Doug Minnick and Stewart McLennan struck gold at the exactly right time when they launched the first-ever Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles back in 2011. Boutique winemaking was on a sharp rise on the Central Coast, so much so that they expanded to host events across the state and even started their own wine labels. (Minnick’s is Hoi Polloi, while McLennan’s is Golden Triangle.) Today, that small-batch winemaking spirit is still booming around these parts, and the upcoming Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure in Solvang — which, in the Time-Flies Department, marks the sixth time the tasting has come here — is the single-best place to taste wines from producers you’ve never seen before.
Here are four worth your palate’s attention at the grand tasting on February 10, which is preceded by a Q&A with legendary syrah winemaker Bob Lindquist of Qupé at 11:30 a.m. Those seeking more can attend a rare and reserve dinner on Friday, February 9, or explore the passport tasting options on Sunday, February 11.
- Marisa Beverly @ Bevela Wines
- Eric Johnson @ Ann Albert Wines
- Phil Kaplan @ Velvet Bee Wines
- Matt Villard @ MCV Wines
See californiagaragistes.com for details and ticket options ($50-$110).