagiste Festival Seminars

The interactive seminars will be held prior to the public tasting between 10 and noon on November 12th, and are designed to provide attendees with an intimate and informal opportunity to meet and learn from some of the top winemakers in the world.

SEMINAR 1 – 10:00-11:00am

“Paso Rocks The World!” Justin Smith of Saxum, Terry Culton of Adelaida Cellars, and Neil Collins of Tablas Creek Vineyards and Lone Madrone share wine stories and artisan wisdom in a panel discussion that focuses on their winemaking philosophy and uniquely ‘Paso’ wine perspective. The seminar will also feature a Q&A with festival attendees.

SEMINAR 2 – 11:15-12:15am, Sponsored by Cypher Winery

“The Ultimate Barrel Tasting – Oak Flavors Tasted and Explained”
Christian Tietje leads a barrel tasting of one wine in French, American, and Hungarian Oak at various levels of toast. The tasting is a perfect window into the subtleties and nuances of the winemakers ‘spice rack’. Attendees should leave the seminar able to identify the oak treatment on any wine.

The Garagistes

Produced by, the first-of-its-kind Paso Garagiste Festival features over 40 high-quality, cutting-edge, small production wineries that produce fewer than 1,200 cases a year, all pouring their hard-to-find wines under the same roof.

Artisan winemakers slated to showcase their wines at the festival include Aaron Wines, AmByth Estate, Alta Colina, Bodegas M Winery, Brochelle Vineyards, Cayucos Cellars, Caliza Winery, Carlson Wines, Casa Dumetz, Cloak and Dagger Wines, Delreal, Domaine Degher Wines, Edmund August Wines, Giornata Wines, Grizzly Republic Winery, Ground Effect Wine, Hammersky Vineyards, Indigene Cellars, J Dusi Wines, Jacob Toft Wines, Jade Moon, Jalama Wines, JK Wine Company, Kaleidos, Kinero Cellars, La Filice Winery, Les Deux Chats, New Vineland Winery, Nicora Wines, PasoPort Wine, Per Cazo Cellars, Poalillo Vineyards, Ranchero Cellars, Rangeland Wines, Red Zeppelin Winery, Rendarrio Vineyards, St. Hilaire Vineyard, Stanger Vineyards, Storm Wines, Symbiosis Wines, Tercero Wines, Thomas Alexander Wines, Vin Alegre Winery, Vines on the Marycrest and Westberg Cellars.


Festival sponsors include Windfall Farms, The Krush 92.5, Glen Burdette, Travel Paso Alliance, Paso Press/Vino Magazine, Baker Wine and Grape Analysis, Diablo Valley Packaging, Ethanol Video, 15 Degrees C Wine Bar and Shop, Kirk Consulting, mWEBB Communications, Wine Country Pack and Ship, Vigneron Specialty Products, XpressFill, La Bellasera Hotel Suites, Hampton Inn Paso Robles, and Firestone Walker Brewing.

The Paso Garagiste Festival: Celebrating the Artisan Winemaker will be held November 11-12, 2011 at Windfall Farms, 4715 Flying Paster Lane in Paso Robles, California.

For more information about the festival and/or to purchase tickets or to register as trade/media go to

*Garagistes (gar-uh-zhē-stuh) 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. For more info and proper ‘garagiste’ pronunciation visit:

About is the first and only multi-media site dedicated to the community of emerging underground winemakers. Committed to fostering the spirit of free exchange of ideas and encouragement that has made Paso Robles one of the friendliest, most successful and innovative wine-making communities in the world, PasoGaragiste is focused on the undiscovered and under-recognized artisan producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small lot production wines in the world.

Founded by Garagistes Stewart McLennan, Doug Minnick and Dan Erland Andersen, brings together the artisan wine industry – from winemakers to growers, to equipment suppliers, to wine consumers – in a collaborative and passionate online community. In addition to its annual flagship event, The Paso Garagiste Festival, provides videos, insider info, winemaker forums and access to hard-to-find small production wine.

Media Contacts

mWEBB Communications for Paso Garagiste
Melanie Webber,, 424.603.4340
Crystal Hartwell,, 714.987.1016

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