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«Return to Blog List Garagiste Festival, an Artisan Wine Celebration

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November 5th-7th 2015 in Paso Robles is the 5th Annual Garagiste Festival Celebrating the Artisan Winemaker. Never heard of a Garagiste??? Here’s a little backstory: GARAGISTES – (garage-east) 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: Renegades, Pioneers, Rule-Breakers, Mavericks.This special event focuses on the small production winemakers that our region has become so known for. It is also a fundraiser for the Cal Poly Wine & Viticulture Program. Come and experience the underground, the different and the cutting edge of Garagiste – winemaking without rules!

Schedule of Events

Kicking it off on November 5th at 6:30pm is the ‘5th Anniversary / 5-Course Winemaker Dinner’ which will be held at the Carlton Hotel in Atascadero. Enjoy local, organic artisan cuisine paired with exquisite wines of five Garagiste winemakers in this beautiful and intimate setting.

Friday, November 6th is the ‘Out-of-Towners’ Winemaker Mixer from 7:00-10:00pm. Held at Broken Earth Winery, this year’s “Rare & Reserve” theme showcases barrel samples and special releases that will ONLY be poured at this event. A local favorite food truck The Pairing Knife will be providing additional provisions during the mixer.

Head over to the Paso Fairgrounds for the main event on Saturday, November 7th. The day will be filled with seminars, a ‘grand’ tasting, trade & media tasting and is topped off with the festival’s traditional Rockin After-Party from 5:30-8:30pm. Spend the evening mingling with guests and winemakers, grabbing some brews from the local favorite Barrelhouse Brewing Company, and a few bites from Go Bistro. The infamous AC/DC cover band High Voltage will be providing a little extra volume to the atmosphere.

Seminar Spotlights

One of the most popular elements of the Garagiste Festival are the engaging and educational winemaker seminars. Starting at 11:00am on Saturday, Wine Folly Co-Founder Madeline Puckette will be leading “Exploring the Aroma Wheel” which will focus on clarifying basic aromas found in most wines, both red and white. The goal is to enhance your ability to discern and remember wine aromas and how they transfer to flavor.

Next, join Mikael Sigouin of Kaena Wine Co, Ryan Pease of Paix Sur Terre, and Stewart McLennan of Golden Triangle to learn “The Secret of Stems”. This seminar begins at 11:45 on Saturday and shines light on techniques such as stem inclusion that can only be implemented with the flexibility of small-lot winemaking. They will showcase the technique using the whole cluster – stems and all – and demonstrate why this technique is becoming increasingly popular with cutting-edge winemakers.

(Seminars are only available to VIP ticket holders. Spaces are limited. Lunch and (1) hour early tasting access is included.)

The Festival Charity

The non-profit Garagiste Events (producer of the Garagiste Festivals) has been a proud supporter of the Cal Poly Wine & Viticulture Program. This local program provides future winemakers with an education in all aspects of the wine business from vineyard to table. Proceeds from the Garagiste Festival will go toward the planned new Wine and Viticulture Innovation Centre.

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