Garagiste Festival Announces 2013 Line-up of New Winemaker Discoveries

48 garagiste winemakers – 50% pouring for first time – at third annual festival in Paso Robles

The Garagiste Festival has unveiled the line up for the third annual Garagiste Festival to be held in Paso Robles November 7 th, 8th, 9th and 10th. Over 48 garagiste* winemakers are scheduled to pour at the festival, which is the first and only festival dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized artisan producers making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot wines in the world.  Over 50% of 2013’s participating winemakers are new discoveries, pouring at the festival for the very first time. Tickets go on sale on August 5th at

201 3Pasoheader 2“Since our 2011 festival first brought attention to the garagiste movement, garagiste wines have evolved from regional curiosity into the national lexicon and on into international awareness,” said Festival Co-founder Douglas Minnick. “More and more consumers are seeking out these extraordinary artisan winemakers, and we are proud to provide the best and only place for consumers to experience the heart of this movement.”

The Garagiste Festival’s grand tasting, signature seminars and after-party will again be held at Windfall Farms, while specialized events will take place at other Paso Robles venues, including an expansion of last year’s very popular “Shiners, Samples & Secrets” Winemaker Mixer to be held at the Pavilion on the Lake in Atascadero.

The non-profit Garagiste Festivals showcase high-quality, cutting-edge, small production wineries that produce fewer than 1,200 cases a year and have emerged as 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, the festivals have introduced over 100 outstanding artisan winemakers to thousands of passionate wine consumers, members of the trade and media, raising the profiles of many of the winemakers nationally for the first time and raising thousands of dollars for the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

“It’s gratifying to have seen so many of these winemakers grow in recognition and success,” continued Minnick. “That fifty percent of this year’s winemakers are brand new to the festival – and the other fifty percent are now considered part of the backbone of the garagiste  (and Central Coast) wine movement –  is a promise to our passionate and discerning wine consumers that they have many more exciting discoveries in store at this year’s festival.”

The Garagistes

Artisan winemakers already slated to showcase their wines at the festival include Aaron Wines, Alma Sol Winery, Alta Colina Vineyards, AmByth Estate, Baker & Brain, Bella Luna Estate, Bon Niche Cellars, Caliza Winery, Cloak & Dagger, Clos Solene, Culton Wine Co.*, Cutruzzola Vineyards, Dilecta Wines*, Double Bond Wine, Edmond August, The Farm Winery, Felten Cellars, Ghost Cellars, Goodland Wines*, HammerSky Vineyards, Harrison Clarke, Hoyt Family Vineyards, Hug Cellars, Kaleidos Wines, La Filice Winery, LaZarre Wines, Les Deux Chats, LXV Wine*, The Missing Leg, Nicora, ONX Wines, Paix Sur Terre, Paso Port Cellars, Poalillo Vineyards, Ranchero Cellars, Rendarrio Vineyards, Samsara Wine Company, Seven Angels Cellars, Sinor-LaVallee Wines, STANGER Vineyards, Thomas Alexander Winery, Vines on the Marycrest and Zin Alley.

*pouring their first vintage

The 2013 Garagiste Festival Schedule

Thursday, November 7th: “Multi-Winemaker Dinner”
Last year this exclusive dinner matched garagiste wines with a six-course dinner from renowned chef and ABC’s ‘The Taste’ star Ludo Lefebvre.  This year’s chef(s), winemakers and location will soon be announced. Stay tuned at The Dirt:

Friday, November 8th: “Shiners, Samples & Secrets”
This hugely popular evening event – expanded for 2013 – returns with one-time-only opportunities to taste some remarkable off-the-grid wines.  Held just ten minutes from Paso Robles at Atascadero’s stunningly beautiful ‘Pavilion on the Lake.’

Saturday, November 9th: “The Main Event, held at beautiful Windfall Farms”
The day begins by bringing back one of the most popular features of the Garagiste Festivals, its engaging, educational and unique winemaker panel and tasting seminars.

“What’s Wrong With This Picture? Educate Your Palate About the Most Common Wine Flaws” This tasting seminar helps the wine consumer identify (and understand the cause of) wine flaws such as TCA (cork taint), Oxidization, Bret (Brettanomyces), VA (Volatile Acidity), and more, with a comparison tasting of flawed wines side-by-side with their unflawed counterparts.

“Garagiste Outlaws: Breaking the Old World Blending Rules (in France they’ll throw you in jail for these blends!)” The Central Coast and its garagistes are known for their innovative blends, and this seminar offers tastings of some of the best from a panel of blending experts who will explain why certain varietals are just made for each other, why others are too mutually destructive ever to be seen in public (or private!) together — and why many of those Old World blending rules are just made to be broken – all to the benefit of wine drinkers.

The festival’s Grand Tasting follows with 48 winemakers pouring 125+ wines and 20+ varietals.  This year, for the first time, a limited number of Early Access Tasting Tickets will be offered, providing an extra two hours of tasting, to a select number of consumers. There will also be a Trade & Media tasting before the main tasting begins.

The day is capped with the festival’s rocking Winemaker After-Party, where guests and winemakers mingle, drink, dance and continue the conversation.

Sunday, November 10th:
Another return-by-demand feature from last year’s festival, the winemaker symposium for serious aspiring and beginning winemakers — and those who simply want to learn more about the nitty-gritty of the winemaking process. This year’s topic “The Chemistry of Wine: Part 1” brings the focus out of the vineyard and into the lab, where a whole new set of decisions need to made in order to craft the wine of your dreams.

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

August, September and October Mini-Tastings: To Be Announced. Sign up at The Dirt for alerts:
The Sponsors

Central Coast Tent and Party, Clever Concepts, Distinctive Glassware, Glenn Burdette, Farm Credit West, KSBY, KRUSH92.5, mWEBB Communications, Pacific Wine Services, PRWCA, Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine, Windfall Farms and Wines & Vines.

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

For sponsorship opportunities, email or go to

To view videos from The 2012 Garagiste Festival, click here:

*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.

**ABC News Online, May 31, 2012:

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, 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.