Paso Robles News|Thursday, May 23, 2019
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Garagiste Wine Festival gives $20,000 to Cal Poly wine program 

Garagiste Festival

Pictured from left are Stewart McLennan, co-founder of Garagiste Festival, Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture lecturer Shohreh S. Niku, Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department Interim Head Marianne McGarry Wolf, and Garagiste Festival co-founder Doug Minnick.

Garagiste Festival organizers presented a check for $20,000 to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture department from proceeds raised at its 2014 Garagiste Festivals. They also announced that the Cal Poly program will continue to be a beneficiary of the festivals in 2015, including the upcoming ‘Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure,’ scheduled for March 27-29 in Solvang.

The check was presented in the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture lab in San Luis Obispo where students are benefitting from spectrophotometers purchased using funds donated by the Garagiste Festivals in 2013. On hand to receive the $20,000 check from Garagiste Festival Co-founders Stewart McLennan and Doug Minnick were Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department Interim Head Marianne McGarry Wolf and Wine and Viticulture Lecturer Shohreh S. Niku, who utilizes the equipment purchased with Garagiste donations to help Cal Poly winemaking students accurately and routinely measure a variety of wine chemistry components critical to the production of superior wines.

“In addition to throwing a spotlight on small-lot, innovative artisan winemakers, a huge part of our mission is to further the education of future winemakers. It was very exciting today to see the results of our efforts at work at Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “We have many alums of the program among the exceptional winemakers pouring at our festivals and could not be more proud to be part of helping shape the future of our industry, starting with its next generation of winemakers.”

Launched in Paso Robles in 2011, the Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemakers, commercial artisan winemakers who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make. The only festivals in the US dedicated to these innovative, hard-to-find winemakers, the Garagiste Festivals have helped thousands of consumers discover the remarkable wines of hundreds of garagistes.

The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture Program includes nearly 300 undergraduate majors, making Cal Poly among the largest Wine and Viticulture programs in the country. The program uniquely integrates three fundamental components of the modern wine industry, with a curriculum emphasizing the inherent connectivity between wine grape growing in the vineyard, wine making in the winery, and wine selling in the marketplace through a unique “learn-by-doing” approach. The program is currently developing a Center for Wine and Viticulture that will include new state-of-the-art teaching facilities.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.