Press Release – 9/2/2015

Garagiste Wine Festival Returns to Paso Robles for Fifth Anniversary Festival November 5th – 7th

50+ micro-production wineries join line-up of events that celebrate Garagiste Festival’s five years of bringing hundreds of winemaker discoveries to thousands of wine fans, raising profile of Central Coast’s micro-production winemakers and creation of Garagiste Scholarships

Paso Robles, CA – September 2, 2015 – The Garagiste Wine Festival returns to Paso Robles November 5th – 7th to celebrate its fifth anniversary with three days of events that feature over 50 micro-production winemakers pouring over 200 wines. Launched in Paso Robles in 2011, the Garagiste Festival was the first event to define, and shine a spotlight on, the “garagiste**” wine movement, which has exploded in the past five years.

Tickets are on sale now at for the festival, which takes place at the Paso Robles Fairgrounds and other Paso area locations, including Broken Earth Winery and the historic Carlton Hotel in Atascadero.

“Since our first festival in 2011, we have spread the gospel of the Garagiste from its birthplace in Paso Robles to include cutting-edge, small-lot winemakers from all over California. We are extremely proud that we have helped bring attention to previously under-recognized winemakers, making a real difference in their businesses by introducing them to the thousands of wine consumers who love discovering under-the-radar wineries,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “And it all helps to raise funds to support our newly established Garagiste Festival Scholarship at Cal Poly.”

In addition to the ‘main event,’ the Grand Tasting – which showcases over 50 commercial ‘garagiste’ winemakers exclusively from the Paso area – this year’s festival offers a line-up of ‘best of’ events from the past five years. Festivities include a fifth anniversary, five-course winemaker dinner, matching local artisan produce with outstanding garagiste wines, helmed once again by local favorite, Chef Charles Paladin Wayne; the popular ‘Rare and Reserve” Winemaker Mixer, featuring barrel samples, wine club, library, sold-out and pre-release wines from wineries both in and outside of the Paso area; the raucous winemaker ‘Shoot Out’ Big Red Blend competition; educational (and fun) wine tasting seminars; a winemaking symposium for winemakers and anyone interested in the nitty gritty of the winemaking process, and the infamous ‘Rockin’ After Party’ with beer from Barrelhouse Brewing Company and music from AC/DC cover band High Voltage. The festival will also pay tribute to inaugural winemakers who have gone on to achieve major success.

“Many of the winemakers were unknown when they poured at our first festival and have now gone on to build tasting rooms, expand production, receive awards, high scores and acclaim –but they have never forgotten their roots, which are all about making some of the best hand-crafted wine in the world,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Stewart McLennan. “We look forward to honoring those winemakers as they pour alongside some of our new garagiste discoveries at what we know will be our best ever festival in Paso.”

The non-profit Garagiste Festivals benefit the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department.

The Fifth Annual Paso Robles Garagiste Wine Festival Schedule:

Thursday November 5th:

  • Fifth Anniversary / 5-Course Winemaker Dinner created by Chef Charles Paladin Wayne / The Carlton Hotel in Atascadero 6:30-10:00pm

Friday November 6th:

  • Winemaker Symposium  (Location TBD) 3:30-6:00pm
  • ‘Rare and Reserve” Winemaker Mixer, Big Red Blend Shoot-Out and Out-of-Town Winemakers, Broken Earth Winery, Paso Robles 7:00 – 10:00pm

Saturday, November 7th (all Saturday events at Paso Robles Fairgrounds)

  • Seminar: #1 “Exploring the Aroma Wheel” 11:00am
  • Seminar #2 “Techniques of the Garagiste: The Secret of Stems” 11:45 am
  • Grand Tasting (50+ micro-production wineries) 2:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Rockin’ After Party (Beer from Barrelhouse Brewery/AC DC cover band High Voltage) 5:30 – 8:30 pm

For full schedule details, go to


Among the over 50 winemakers already scheduled to pour are:  Aaron Wines, Alma Sol Winery, Alta Colina Vineyards, Artisan Uprising, Ascension Cellars, Asuncion Ridge, Bon Niche Cellars, Caldera Cuvee*, Caliza Winery, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Clos Solene, Cutruzzola Vineyards, Diablo Paso, Domaine Degher, DuBost Winery, Falcone Family Vineyards, Felten Cellars, Four Lanterns*, Frisby Cellars*, Golden Triangle*, Guyomar Winery, Halcyon Wines*, Hoyt Family, Irie Wines, Jacob Toft, Kaleidos Wines, MCV Wines, Michael Rose Cellars*, The Missing Leg, Mystic Hills Vineyard, Nicora Wines, On Your Left*, Pagter Brothers Winery*, Paix Sur Terre, Paso Port Cellars, Powell Mountain Cellars, Ranchero Cellars, Ranchita Canyon, Rendarrio Vineyards, Seven Angels Cellars, Seven Oxen Vineyard*, Soaring Hawk Vineyards, STANGER Vineyards, Stolo Family Vineyard, The Farm Winery, Tlo Wines, Turtle Rock Vineyards, Two Moons, Vinemark Cellars and Vino Vargas.

*Pouring for the first time at The Garagiste Festival

Garagiste Festivals offer limited numbers of tickets to preserve the quality of the experience, and always sell out. To purchase tickets go to 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.

Sponsors include: Baker Wine & Grape Analysis, Barrelhouse Brewing Co., Broken Earth Winery, The Carlton Hotel, Diam, Distinctive Glassware, ETS Laboratories, Farm Credit West, G3 Enterprises, Glenn Burdette, Hampton Inn & Suites, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Laffort USA, mWEBB Communications, The Oaks Hotel, The Paso Robles Inn, The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, Stolzle Glassware, Wines & Vines and Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine.

For sponsorship info, email

**Garagistes (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.  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 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. The festivals were named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News,* “one of the premier wine events of the year,” by the LA Times and “Best Festival” by Sunset Magazine’s ‘Best of the West.’ The 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