Originally the term was a derogatory word meant to denigrate renegade winemaking neighbors, who refused to follow the “rules”. Thanks to Robert Parker tasting and rating some of these big and bold wines, many of these winemakers went on to be recognized as making some of the best wine in the world. America has a growing population of stunning small lot producers and the heart of this renegade group is in Paso Robles.
The Grand Tasting , the a culmination of a weeklong city-wide event focusing on engaging, educational and unique winemaker panels and testing seminars, was held at Windfall Farms, a 724-acre thoroughbred horse farm east of Paso Robles. The farm has a Kentucky style feel with white walls, red brick and steeples. The tasting festivities were held in the horse barn; which is not a horse barn like I’ve seen before. Each large brick stall with ¾ walls, accommodated four different wineries. These small quarters allowed people to discuss up close and personal with the winemakers about their wines.
The mission of the event visionaries is to promote Paso Robles as one of the friendliest and most innovative winemaking communities in the world. Garagiste is all about celebrating the little guy, discovering, promoting and showcasing the artisan winemaker. The Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure is coming up on March 29, 2014 in Solvang CA. They will feature 30 of Santa Ynez Valley’s high-quality, small production winemakers. Register soon as this festival is sure to sell out. Go to http://californiagaragistes.com to register.