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Garagiste Festival kicks off in Paso Robles next week 

Paso garagiste festival

Garagiste co-founders Doug Minnick and Stewart McLennan.

Three-day festival kicks off Nov. 12

–The Garagiste Wine Festival, which launched in November of 2011, returns to its birthplace of Paso Robles to celebrate its 10th anniversary with three days of events, including the tasting of wines from over 50 small production wineries from California; an exclusive seminar with Tablas Creek Vineyard’s Jason Haas on the past and future of Paso Robles wines, the popular Keep It Rockin’ After Party, and a special event at Atascadero’s Pavilion on the Lake that recognizes 10 of the Paso OGs (Original Garagistes), along with ‘Rare and Reserve’ pourings from 2021 festival winemakers.

Tickets are on sale now at

“We are excited to return to Paso Robles and Atascadero with what we believe will be our best festival ever,” said Doug Minnick, Garagiste Festival co-founder. “We will celebrate the evolution of the Garagiste Festival – and how it has amplified garagiste winemakers and the garagiste movement – as well as the evolution of our birthplace and touchstone, Paso Robles, through a special seminar with Jason Haas of Paso’s Tablas Creek, the iconic winery that almost singlehandedly popularized Rhone varieties in America. But, most of all, we will celebrate reconnecting with our fantastic Garagiste Festival attendees as we introduce them to another exciting group of innovative, micro-production winemakers.”

The Garagiste Festival is the nation’s first and only festival to showcase the wines of micro-production commercial garagiste winemakers. Dubbed “tasting nirvana,” “strange and wondrous,” and “one not to miss” by the LA Times, the Garagiste Festival is renowned for its renegade spirit, passionate winemakers, handcrafted wines, rules-breaking, ‘no snobs allowed’ ethos and ‘just have fun’ approach. The Garagiste Festival features the wines of commercial garagiste winemakers across California, who make under 1500 cases annually. Since inception, the festivals, which include Solvang, Sonoma, Los Angeles and Paso Robles, have showcased over 450 different wineries and over 4,000 wines to over 12,000 wine lovers.

“There’s no doubting the last 18 months have been challenging for all of us. What has always been at the core of the Paso Robles wine region, and by virtue garagiste winemakers, is the ability to adapt and innovate,” said Stewart McLennan, Garagiste Festival co-founder. “It’s going to be truly special to have the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy Paso and its garagistes once again.”

“At this year’s festival, we will explore what is next for Paso wine, pay tribute to our OGs, who are proof that renegade winemaking dreams can turn into big success – all while showcasing over 50+ winemakers whose wines demonstrate that not even a pandemic can keep garagistes from producing some of the best and most innovative wines our industry has to offer,” concluded McLennan.

The Garagiste Festival 2021 Line-Up

The Paso Robles Garagiste Festival gathers together undiscovered artisan winemakers who are making exciting, handcrafted small-lot wines – all in one location. You’ll never find their wines in supermarkets – and you’ll never find them all in one place like this. Discover the biggest “small” thing happening in the world of wine through three days of events:

Rare and Reserve plus 10 “OGs” Friday Nov. 12 – 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Tenth Anniversary festivities kick off Friday evening with “Rare and Reserve – No Repeats” at the Pavilion on the Lake in Atascadero. The tasting features over 30 of the rarest wines and barrel samples the 2021 Paso Garagistes have to offer (wines that will not be poured at the Grand Tasting) –  along with a Spanish-themed buffet from Trumpet Vine Catering. The event will also feature a tribute to 10 of the festival’s Original Garagistes – wineries who poured at the early years of the festivals who have gone on to even larger success – including special tastings of their signature wines.

Tasting Seminar – The Past and Future of Paso Robles: In Depth with Jason Haas Nov. 13 – 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Paso Robles Event Center

Saturday begins with an exclusive tasting seminar with Jason Haas, second generation proprietor of pioneering Tablas Creek Vineyard, which was founded in 1989 by the Perrin and Haas families in what would become the Paso Robles Adelaida District. In addition to their delicious wines, Tablas Creek is renowned for importing 19 different grape varieties into the United States and making them available to the broader community through their grapevine nursery. In this seminar, Jason will take attendees through Tablas Creek’s journey from an idea between friends to the search for the perfect spot to create its famous grapevine nursery, vineyard, and winery. He will also share his insights into what the future of the Paso Robles wine region holds. The seminar will include tastings of some of Tablas Creek’s rarest varietal bottlings, as well as the new vintage of the Esprit de Tablas.

Note: Only available with VIP Ticket or Weekend Pass

The Main Event – The Grand Tasting – Saturday Nov. 13 – 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Paso Robles Event Center

Discover your favorite (and new favorite) small production wineries from among the over 50 winemakers who will be pouring over 200 different wines. The day includes unlimited tastes, complimentary cheese and charcuterie, artisan food samples and a souvenir Stolzle crystal wine glass.

Keep it Rockin’ After Party – November 13th, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Paso Robles Event Center

Mingle with the winemakers, grab a cold brew and rock out with live music.

Covid Update: The Garagiste Festival has adapted its protocols to foster a safe environment that will not detract from the festival’s signature attendee camaraderie and one-on-one interaction with the winemakers (winemakers, not tasting room personnel, always pour at The Garagiste Festival). This includes using more outdoor space and greater table distancing, as well as adherence to the current county mandates.

Participating wineries include:
Alma Sol Winery, Arianna Wines*, Ascension Cellars, Bolt To Wines, Bushong Wine Company, Caliza Winery, Copia Vineyards, Demeter Family Cellars*, DeWitt Vineyard, Dilecta Wines, Dusty Nabor Wines, Etnyre Wines, Familia Hicks Wines*, Ferguson Family Wines, Gary Kramer Guitar Cellars, Greyscale Wines, Hayseed & Housdon Wines, Hoyt Family Winery, Kaleidos Wines, Kimsey Vineyard, Marin’s Vineyard, Mastro Scheidt Wines, MCV Wines, Ondule Wines, Powell Mountain Cellars, Quench + Temper, RF Wines, Seagrape Winery, Seven Oxen Wines, Torch Cellars, Two Moons Cellars and Volatus Winery.

*New to Paso festival

Tickets: To preserve an intimate experience and one-on-one interaction with winemakers, tickets are very limited for the Garagiste Festivals and always sell out. Tickets are available at For special discounts and updates on The Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles, Taste of Garagiste mini-tastings and other Garagiste Festival events and news, sign up for “The Dirt” at, or follow them on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook (


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About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at