As defined by the Garagistes themselves: GARAGISTES – (gar-uh-zhē-stuh) n, Fr. – A term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their garage, who refused to follow the “rules.” Now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. Who’s laughing now, Francois? Syn: Rule-breakers, pioneers, renegades, mavericks, driven by passion.
Last year's event proved so successful that the team behind the event - Doug Minnick, Stewart McLennan, Lisa Dinsmore, and Melanie Webber - expanded it to 2 days, plus a Friday night kick-off dinner. This enabled a more relaxed tasting experience for those guests who wanted to get to as many wineries as possible without running madly from table to table. Additionally, both days provided geeky seminars from local winemakers, enhancing the overall wine-lover's experience.
|Josh, Adam, Clarissa|
Some of the wineries that stood out over both days included:
Saturday: Casa Dumetz (always a favorite), Cholame Vineyard (I especially like the '11 Zinfandel), Crawford Family Wines (great cool-climate wines), Harrison Clarke Wines ('10 Eve e Marie Syrah/Grenache), Kessler-Haak Winery (Sparkling Brut Rose - ooh!), Liquid Farm (wow - just wow), Luminesce/Luceant ('11 Semillon from Buttonwood Vineyard), Moretti Wine Co. ('13 Blanchetto white blend), Seagrape Wine Company (beautiful Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), Shai Cellars (well, yeah), Sillix (my fave of the day - great Rhones), Vinemark Cellars ('12 Primitivo shows great promise).
Sunday: C. Nagy Wines (lovely, elegant wines, loved the '12 Viognier), Clos des Amis ('13 Sauvignon Blanc), Desparada ('13 Sauvignon Blanc - very tropical), La Fenetre Wines (Josh can do no wrong where the Goddess is concerned), LaZarre Wines (great to finally meet Adam and taste his lovely wines), Montemar Wines (a well-established, consistent winery), Nicora Wines ('11 Euphoric Grenache made me feel that way), Refugio Ranch ('11 RR Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend), Solminer Wine (I'm a big fan of the '13 dry Riesling), STANGER Vineyards ('10 Tempranillo), Weatherborne ('12 Pinot Noir), Zinke Wine Company ('12 Roussanne - gorgeous).
Georgia’s Smokehouse Food Truck was on site offering their Southern, smoked BBQ goodness to attendees for purchase. Gotta say, their bacon-cheddar hush puppies were to die for!
|The Goddess & Susan|
Congratulations all around to the Garagiste team and all the wineries who participated, and thanks to the Manns for their generosity in letting me bunk with them over the weekend.
Now on to the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Weekend!