Garagiste Wine Festival 2019 Sonoma Ca Announces Lineup

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The Garagiste Wine Festival, which was named America’s Best Wine Festival by USA Today in 2018, dubbed “tasting nirvana”, ‘strange and wondrous’, ‘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,’ returns to Sonoma with 40 micro-production winemakers from California wine country on April 13th.


But first, what exactly is a 'garagiste'? The garagistes refers to a group of winemakers in the Bordeaux region, producing "vins de garage", "garage wine". A group emerged in the mid-1990s in reaction to the traditional style of red Bordeaux wine, which is highly tannic and requires long ageing in the bottle to become drinkable. The garagistes developed a style more consistent with perceived international wine tastes. (Wikipedia)


Founded by fellow Garagistes, Doug Minnick and Steve McLennan, the internationally renowned Garagiste Wine Festival showcases innovative winemakers who handcraft under 1,500 cases of wine and who, in most cases, don’t have tasting rooms, offering a one-of-a-kind opportunity to taste a range of cutting-edge wine discoveries, with limited attendees, all under one roof.


“We know that wine lovers can tire of over-crowded, over-priced festivals that offer supermarket wines masquerading as ‘boutique’ offerings. This is why The Garagiste Festival is dedicated to bringing these fantastic, hard-to-find winemakers (and it is only the winemakers themselves who pour at Garagiste) to our audience in a setting where they can share their stories with attendees across the table. There’s really no other event like it,” said Garagiste Wine Festival Co-founder Minnick. “More than 90% of the wineries do not have tasting rooms, and can't be found on “wine country” maps, so this is a unique opportunity to discover hidden treasures. Quality, not quantity, is our mantra and we love the uncrowded interaction that our Sonoma event offers,” he continues.

Garagiste Festival Team, seen in photo: Lisa Dinsmore, Doug Minnick, Melanie Webber, Stewart McLennan


Among the 40 winemakers already scheduled to pour are:

Adron Wines, Alma Fria, Benevolent Neglect Wines, Betwixt Wines, Bluxome Winery, Boonville Road Wines, Calstar Cellars, Camlow Cellars, Chenoweth Vineyards, Cobden Wini Wines, Crux Winery, Cutruzzola Vineyards, DB Cellars, DeWitt Vineyard, Fallon Place Wines, Fields Family Wines, Gondak Cellars, Gordenker Wines, Greyscale Wines, Kendric Vineyards, Kitson Wines, March Wines, Mastro Scheidt, Merisi Wines, Montagne Russe, Mountain Tides Wine Co., Nowell-Smith Wines, Old County Cellars, Olivera Wines, People's Wine Revolution, Perri Jaye Vineyards, Powicana Farm, Sosie Wines, St. Romedius, Tom Mackey Cellars, Urban Legend Cellars, Wander Must Wine, Weatherborne Wine Co. and Witching Stick Wines.


The non-profit event will be held at the Sonoma Veterans Building near Sonoma's historic downtown plaza and includes a tasting seminar on the new West Sonoma Coast AVA, featuring Sonoma winemakers Andy Peay from Peay Vineyards and Carroll Kemp from Alma Fria Wines. The non-profit Garagiste Festivals are the only festivals in the US dedicated to micro-production winemakers and 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.


SATURDAY VIP TASTING & SEMINAR: 11:30am-12:30pm   $115

 "What Defines an AVA? An Exploration of the new “West Sonoma Coast” Appellation and Why the Distinction Matters." Panelists include Carroll Kemp from Alma Fria and Chris Pittenger from Gros Ventre Cellars.

Unlike the Old World the American appellation system (AVA) is only around 40 years old and still evolving. After prohibition grape growers and wineries picked up the pieces of the California winemaking culture and pushed boundaries to expand vineyards throughout the state. We now have decades of knowledge to begin to understand the best places to grow and nourish grapes in California and to refine our appellations so they can begin to make sense to consumers when they are searching for that perfect bottle. In this seminar attendees will learn (and taste) - from two of the winemakers leading the charge - what makes the “West Sonoma Coast” AVA special (and distinct from the wider Sonoma Coast) and why it was necessary for them to pursue this separation. Moderated by Stewart McLennan, who hosts the popular The Garagiste Show on KRUSH 92.5FM.

This seminar is only available as part of the VIP ALL-DAY TICKET, which also includes a Wine Country Box Lunch - prepared by local favorite, The Girl and The Fig - and (1) hour early access to the Grand Tasting.

EARLY ACCESS TASTING: 1:00-2:00pm $85-- Limited tickets available to get an extra hour of tasting with a smaller group of attendees.
GRAND TASTING: 2:00-5:00pm  $65
Showcasing 40 winemakers pouring 150+ wines and 15+ unique varietals.
All tickets include unlimited tastes, cheese & charcuterie, gourmet food samples and a souvenir Stolzle crystal wine glass.


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 Festival, Northern Exposure, in Sonoma; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. For full Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure 2019 schedule details, go to  Tickets are very limited for the Sonoma festival and Garagiste Festivals always sell out. To buy tickets, go to:


Patti Neumann is Founder of & an award-winning 21 C website & blog. Based in Napa Valley & Baltimore, She is one of the region's top Social Media Publicists and Influencers on food, sips, hospitality & the good life. has its finger on the pulse of what's hot in the world of food, cocktails & travel trends.

Come journey along with our CITYPEEK CEO, Patti Neumann, as she nibbles, sips and shares her taste buds as she travels

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