Press Release: 9/14/11

Artisan Wine Trend Gains Momentum at Paso Garagiste Festival

Forty Emerging Winemakers Sign On to Pour at November Event; Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program to Benefit; Limited Tickets Available

Paso Garagiste today announced that forty of California’s most cutting-edge artisan ‘garagiste’* winemakers are now set to pour at the first annual Paso Garagiste Festival: Celebrating the Artisan Winemaker to be held November 11 – 12 at Paso Robles’ Windfall Farms. A limited number of tickets for the festival, which will raise funds for the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program, are now on sale to the public at

“We knew that there was a powerful artisan wine movement with deep roots in Paso Robles that simply needed the right vehicle to bring it to light,” says Paso Garagiste co-founder, and longtime Paso resident and garagiste, Stewart McLennan. “The Paso Garagiste Festival is that vehicle and, since we announced it just a few weeks ago, the response from wine enthusiasts, the wine industry and, importantly, the artisan wine community, has been overwhelming. For the first time, wine consumers will have the opportunity to taste, all under one roof, some of the region’s – if not the country’s – best and hardest-to find artisan winemakers.”

Produced by, the Paso Garagiste Festival features high-quality, cutting-edge, small production wineries that produce fewer than 1,200 cases a year. Among the forty winemakers scheduled to pour are Aaron Wines, Alta Colina, Caliza Winery, Jalama Wines, J Dusi Wines, JK Wine Company, Stanger Vineyards, Symbiosis Wines, Storm Wines, Tercero Wines and Vines on the Marycrest.

Paso Garagiste also announced key additions to the festival line-up, including seminars from top winemakers; a winemaker after party, featuring entertainment from country singer Stephen Rowe, and live broadcasting from the event by The Krush 92.5.

It was also announced that a portion of the festival proceeds will go to support the renowned Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program, which offers a hands-on curriculum that spans from the classroom and lab to the campus vineyard and pilot winery, preparing students for jobs in the California and worldwide wine industry.

“Paso Garagiste is all about incubating emerging winemakers and, by helping support the Cal Poly program, we hope to do our part to help nurture the next generation of winemakers in the county,” says Paso Garagiste co-founder Doug Minnick.

Because festival attendance is strictly limited and benefits from the intimate setting of Windfall Farms’ stunning Stallion Barn, festival-goers will have a greater opportunity to get to know the garagiste winemakers and their wines than is customary at larger wine festivals.

The Garagistes
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, Cloak and Dagger Wines, Delreal, J Dusi Wines, Giornata Wines, Grizzly Republic Winery, Ground Effect Wine, Hammersky Vineyards, Indigene Cellars, Kinero Cellars, Jalama Wines, JK Wine Company, Kaleidos, La Filice Winery, Le Deux Chats, Nicora Wines, Per Cazo Cellars, Poalillo Vineyards, Ranchero Cellars, Rangeland Wines, Red Zeppelin Winery, Rendarrio Vineyards, Stanger Vineyards, Storm Wines, Symbiosis Wines, Tercero Wines, Thomas Alexander Wines, Vin Alegre Winery, Vines on the Marycrest and Westberg Cellars.

The Seminars
Held from 10 – Noon, festival seminars are targeted at aspiring garagistes and wine enthusiasts alike and will feature leading lights of the Paso wine industry. Critically acclaimed Cypher winery will lead one of the seminars in which the audience will taste the nuances of oak treatments and learn how to identify them – and will include samples of wine in French, American, Hungarian Oak at various levels of toast.

The Venue
Situated in the heart of beautiful Central Coast wine country, Windfall Farms is a spectacular 724-acre horse farm with one of the finest equestrian facilities in the Western United States and is a community that promotes and enhances the sustainability of local agriculture and celebrates equestrian, ranch, and agrarian lifestyles. It features stunning brick buildings with glass and copper steeples and is surrounded by vineyards, fenced pastures, green sprawling lawns and panoramic views of the majestic, oak-studded rolling hills of the Central Coast. The festival will take place primarily in the beautiful and spacious Stallion Barn, which was home to many American thoroughbred racehorses including Flying Paster, Golden Act, Skywalker, and Itsallgreektome.Click here for a good look at this spectacular place.

The Entertainment: Winemaker After-Party sponsored by Firestone Brewery
Unlike other festivals where winemakers pack up and leave as soon as the tasting is over, the Paso Garagiste Festival provides an after party where winemakers can get to know each other and attendees can continue their tasting conversations. The winemaker after party will be held in The Breeding Stall Bar in the Stallion Barn, with entertainment provided by Aussie country rocker Stephen Rowe and a selection of highly acclaimed craft beers courtesy of sponsor Firestone Brewery.

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, and Wine Country Pack and Ship.

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.

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. Click here for more info and proper ‘garagiste’ pronunciation.

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

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