Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles features small local winemakers

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comNovember 8, 2012 

Locals will be pouring their artisan wines during a four-day festival that started Thursday featuring the region’s winemakers who produce fewer than 1,200 cases a year.

The Garagiste Festival, now in its second year, features nearly 48 small-production winemakers — 39 from San Luis Obispo County plus three winemakers who source their grapes from here, organizers said. Winemakers from the Santa Ynez region also will be pouring.

According to organizers, “garagiste” is a term used in the Bordeaux region of France to describe small-lot winemakers who make wine off their chateaus and in areas such as garages.

The festival, held at different Paso Robles locations such as restaurants, a horse farm and a winemaking supply facility, features four days of dinners, seminars and tastings with proceeds going to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program. The amount donated will be determined after costs and revenue have been calculated, organizers said. Last year, the festival donated $10,000 to the program.

In addition to a winemaker dinner Thursday night and sold-out winemaker mixer Friday, events include informational seminars, a grand tasting (VIP tickets available) and a winemaker after party at Windfall Farms on Saturday and a symposium titled “So You Want to be a Winemaker?” on Sunday.

For more information and tickets, go to http://garagistefestival.com/.

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