Press Release – 5/13/14

Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure Brings 40 Artisan Winemakers to LA’s Union Station

Heartbeat of the American garagiste movement comes to LA – first time so many micro-production, high-quality artisan winemakers from across California pour in LA under one spectacular roof; tickets on sale May 15th

Paso Robles, CA –May 13th, 2014 – Garagiste Events, producers of The Garagiste Festivals, today announced Urban Exposure, the first-ever Garagiste Festival to be held in Los Angeles, featuring over 40 artisan winemakers pouring over 100 wines on July 12th at historic Union Station. Proceeds from the non-profit festival will benefit Mending Kids International and the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program. Tickets go on sale on May 15th at

The Garagiste Festivals, which first exposed the American garagiste** movement, are considered among the most unique and influential wine events in the US (named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News and a ‘not to miss’ event by the LA Times). They are the only wine events that exclusively showcase high-quality, cutting-edge, micro-production commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,500 cases (and many under 800) a year. The Garagiste Festivals are known for offering remarkable and rare wine discoveries and the opportunity to taste directly with the winemakers, as well as for interesting venues and a relaxed, intimate, fun and ‘no-snobs-allowed’ atmosphere.

“Since 2011, the heart of the American garagiste movement has been beating in the Central Coast of California, and thousands of wine lovers have travelled to our festivals in Paso Robles and Solvang to discover hundreds of extraordinary small-lot, commercial ‘garagiste’ winemakers handcrafting innovative and high quality wines,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Stewart McLennan. “Today, we are thrilled to announce we are bringing those vintners, and others from across California, along with their exceptional wines, to LA in a summer wine festival unlike any other this city has seen. And what could be more fitting than featuring these beautifully handcrafted wines in the beautifully handcrafted historic and architectural gem that is Union Station?”

The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure will feature many of the best hard-to-find winemakers of the American garagiste movement in California, including winemakers from Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez and SLO counties, Paso Robles and as far away as Monterey and Sonoma counties. Winemakers pouring at the festival also include a local note, as nearly a dozen Los Angeles area resident ‘garagistes,’ who source their grapes and produce their wines on the Central Coast, will be showcasing their wines.

Urban Exposure takes place in the historic ticket concourse of Union Station, which has just celebrated its 75th anniversary and is in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1939 and widely regarded as “the last of the great train stations,” Union Station is designed in a unique blend of Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival and Art Deco styles.

“Our winemakers are making some of the best wines anywhere, but few have tasting rooms or marketing budgets, making their wines very hard to find for the average LA wine consumer – even those who travel to the California wine country regularly,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick.  “We could not be more excited to be bringing these wines home to the city, matching up these extraordinary winemakers with the discerning and fun-loving palates of the City of Angels – and all for such a great cause.”

Since inception, the non-profit Garagiste Events (producer of the Garagiste Festivals) has benefitted San Luis Obispo-based Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program, as part of its mission of furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry.  With the expansion into Los Angeles, Garagiste Events is proud to add a local charity as an additional beneficiary: Mending Kids International, which provides life-changing surgical care to children worldwide.

The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure will take place from 2 – 5pm on Saturday, July 12th at Union Station, with cheese and charcuterie provided by Wood & Vine.

Among the over 40 winemakers already scheduled to pour are:  Alma Fria Winery*, Alma Sol Winery, Alta Colina Vineyards, Archium Cellars, Ascension Cellars, Autonom, Blue Cape Cellars*, Bon Niche Cellars, Bratcher Winery*, Carucci Wines, Center of Effort, Cholame Vineyards, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Cutruzzola Vineyards, De Su Propia Cosecha*, Dilecta Wines, Dubost Ranch, DV8 Cellars, Graef Wines, Kessler-Haak Vineyards, La Fenetre Wines, Levo Wines*, Luminesce, LXV Wines, Marin’s Vineyard*, MCV Wines, Montemar Wines, Native9, ONX Wines, Pulchella Winery*, Rendarrio Wines, Seven Angels Cellars, Shai Cellars, Singer Cellars*, Soaring Hawk Vineyards*, The Farm Winery, Turiya Wines, Two Shepherds Winery, Vinemark Cellars, Vines on the Marycrest, Vino V Wines*, Weatherborne and Workman/Ayer*.

Sneak Preview: Garagiste Events also announced today another in their series of Taste of Garagiste Sneak Peek mini-tastings, this one a preview of Urban Exposure, featuring three garagiste winemakers to be held at Spin the Bottle in Studio City on May 31st from 1-6pm.

To preserve an intimate experience for consumers with one-on-one interaction with winemakers, tickets are very limited for the Garagiste Festivals and always sell out. Tickets are available at  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, or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook (

Sponsors include: Glenn Burdette, Distinctive Glassware, mWEBB Communications, Pack & Ship Direct, PopBoardz, Spin the Bottle Wine Studio, Stolzle Glassware, Travel Paso and Wood & Vine.

For sponsorship info, email

*Wineries new to the Garagiste Festival

**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.  The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011. Since then, the festival has helped consumers discover the remarkable wines of hundreds of true garagistes, who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make.

About The Garagiste Festivals

The Garagiste Festivals ( are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized 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; 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 and ‘a not to miss event’ by the LA Times, 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.

Media Contacts:

mWEBB Communications for The Garagiste Festivals
Melanie Webber, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, 424-603-4340
Crystal Hartwell, crystal(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, 714-987-1016