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Garagiste Festival Returns to its Origins in Paso Robles

About 3 year(s) ago by Allegretto Vineyard Resort

The Garagiste Wine Festival returns to its birthplace of Paso Robles for the sixth annual event. The festival will be held for a three-day course from Friday, November 11th to Sunday, November 13th. The legendary festival will feature 60 micro-production winemakers that will be showcasing over 200 wines.

The now widely known wine festival first began in Paso Robles before spreading to other areas in 2011. Recently named America’s Best Wine Country Town by Sunset Magazine, the Garagiste Festival was the first event to define and especially highlight the “garagiste” wine movement, which has launched over the past five years and features commercial artisan winemakers who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year.

“Our festival is the go-to event to not only taste the flagship wines of our region, but also to dig into the remarkable Paso Robles’ terroir and the experimental craft of our garagiste winemakers. Emblematic of this is our first-ever ‘Illegal Blends’ seminar, an introduction to, and celebration of, the no-rules approach of our region’s winemakers,” described Garagiste Festival co-founder, Stewart McLennan, in a recent press release for the event. “Unbounded by the mandated-by-law regional blends France, Italy and the Old World have to contend with – and with a cornucopia of locally grown varieties – the seminar will demonstrate how our region’s winemakers are able to experiment with blends to make a wine better than its usual parts.”


Friday, November 11th: “Friday Night Heaven: Rare, Reserve & Retro:” 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 12th:: “The Main Event at the Paso Fairgrounds”

Saturday Seminars: 11:00 a.m-12:30 p.m.

  • A Peek Behind the Curtain of Big Wineries with Adam Lazarre
  • “Illegal Blends! Garagiste Winemakers Break Old World Wine Rules”

Featuring the following Winemakers and their award-winning wines:

  • Erick Allen – Ascension Cellars (“Silver” Blanc, 2015; “Soul Shaker,” 2013)
  • Brian Brown – ONX Wines (“Mad Crush,” 2014)
  • Steve Lemley – Pulchella Winery (“The Awakening,” 2014)

Paso Robles has a particularly vibrant garagiste scene and the festival’s return to the area hopes to celebrate the region’s famous, unique blends.

“All the recent Paso Robles accolades are true and deserved: we have always known that Paso is one of America’s ‘Best Wine Country Towns’ and ‘Happiest Cities.’ And, although we now have Garagiste Festivals in several locations, there is no substitute for meeting the winemakers in their native habitat where the festival originated,” said the other Garagiste Festival co-founder, Doug Minnick, in the same event press release. “The fun, friendly, no-snobs allowed camaraderie of Paso and the Garagiste movement is everywhere. If you’ve never been to a Paso Garagiste Wine Festival – and especially if you’ve never visited Paso – this is a fantastic opportunity to experience the spirit of these cutting edge winemakers and discover this amazingly beautiful, comfortable and welcoming wine town. Or you can sit in traffic in Napa, your call.”

Purchase tickets for the weekend event online via EventBrite.com.

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