Press Release – 10/25/14

Steve Lohr Headlines Garagiste Festival Seminar on New Paso Robles AVAs

Chairman and CEO of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines offers festival attendees insights into what the AVAs mean and why they are important, November 9th, in Paso Robles; Garagiste Festival Grand Tasting offers wines from 8 of the 11 new AVAs

Paso Robles, CA – 2014 – The Garagiste Festival has added a third seminar to its 2014 line-up, East! West! North! South! – What Does It All Mean? focused on the 11 new Paso Robles AVA Viticultural Areas, which will become official on November 10th, 2014.

 The seminar is headlined by special guest Steve Lohr, Chairman and CEO of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, and moderated by Garagiste Festival Co-founder Stewart McLennan on November 8th at the Ponderosa Pavilion at the Paso Robles Fairgrounds.  The Garagiste Festival Grand Tasting, which follows the seminar, features 60 Paso area winemakers, including a broad range of wines from at least 8 of the proposed new AVAs.

“The diversity of climates and soils is unique to the Paso Robles region and is a huge reason why the garagiste wine movement is able to explore virtually any varietal in any style. No other wine region can say that. On the eve of the ruling going into effect, we are honored to welcome Steve to the festival to share his insights on these new AVA Viticultural Areas,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “Steve was a key player in moving the new AVA process forward, and will share what drove the proposal, and what it means for winemakers and consumers alike.”

The seminar, East! West! North! South! – What Does It All Mean? is part of the fourth annual Garagiste Wine Festival, which takes place November 6 th – 9th  in Paso Robles, Atascadero and Templeton. Over 70 garagiste* winemakers are scheduled to pour over 300 wines during the non-profit festival, which is the first and only festival dedicated to undiscovered and under-recognized American garagiste winemakers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot wines in the world.   The festival was just named Best Festival in Sunset Magazine’s November 2014 Best of the West.

The seminar is one of three seminars that kick off Day 3 of the Festival, and precede the Grand Tasting. The other two seminars are Taste Like a Pro led by Matt Kettmann of The Wine Enthusiast and Making A Dream Come True: My Second Career as a Vineyard Owner and Winemaker, Bob Tillman of Alta Colina, Carl Bowker of Caliza, and Victor Abascal of Vines on the Marycrest. The festival also offers a Winemaker Symposium on Sunday November the 9th, sponsored for the second year by Laffort, and designed for those wine lovers ready to, or contemplating, making the leap to winemaker.

Other festival events include The Opening Round at the historic Carlton Hotel in Atascadero on November 7th,featuring 20 winemakers from Northern California and Santa Barbara County as well as cheese and charcuterie from Vivant Fine Cheese and hearty appetizers from popular local chef Johnny Jantz; Shiners, Samples, and Secrets Winemaker Mixer at Templeton’s First Crush,  on Thursday November 6th; and the festival’s signature rocking After Party on November 8th, featuring local band High Voltage and beer from Barrelhouse Brewery.

For the full 2014 Garagiste Festival: Paso Robles line-up, go to http://

Winemakers scheduled to pour at the festival include:

The Grand Tasting: Aaron Wines, Alma Sol Winery, Alta Colina Vineyards, Artisan Uprising*, Ascension Cellars, Asuncion Ridge, Barton Family, Bella Luna Winery, Bon Niche Cellars, Caliza Winery, Cayucos Cellars, Chateau Lettau*, Cholame Vineyard, Cloak & Dagger, Clos Solene, Copia Vineyards*, Cutruzzola Vineyards, DENO Wine*, Deodoro Cellars*, Diablo Paso*, Dilecta Wines, DuBost Winery, Edmond August Wines, Falcone Family Vineyards*, Felten Cellars, Filipponi Ranch, Ghost Cellars, Guyomar Vineyards*, Hoyt Family Vineyards, Irie Wines*, Jacob Toft, Kaleidos Winery, LaZarre Wines, LXV Wines, Marin’s Vineyard*, MCV Wines, The Missing Leg, Mystic Hills Vineyard*, Nicora, Nobelle Wines*, ONX Wines, Paix Sur Terre, Paso Port, Powell Mountain Cellars*, Pulchella Winery, Ranchero Cellars, Ranchita Canyon Vineyards*, Rendarrio Wines, RN Estate*, Sea Shell Cellars*, Seven Angels Cellars, Soaring Hawk Vineyards, STANGER Vineyards, Starr Ranch Vineyard*, Stolo Family Vineyard*, Tlo Wines*, Two Moons*, Vinemark Cellars, Vines on the Marycrest and Vino Vargas*.

The Opening Round: Carucci Wines*, Central Coast Group Project*, Cowan Cellars*, Dane Cellars*, DV8 Cellars*, Estate 1856*, Flywheel Wines*, Harrington Wine*, J. Brix Wines*, Kale Wines*, Levo Wine*, Lynch Wines*, Mount Dorado Winery*, No Limit Wines*, Starfield Vineyards*, Trojak-Knier Winery*, Two Shepherds Vineyards, and Workman Ayer*.

Garagiste Festivals offer limited numbers of tickets to preserve the quality of the experience, and always sell out. To be alerted when tickets go on sale, to learn more about The Garagiste Festival, and to get the latest event info, sign-up for The Dirt at Or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook. For more information on The Garagiste Festivals, go to

The Sponsors


All American Containers, Baker Wine & Grape Analysis, Barrelhouse Brewing Co., The Carlton Hotel, Distinctive Glassware, Farm Credit West, First Crush, G3 Enterprises, Glenn Burdette, GSO, KCBXfm, Krush 92.5, KSBY, Laffort USA, La Quinta Inn and Suites, mWEBB Communications, The Oaks Hotel, Pack & Ship Direct, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, Scott Labs, SLO Digital Dogma, Soiree Home, Spin the Bottle Wine Studio, Stolzle, Travel Paso Robles Alliance, Umpqua Bank, Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine, Visit Atascadero, WiVi Central Coast Conference & Tradeshow and Zin Chair.

For sponsorship opportunities, email or go to

 *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.

*First time Paso Robles Festival Participants

About The Garagiste Wine Festivals

The Garagiste Wine Festivals ( are the first and only wine festivals 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; garagiste mini-tastings presented from So Cal to Tahoe; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. Named one of the “Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations” by ABC News, Garagiste 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 are donated to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.