Garagiste Festival celebrates small producers

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Big things come in little packages

Garagiste winemakers are small producers, and most of them don’t even have tasting rooms. But 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 interesting and fun 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.

Photography by Don Sonderling.

Photography by Don Sonderling.

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.

Vines on the Maycrest.

Vines on the Maycrest.

Also exhibiting, and sampling was The Chocolate Stache, a new “cottage business” in Paso Robles, producing a delectable assortment of high quality 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.

Kellymarie Otto of the Chocolate Stache.

Kellymarie Otto of the Chocolate Stache.

Exhibitors are excited about the festival and the ability to get their product in front of an appreciative group of wine lovers. And 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.

Maggie Tillman of Alta Colina,

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!”

Pedro and Vicky Vargas of Vino Vargas.

Pedro and Vicky Vargas of Vino Vargas.

The 3rd Annual Garagiste Festival-Southern Exposure offered no shortage of exciting, enticing wines to try. This is a wonderful venue to try new wines and to interact with individual winemakers. Great wines, great people and lots of fun is a characteristic of the Garagiste events.

Orion Stang of Dilecta.

Orion Stang of Dilecta.

Congratulations to The Garagiste Team and participating wineries, for putting on yet another well received and exciting event.

For the latest news visit the website at: www.garagistefestival.com.

-Don Sonderling

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