Massive walk around tastings have to evolve. This is a point I have been evangelizing for over a year. Wine sales, more focus, smaller more committed attendees, reasonable pricing – all of these are elements to be considered to draw enthusiastic consumers and buyers in, as opposed to an event of staggering drunks with their glasses waving in your face, like baby birds, five persons deep.
This weekend in Paso Robles, a new idea and venue emerges: The Garagiste Festival
The Garagiste Festival
This weekend is the first annual Paso Garagiste Festival: Celebrating the Artisan Winemaker. The event will be held November 11-12 at the beautiful 724-acre Windfall Farms in the heart of California’s Central Coast.
“The mission of the Paso Garagiste Festival is to focus on the undiscovered artisan producers who are making some of the most thrilling wine on the planet right now,” said PasoGaragiste.com Co-founder Doug Minnick. “Our event is unique in the industry because it gives a home to the smaller, trail-blazing wine producers who don’t have huge marketing resources, while also introducing wine lovers to winemakers on the cusp of discovery.”
“The Central Coast garagistes are one of the best-kept secrets in the wine world and their excellent wines can be almost impossible to find — unless you know the right people and places to go,” added PasoGaragiste.com Co-founder Stewart McLennan. “The Paso Garagiste Festival will have forty of them, gathered in one place for the first time ever. The festival is the place for passionate wine consumers to come face-to-face, wine glass-to-bottle, with the undiscovered future rock stars of the wine world.”
Personally I am very excited about this event. Both as a wine writer/blogger, passionate consumer, and now as well as a small Vintner with my Rhone label, Two Shepherds, that launches the end of November. Unfortunately not in time to pour at this event, plus I’d miss all the fun tasting as media.
Last I heard, after a flurry of media, tickets were selling out. (The VIP/Seminars are now sold out.) I’d recommend you grab some if interested. If you are a reader and are attending, do let me know, I will be at the Tasting and 6-9 pm Wine Maker party.
You can also follow the fun, photos and updates on their Facebook page.
Artisan winemakers slated to showcase their wines at the festival include Aaron Wines, Alta Colina, Bodegas M Winery, Brochelle Vineyards, Caliza Winery, Cloak and Dagger Wines, J Dusi Wines, Giornata Wines, Grizzly Republic Winery, Hammersky Vineyards, Indigene Cellars, Jalama Wines, La Filice Winery, Nicora Wines, Per Cazo Cellars, Poalillo Vineyards, Ranchero Cellars, Red Zeppelin Winery, Rendarrio Vineyards, Stanger Vineyards, Symbiosis Wines, Tassajara Cellars, Vin Alegre Winery, and Vines on the Marycrest.
I visit Paso Robles 3-4 times a year and haven’t heard of many of these – what an exciting day of discovery!
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. 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.
Check out a video of this great venue here:
This may be the hot new venue for Paso Robles. The Rhone Rangers Paso Robles chapter will also be hosting their annual seminar an event here. (Another do not miss event.)
What is A ‘Garagistes’
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.
Gathering of Garagistes: Proudly Small-Time Winemakers Show Off Hard-to-Find Stuff at Paso Robles Festival (Santa Barbara Independant)