Sunday, February 23, 2014

Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure...


Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure Expands – Over Fifty SBC/SYV "Garagiste" Winemakers to Pour March 29th and 30th in Solvang

Tickets now on sale for two days of events and seminars featuring hard-to-find, high-quality, small-production winemakers from Santa Barbara County and Santa Ynez Valley; 50% are new festival discoveries; one in four pouring first vintage, 80% have no tasting room.

Paso Robles, CA – February 10, 2014 - Garagiste Events today announced that tickets are now on sale at for its expanded Santa Ynez Valley-based “Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure,” which will feature fifty-six of Santa Ynez Valley’s and Santa Barbara County’s high-quality, limited-production commercial “garagiste**” winemakers. The second annual festival will take place on March 29th and 30th, and returns to the beautiful, Mission-style Veterans Memorial Hall in the heart of Solvang, California. Proceeds benefit Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program.

Last year’s one-day event sold out and, in response to both consumer and winemaker demand, the non-profit event has expanded to two days.  Like all Garagiste Events festivals, each day will incorporate the festival’s signature tasting seminars, low-crowd experience, high-quality wines, first-time and ‘soon-to-break-out’ discoveries, personal winemaker interaction, diverse varietals (over 20) and renegade spirit. And, with almost fifty percent of the winemakers pouring at the event for the first time - thirteen pouring their first vintage, and over 75% lacking a tasting room - Southern Exposure offers a truly one-time-only opportunity for consumers to discover some of the hottest, yet-to-be-discovered wines, in one of the country’s most up and coming wine regions -- all in person and under one roof.

One of the most fulfilling things about Garagiste Festival events is seeing important new winemakers not only get discovered for the first time but, in many instances, explode out of the box. Surrounded by some of the wine world’s most exciting and newest AVAs, like Ballard Canyon, Southern Exposure is ripe with undiscovered and ‘on the verge’ treasures,” said Garagiste Festival co-founder Doug Minnick. 

The non-profit Garagiste Festivals showcase high-quality, cutting-edge, small-production commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,500 cases a year, and have emerged as among the most unique and influential wine events in the US. Named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News and a ‘not to miss’ event by the LA Times, the festivals have introduced over 150 outstanding artisan winemakers to thousands of passionate wine consumers, members of the trade and media, raising the profiles of many of the winemakers nationally for the first time, and raising thousands of dollars for the education of future winemakers.

“With Southern Exposure, Garagiste Events is proud to continue to serve as both starting gate and incubator for some of the Central Coast’s (and the world’s) most important small-lot winemakers and to offer consumers the unique joy of connecting with artisans whose passion and maverick spirit pulse through the ‘terroir’ of their wines,” continued Garagiste Festival co-founder Stewart McLennan.  “And all at an event that is heavy on fun and light on pretension -- which is perhaps the thing we are most proud of. As our attendees will attest, Garagiste events are a blast!”

Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure - Grand Tastings

This year’s festival features two Grand Tastings, one on Saturday from 2pm to 5pm, and one on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm, each with a unique slate of winemakers.

Winemakers pouring on Saturday include: Archium Cellars*, Ascension Cellars*, Carucci Wines*, Casa Dumetz, Cholame Vineyard, Cordon Wines, Crawford Family Wines*, Dubost Ranch*, DV8 Cellars*, Graef Wines*, Ground Effect Wines, Harrison Clarke Wines, Kaena Wine Company, Kessler-Haak Winery, Kita Wines*, Larner Winery, Luminesce, Moretti Wine Co.*, Pence Ranch, Press Gang Cellars, Roark Wine Co., Ryan Cochrane Wines, Seagrape Wine Company, Shai Cellars, Tercero Wines, Transcendence Wines, Turiya*, and Vinemark Cellars*.

Winemakers pouring on Sunday include a-non-ah-mus, Baehner-Fournier, Bradley Family Winery*, Brophy Clark Cellars*, C. Nagy Wines, Calilove Winery*, Cloak & Dagger, Clos Des Amis*, Dascomb Cellars*, Desperada*, Dilecta, Fontes & Phillips*, Frequency Wines, Gioia Wines*, Guyomar Wine Cellars*, J. Wilkes Wines, La Fenetre Wines, LaZarre Wines, Montemar Winery*, Nicora Wines, ONX Wines, Plan B Cellars*, Refugio Ranch, Scott Cellars*, Solminer Wine*, STANGER Vineyards, Weatherborne Wine Co.*, and Zinke Wine Company*.

Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure - Signature Tasting Seminars

In addition to the Grand Tastings, each day of Southern Exposure will feature one of the festival’s popular (and limited seating) morning tasting seminars. Saturday’s 11 – noon seminar, “Rhones Rule: The Wines of Ballard Canyon” is focused on Santa Ynez Valley’s brand new AVA, Ballard Canyon, and proves that Santa Barbara is not all about Pinot and Chardonnay. Featuring Michael Larner of Larner Vineyards, Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines and Mikael Sigouin of Kaena Wine Company (all of whom source from this AVA),  the seminar offers compelling evidence, in the glass, that Ballard Canyon wineries are at the forefront of the California Rhone movement. 

Sunday’s 11 to noon seminar focuses on one of SYV’s favorite, and most difficult to grow, varietals – and one that breaks more than a few winemaker’s hearts. In A Pinot Noir Primer from the Roots Up,” Joshua Klapper from La Fenetre Wines, Adam LaZarre from LaZarre Wines and Clarissa Nagy from C. Nagy Wines will help consumers understand the impact different clones and SYV regions have on what ends up in the bottle. 

Tickets are very limited and Garagiste Festivals always sell out. To buy tickets click here.

For more information on The Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, go to To be alerted to breaking news about Southern Exposure and additional Garagiste events, sign-up for The Dirt at, or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook.

Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure Sponsors include:
California Winery Advisor, The Chumash Resort, Farm Credit West, Glen Burdette, mWEBB Communications, Stolzle, The Good Life Wine Cellar, One West Insurance, The Santa Ynez Valley Wine Club, Vinzy,, Wandering Dog Wine Bar, and Wine Country Pack & Ship.

For sponsorship info, email

*New to Garagiste / Italics pouring 1st Vintage

**Garagistes (gar-uh-zhē-stuh) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their "garages" (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world.

About The Garagiste Festivals
The Garagiste Festivals ( are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festivals are committed to discovering the best and most innovative limited-production winemakers and promoting and showcasing them to a broad audience of discerning wine consumers. In addition to its flagship annual festival in Paso Robles, CA, the Garagiste Festival line-up includes Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, featuring Santa Ynez Valley garagistes; garagiste mini-tastings presented from So Cal to Tahoe; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. Named one of the “Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations” by ABC News, Garagiste Festivals are produced by Garagiste Events, a non-profit dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry. Proceeds from the festivals are donated to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

Media Contacts:
mWEBB Communications for The Garagiste Festivals
Melanie Webber,, 424-603-4340
Elizabeth Johnson,, 213-713-4865

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