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Garagiste Wine Festival Celebrates "Original Garagistes" in Solvang February 9th -- 11th

Sixth anniversary Southern Exposure Festival showcases over 30 micro-production 'garagiste' wineries, from Santa Barbara County and across California, under one roof; Central Coast winemaking pioneer Bob Lindquist kicks off "Original Garagistes" series; tickets on sale now
by Press Release
December 20, 2017

Paso Robles, CA –December 18th, 2017 – Garagiste Events today announced that tickets are now on sale for its 2018 Southern Exposure Garagiste Wine Festival, which features over 30 of California’s best micro-production wineries, and takes place on February 9th – 11th at the beautiful, Mission-style Veterans’ Memorial Hall in the heart of Solvang, California.

To mark the festival’s sixth year in Santa Barbara County – and to celebrate the many area garagiste** winemakers who have poured their handcrafted wines for thousands of Southern Exposure Festival attendees - the festival inaugurates a seminar series that pays tribute to the “Original Garagistes” with a QA and tasting with Central Coast winemaking pioneer, Bob Lindquist of Qupe. An original Rhône Ranger and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award, Lindquist was one of the first to advocate American-made Syrah and other Rhône varietals, and his winery Qupé has been named one of the Wineries of the Year for Wine & Spirits Magazine every year since 1999.

“A true original garagiste, Bob is an inspiration to micro-production winemakers everywhere and epitomizes everything that the American Garagiste movement is about – handcrafting stunning wines from under-appreciated grapes, ignoring established rules, innovating and taking risks and generously sharing knowledge with peers,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “There would be no Garagiste movement, no Rhone Rangers - and the Central Coast would still be a blip on the way to Napa - without visionary winemakers like Bob. And it doesn't hurt that he is a dedicated Dodger fan, as well. We are so honored and excited that he is kicking off our original garagiste series as we celebrate our sixth anniversary in Solvang.”

Since 2012, The Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure has showcased hundreds of micro-production winemakers from Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez area, many of who poured their first vintage at the festival and have gone on to greater renown. The Garagiste Festivals have been dubbed “wildly exuberant and fun,” “wine tasting Nirvana” and “not-to-be missed’ by the LA Times.

This year, the Southern Exposure fun kicks off on Friday night, February 9th, with a ‘No Repeats, Rare and Reserve’ tasting and BBQ with food from local favorite Neighbor Tim’s BBQ. The ‘Original Garagiste’ Q&A and tasting with Bob Lindquist takes place on Saturday, February 10th, immediately preceding the Grand Tasting, at Veterans Memorial Hall, and is moderated by Garagiste Festival Co-founder and Golden Triangle Co-owner and Winemaker, Stewart McLennan. Sunday, February 11th features the return of Passport Day, which offers special deals at participating local wineries for Garagiste Festival ticket holders who want to further explore the area.

Like all Garagiste Festivals (and unlike many larger wine festivals), Southern Exposure limits ticket sales to give attendees a comfortable and relaxed tasting experience with personal winemaker interaction. As always, high quality wines, first-time and ‘soon-to-break-out’ discoveries, diverse grape varieties and, of course, a renegade and fun-loving spirit will be on display.

The only festivals in the US dedicated to these innovative, hard-to-find, micro-production winemakers, the Garagiste Festivals have introduced hundreds of 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. Garagiste Festivals Inc. is a 5013c non-profit organization and benefits the Garagiste Scholarship at Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department.

Tickets are very limited and Garagiste Festivals always sell out. To buy tickets and for more information, go to: For breaking festival news and special discounts, sign-up for our free newsletter, The Dirt at or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook. For more information go to:

Winemakers already scheduled to pour include:

Ascension Cellars, Caliza Winery, Camlow Cellars, Cloak & Dagger Wines, D. Volk Wines, Diablo Paso, Dunites Wine Co.*, El Lugar Wines, Golden Triangle, Hoi Polloi Wines, Kimsey Vineyards, Luna Hart Wines*, Marin’s Vineyard, MCV Wines, Metrick Wines, Mollie Wines, Montemar Winery, Sycamore Ranch Winery*, TLO Wines, Torch Cellars*, TW Fermentation Co., Velvet Bee Wine*, Vino Vargas, Volatus Wines and Weatherborne Wine Co.

Sponsors include:

Visit SYV, Glenn Burdette, ETS Labs, Digital Dogma, Farm Credit West, Laffort USA, G3, OrderPort, WiVi and mWEBB Communications

For sponsorship info, email

About The Garagiste Wine Festivals
The Garagiste Wine Festivals ( are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized American artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. Founded by fellow garagiste winemakers 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; the Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure, in Los Angeles; the Garagiste Festial, Northern Exposure, in the Bay Area; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more.

The festivals were named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News,* “one of the premier wine events of the year,” by the LA Times and “Best Festival” by Sunset Magazine’s ‘Best of the West.’ The 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. Garagiste Festivals Inc. is a 5013c non-profit organization and proceeds from the festivals support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund of the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture Department.

*New to the Garagiste Festival

**Garagistes (garage-east) 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.

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