Wednesday, October 19, 2011


The Garagiste Festival

Two things close to my heart will be celebrated in Paso Robles on November 12, 2011 - small wine producers and the Central Coast of California.  The Garagiste Festival is all about the wines of artisan producers in the broad expanse of the Central Coast AVA.  The event is to be held at Windfall Farms.

Garagiste, in case you are wondering, is a French term (gar-uh-zhee-stuh) which originated in Bordeaux.  It described mavericky small-lot winemakers who didn't care much for following the rules.  These passionate vintners often whipped up their wine in the garage, or whatever space they had available to them.

What was once just a pejorative is now a movement.  Not that California winemakers operate under the burden of the sort of rules found in France, but these folks are considered renegades simply for daring to make their wine their way.

Nearly four dozen wineries which produce less than 1200 cases per year will be there to pour wines that you may not get a chance to taste very often.  Most of these small producers don't have tasting rooms, and their distribution is often spotty, if not non-existent.

Cutting-edge winemakers like Jacob Toft, Mark Cargasacchi and Sashi Moorman will be there, and some of the Central Coast's most respected vineyards - Alta Colina, Booker, Caliza, Denner, Larner and Le Bon Climat, to name a few - will be represented.

This is the inaugural event in what should quickly become one of California's favorite wine festivals.  Get in the ground floor of this event and support the artisan winemakers of the Central Coast.

The consumer tasting will run from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 12th, 2011.  Tickets to the consumer tasting are $55, $65 at the door if available.  A VIP pass which also gets you into a couple of seminars and an after-party costs $100.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit young winemakers in the Wine And Viticulture Program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

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