Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeDaily Ovation48 One-of-a-Kind Wineries, On One Day, Under One Roof: Garagiste Festival Returns...

48 One-of-a-Kind Wineries, On One Day, Under One Roof: Garagiste Festival Returns to Santa Monica July 21st

Richness and diversity of wines produced by California’s under-the-radar artisan winemakers showcased; only local event where Angelenos can discover this many cutting-edge, high-end wineries from Paso Robles, Santa Barbara County, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and more, all in one place; over a dozen LA County-based garagiste winemakers featured.

The renowned Garagiste Wine Festival returns to Santa Monica on July 21st to showcase 48 one-of-a-kind micro wineries pouring their handcrafted wines — all on one day and under one roof. The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure features artisan winemakers from across California, including Paso Robles, Santa Barbara County, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, Los Angeles County and more. The Garagiste Festival is Los Angeles’ only wine festival that exclusively features high quality wines from commercial California ‘garagiste**’ winemakers, offering Angelenos a unique opportunity to discover hard-to-find wineries, taste hundreds of their wines, and meet the winemakers — for less than the cost of gas for a trip to wine country. Tickets are available at

“Garagiste winemakers are like the garage bands of the wine world – renegade, passionate and producing truly cutting-edge wines,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “Our entire focus is on bringing under-the-radar California winemakers to our audience in a fun, comfortable setting. These are true cutting-edge artisans at the top of their game and pushing boundaries – not mass-produced, corporate wines – and as usual, we have a bunch of new wineries joining our line-up, as well as a dozen who are making their wines in Los Angeles county.”

This is the Garagiste Festival’s fifth year in Los Angeles and its second at the beautiful, historic (and now air-conditioned) Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club, just a few blocks from the ocean and the Expo Line. In addition to the Grand Tasting, this year’s festival offers a Rare and Reserve tasting for VIP ticket holders.

“Given the already small case lots our wineries make, the bottles opened during Rare and Reserve will be like finding a unicorn,” added Garagiste Festival Co-founder Stewart McLennan. “Wine club only, library wines, first vintages sold out long ago…and yes, a bit of future casting is on the agenda, as well some pre-releases you’ll get to brag about months – and perhaps years – before your friends get to try them.”

Over 70% of the wineries pouring at the festival do not have tasting rooms, and most are not on “wine country” maps and difficult to find except at the Garagiste Festival. Dubbed “one of wine’s premier events…fun and exuberant…not to be missed” by the Los Angeles Times, the Garagiste Festival is renowned for its ‘crazy thrill of discovery,’ one-on-one interactions with winemakers, fun ‘no-snobs-allowed’ atmosphere and interesting and intimate venues.

Time and Place: The Garagiste Wine Festival: Urban Exposure Grand Tasting will take place from 3pm – 6pm on Saturday, July 21st with the Rare and Reserve tasting taking place from 2pm – 3pm. Both events are held at the ballroom and balcony at 1210 Fourth Street, right in the heart of Santa Monica. The event is a short stroll from the ocean and easily accessible by train via the Expo Line, which stops at Colorado and Fourth Street. And, for your designated driver, there is plentiful parking in the many public parking structures close by.

Winemakers: Alma Sol+, Ann Albert, Ascension Cellars+, Bellante Family Winery+*, Betwixt Wines, Brophy Clark, Byron Blatty+, Caliza Vineyards, Cavelletti Vineyards, Cloak & Dagger+, Cutruzzola Vineyards, Domaine Kreger, El Lugar Wines, Frisco Cellars*, Golden Triangle, Gordenker Wines, Hoi Polloi+, In Vino Musicas+*, Kaleidos Wines, Kitson Wines*, LA Wine Project+, Lavender Oak Ranch+*, Magna Vita Cellars, Malibu Ridge+*, Marin’s Vineyard, Mastro Scheidt, Metrick Wines+, Monochrome Wines, Murder Ridge, On Your Left, Pulchella Winery+, Record Family Wines*, Siela Wines*, Stolo Family Winery, Sweezter Cellars+, Sycamore Ranch+, The Blending Lab+*, Tlo Winery, Torch Wines, TW Fermentations, Vinemark Cellars+, Volatus Wine, Wildwood Oak Winery*

*First time pouring at the festival, +Based in LA County

Tickets: To preserve an intimate experience with one-on-one interaction with winemakers, tickets are very limited for the Garagiste Festivals and always sell out. Tickets are available at For special discounts and updates on Urban Exposure, Taste of Garagiste mini-tastings and other Garagiste Festival events and news, sign up for The Dirt at, or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook (

Festival Sponsors: ETS, Glenn Burdette,, Farm Credit, Laffort, Digital Dogma, mWEBB Communications, Travel Paso, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. For sponsorship info, email [email protected].

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 garagistes 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 Sonoma; 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. Proceeds from the festivals support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund of the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture Department.

**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. The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011. Since then, the festival has helped thousands of consumers discover the remarkable wines of hundreds of true garagistes, who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make.

Joe Wehinger
Joe Wehinger (nicknamed Joe Winger) has written for over 20 years about the business of lifestyle and entertainment. Joe is an entertainment producer, media entrepreneur, public speaker, and C-level consultant who owns businesses in entertainment, lifestyle, tourism and publishing. He is an award-winning filmmaker, published author, member of the Directors Guild of America, International Food Travel Wine Authors Association, WSET Level 2 Wine student, WSET Level 2 Cocktail student, member of the LA Wine Writers. Email to: [email protected]
- Advertisment -spot_img

Related stories

More Stories