Garagiste Festival celebrates small producers
Big things come in little packages
Garagiste winemakers are small producers, and most of them don’t even have tasting rooms. But often they produce wines with an unbridled passion and can be described as having a cult following. One of the best (and sometimes only) place to taste these wines is at Garagiste Festivals.
The 3rd annual Garagiste Festival-Southern Exposure, was held in Solvang March 27-29, and included seminars and a winemaker’s mixer. The main event however, was two days of tastings where approximately 30 different varietals, several types of blends, some bubbly and dessert wines were poured by an assortment of 60 different wineries from the Central Coast area.
The first day of tastings, on Saturday, featured Garagiste winemakers from the Santa Ynez Valley/Santa Barbara area. This was an exceptional opportunity to taste wines from the local area.
Day two featured a mix of local Garagiste winemakers, and a solid representation of Garagiste winemakers from San Luis Obispo County and mainly the Paso Robles area.
Wineries pouring on day two from SLO/Paso Robles included: Alta Colina, MCV, Falcone, Dilecta, Ascension Cellars, Stanger, Vino Vargas, Center of Effort, Vines on the Marycrest, Workman/Ayer, Simple Solace and Cloak and Dagger.
Also exhibiting and sampling was The Chocolate Stache, a new “cottage business” in Paso Robles, producing an assortment of artisan chocolates. The conception of Kellymarie and Nicholas Otto, they offer “creative chocolates at your service” providing personalized chocolates and chocolate flavors for any occasion.
Exhibitors said that they were excited about the festival and the ability to get their product in front of an appreciative group of wine lovers, and said that attendees look forward to the Garagiste events with anticipation of discovering the newest exciting winery.
“The Garagiste Festival quickly became one of our favorite events when they launched the Paso event a few years ago. The festival draws a crowd that’s really excited and open to trying varieties and producers they are not familiar with,” said Maggie Tillman of Alta Colina.
Victor Abascal of Vines on the Marycrest says: “It’s always a fantastic feeling to pour my wines among so many like minded and talented winemakers. It will be a treat to see some new and excited faces down in Santa Barbara.”
Helen Falcone of Falcone Vineyards says: “We poured at our first Garagiste tasting in Paso last year. What a great event with a nice mix of well educated consumers in attendance!”
The 3rd Annual Garagiste Festival-Southern Exposure offered no shortage of wines to try. This is a unique venue to try new wines and to interact with individual winemakers. For the latest news visit the website at: www.garagistefestival.com.