Garagiste Festival to highlight two dozen first time participants

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016


L to R: Dan Andersen, Ted Behlendorf, Doug Minnick (Garagiste Co-Founder).

Sixth annual festival kicks off Nov. 11

–The sixth annual Garagiste Wine Festival kicks off on Friday, Nov, 11 with two days packed full of events, in Paso Robles, California.

This exciting wine festival begins Friday evening with “Friday Night Heaven: Rare, Reserve and Retro,” pairing reserve wines with gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. The event will be held at the exquisite Carlton Hotel in Atascadero.

Saturday, Nov. 12th starts off with a winemakers seminar from 11-12:30, followed by the Grand Tasting, at the Paso Robles Fairgrounds. What makes the Garagiste so unique, is the variety of small, boutique wineries, gathered in one place offering the wine lover an opportunity to meet individual winemakers and try their wine selection. Many of the winemakers pouring have no tasting room, so the Garagiste Festival may be the only opportunity for you to meet them, and for them to meet you!

Following the grand tasting is the Rockin’ after Party at The Barrelhouse Brewing Company. Kick back and relax while mingling with winemakers, sipping a brew, and enjoying the tunes of Burning James and the Funky Flames.

This year’s event will feature just under 70 wineries, representing the length of the California Coast from Northern California down and through the Central Coast, with the vast majority being from the Paso Roble area. Almost one-third of the wineries are new, quite a testament to the success and reputation of the Paso Robles Garagiste Wine Festival!

New participants

It’s always exciting to meet winemakers who are new to Garagiste. One of the first timers at this years’ Grand Tasting will be Garatiste Wine Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick, introducing his Hoi Polloi lineup at the very event that he helped found which has become such a staple of the small, boutique “Garagiste” winemaker movement. As Doug says about his wines: “Some wineries are the playthings of rich folks. Not this one. Sourced from top vineyards from Paso Robles and Sta. Rita Hills and Sonoma and hand made in extremely small lots by three working stiffs, barrel by barrel, Hoi Polloi produces vineyard-designated syrah, pinot noir, grenache, cabernet sauvignon, viognier and Rose – so far.” Don’t miss Hoi Polloi as you wander through the hall. Doug, along with Ted and Dan (the other two “working stiffs”) are very excited to be pouring and looking forward to opening a tasting room in the Santa Clarita Valley by mid-December.

Another newcomer is Stanley Barrios and Elena Martinez of Top. They will be introducing Stanley’s line-up of Rhone wines, which will be released in the spring of 2017. Don’t miss this opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this first time exhibitor. Stanley got his start in 2013 working for Nick Elliott of Nicora, a long time Garagiste supporter, and is excited to introduce his first release. As Stanley and Elena express: “We have attended Garagiste Festivals as wine enthusiasts, but the tables have turned and we are excited to stand on the opposite side of the table and pour our first vintage for the public.” Welcome Top!

No stranger to the Paso Robles wine scene is Brian Benson of Brian Benson Cellars. Brian’s reputation has been steadily growing since his initial release in 2001. The son of Norm Benson (formerly Dark Star Cellars, now Level 3 Wines), wine-making has been in Brian’s blood since he was a toddler. Brian looks forward to pouring at this year’s event, commenting: “We participated in the Garagiste Festival at the Wiltern in LA and thoroughly enjoyed it, and are so looking forward to pouring in our home town!” Be certain to stop by, say hi, and try his wines!

First time participants pouring at this year’s Paso Garagiste Wine Festival are:

    • Amor Fati/Stasis
    • Ampere/Pine Mountain Vineyard
    • Brian Benson Cellars
    • Circle B Vineyard & Cellars
    • Croma Vera
    • Fableist Wine Co
    • Hoi Polloi
    • JPIII
    • Kendric
    • Last Light Wine Co
    • Last Summer Wines
    • Mollie Wines
    • Nowell-Smith Wines
    • On Your Left
    • Peloton Cellars
    • Rockin R Winery
    • Serrano Wines
    • Shell Creek Vineyards
    • Small+Tall
    • Top Winery
    • Trojak Knier


Most of these are from the Paso Robles/San Luis Obispo area. Don’t miss the chance to taste these winemakers wines, as many of these small producers don’t have tasting rooms. This may be your only opportunity to try, taste and enjoy!

For a complete listing of events, participants, (and to purchase tickets) visit the website at:

If you love wine, and especially small lot producers, don’t pass up on this event! Meet the winemakers and sample the wines that make the Garagiste Wine Festival a much anticipated, fun and tasty annual event. Purchase tickets and mark your calendar! Get ready to raise a glass (or more) in Paso Robles Nov. 11 & 12.

Garagiste Events, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit whose proceeds go towards the education of future professionals within the wine industry.

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