Press Release – 6/26/12

Garagiste Festival Expands Line-Up for 2012:
Tickets Available July 16th

Second annual event extends festivities to four days; monthly mini-tastings lead up to festival

Paso Robles, CA – June 26, 2012 – The Garagiste Festival, the first and only festival dedicated to promoting artisan ‘garagiste*’ winemakers, today announced an expanded line-up for 2012, including four days of events during Garagiste Festival weekend November 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th. The Garagiste Grand Tasting event, seminars and after-party will again be held at beautiful Windfall Farms, while specialized events will take place at other Paso Robles venues, including Vines on the Marycrest, The Vintner’s Vault and others yet-to-be announced.  Festival tickets go on sale on July 16th at

In addition, the festival’s monthly “Taste of Garagiste” mini-events are underway, with the next event to be held Thursday, June 28th at Monopole in Pasadena, featuring four winemakers who will be pouring at the 2012 festival.

“The enthusiasm and feedback from last year’s festival – and the excitement generated about these remarkable winemakers – was so overwhelming, it inspired us to find ways to include more events, more winemakers and more wine consumers in 2012,” said Garagiste Festival co-founder Stewart McLennan.

The Garagiste Festival showcases high-quality, cutting-edge, small production wineries that produce fewer than 1,200 cases a year. Last year’s sold-out festival presented 45 outstanding artisan winemakers to over 700 passionate wine consumers, members of the trade and media, raising the profiles of many of the winemakers nationally for the first time. The event also raised $10,000 for the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

“Given the caliber of our participating winemakers, it is no surprise that our event has been named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News**… a tribute to the spirit and extraordinary wines of the garagistes,” added Garagiste Festival co-founder Douglas Minnick. “We look forward to helping more wine lovers discover more of these hard-to-find, passionate, but underground, rock star winemakers during our 2012 events.”

According to McLennan and Minnick, while the November 10th Grand Tasting event will remain intimate enough for festival-goers to have the opportunity to once again have true interaction with the winemakers, the festival has doubled capacity for this year’s seminars, which were completely sold out in 2011. Proceeds from the 2012 festival will once again benefit Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture program.


The Expanded 2012 Garagiste Line-up Includes:

  • Thursday, November 8th: Multi-Winemaker Dinner, details and location to be announced.
  • Friday, November 9th: Pre-festival Mixer at the brand new tasting room of last year’s “Spirit of Garagiste” Award Winner, Vines on the Marycrest. Wines, winemakers and details to be announced.
  • Saturday, November 10th: The Main Event: The day begins by bringing back one of the most popular features of last year’s event, its winemaker panel and tasting seminars. This year some of the Central Coast’s most innovative winemakers and “hottest” grapes will be featured in the seminars titled Digging Deep Into Syrah: Microclimates, Terroir and Stylistic Decisions and A Look at Emerging Varietals. The festival’s Grand Tasting follows, taking place from 2 – 5pm, featuring over 45 garagiste winemakers. The day finishes with the Winemaker After-Party where guests and winemakers can mingle, drink and continue the conversation.
  • Sunday, November 11th: So You Want to Make Wine? symposium at The Vintner’s Vault. An event for serious avocational, and aspiring, winemakers — and those who simply want to learn more about the nitty-gritty of the winemaking process.


‘Taste of Garagiste’ Monthly Mini-Tastings: held in tasting rooms, wine shops and art galleries from Paso Robles to Southern California leading up to Garagiste Festival weekend.

  • June 28th: Monopole in Pasadena, featuring the wines (and winemakers) of: Argot (Sonoma), Center of Effort (Edna Valley), Cloak & Dagger (Paso Robles) and Edmond August (Paso Robles). The evening will feature 12 wines – whites and reds, blends and straight-up varietals – for just $20.
  • August 18th: Wood and Vine, Hollywood, California. Winemakers to be announced.
  • September and October Mini-Tastings: to be announced.


The Garagistes

Artisan winemakers already slated to showcase their wines at the festival include Aaron Wines, Alta Colina Winery, Ambyth Estate, Anglim Winery, Argot, Barton’s, Bodega de Edgar, Bodegas M, Caliza Winery, Cayucos Cellars, Center of Effort, Cloak & Dagger, Edmond August, Giornata Wines, J Dusi Wines, Jacob Toft, JK Wine Company, Kaleidos, La Filice, Les Deux Chats, Liquid Farm, Luminesce Wine, Nicora Wines, Paix Sur Terre, PasoPort Wine, Per Cazo Cellars, Ranchero Cellars, Rangeland Wines, Red Zeppelin Winery, Rendarrio Vineyards, Sinor-LaVallee, St. Hilaire Vineyard, Stage Left Cellars, STANGER Vineyards, Two Shepherds, Vin Alegre, Vines on the Marycrest, Westberg Cellars and Zin Alley.

Last year’s festival sold out and the 2012 festival is expected to sell out early. 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 (@PasoGaragiste).

For sponsorship opportunities, contact or 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. Click here for more info and proper ‘garagiste’ pronunciation:

**ABC News Online, May 31, 2012:

About The Garagiste Festival

The Garagiste Festival ( is the first and only wine festival 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. The Garagiste Festival was named one of the Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations by ABC News.  Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festival is 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. The festival is 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 2011’s sold-out festival were donated to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.


Media Contact
mWEBB Communications for The Garagiste Festival
Melanie Webber,, (424) 603-4340
Crystal Hartwell,, (714) 987-1016


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