Over 50 micro-wineries will be featured and more than 200 wines poured in LA County on June 21 and 22, 2019, atthe first and only wine festival 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.
Story and images courtesy The Garagiste Wine Festival
The Garagiste Wine Festival, which was named America’s Best Wine Festival by USA Today, returns to LA County on June 21 and 22, 2019 with an expanded line-up of events, including a new-to-LA Rare and Reserve kick-off party and a seminar on the rebirth of the LA wine industry featuring Angeleno artisan wineries.
This marks The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure’s sixth anniversary in LA County, and its first time in Glendale, at the historic Glendale Civic Auditorium. The festival features over 200 wines from 50 winemakers, including Angeleno Wine Company, Byron Blatty Wines and Cavaletti Vineyards making wine from Los Angeles County.
Dubbed “tasting nirvana” “strange and wondrous,” and “one not to miss” by the LA Times, the Garagiste Festival is renowned for its diversity of wines, renegade spirit, passionate winemakers, handcrafted wines, and rules-breaking, ‘no snobs allowed’ ethos. It 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 (most of whom do not have tasting rooms), taste hundreds of their wines, and personally meet the winemakers (only winemakers/owners pour at Garagiste Festivals)—for less than the cost of gas for a trip to wine country.
The Garagiste Festival is renowned for its diversity of wines, renegade spirit, passionate winemakers, handcrafted wines, and rules-breaking, ‘no snobs allowed’ ethos.
‘Garagistes’ (pronounced garage-east) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot winemakers, sometimes working in their “garages: (anything considered not a château), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the world’s best wines. The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011.
“We are excited to be back in Los Angeles County, this time in Glendale, to share a tremendous range of California’s micro-production winemakers—these are not supermarket wines, and the difference is astounding,” said Doug Minnick, co-founder of The Garagiste Festival. “Winemakers of this size are artisans in the true sense of the word. Their wines are created from personal passion, not a marketing strategy. Without the constraints of the marketplace, these winemakers are free to explore rare varieties and cutting edge styles that you won’t find anywhere else. The Garagiste Festival is a unique opportunity to discover these rare wines and get in on the ground floor.”
Minnick noted that the Glendale Civic Auditorium means greater access to the festival for wine lovers in the San Fernando, San Gabriel, and Santa Clarita Valleys and the Eastside, as well enabling additional Garagiste events, such as a Rare and Reserve tasting and barbecue on Friday night.
A focus of this year’s festival is the rebirth of the LA wine industry, and the festival has dedicated a tasting seminar to some of the exciting winemaking that is taking place in LA County. The panel of winemakers, including Jasper Dickson, Angeleno Wine Co.; Mark Blatty, Byron Blatty Wines; and Patrick Kelley, Cavaletti Vineyards, are on a mission to place the Los Angeles County AVA back on the map as a must-visit wine region. Garagiste Festival Co-founder, Stewart McLennan, who hosts the popular The Garagiste Show on KRUSH 92.5FM, will moderate the panel.
The Garagiste Wine Festival was named “Best Festival” in Sunset Magazine’s “Best of the West.”
“Most people are probably unaware that there is an LA County AVA, much less that the California wine industry was born in Los Angeles in 1782. In fact, vineyards were planted in Glendale as early as 1784 and LA is where Bordeaux vine cuttings were first planted in California,” said McLennan. “The region was once home to a hundred vineyards and a flourishing local community that was the heart of the California wine business. While urbanization has overtaken the original vineyards, the drive to regain world-renown for this AVA is on and our panel will take a deep dive into that while offering tastings of some of the remarkable wines produced in LA County.”
Friday, June 21
6:30-9 p.m. The Garagiste Wine Festival: Urban Exposure launches with “No Repeats Rare & Reserve” Kick-off Party, showcasing extremely limited Club Only, Library and Pre-Release bottles, plus a summer BBQ buffet.
Saturday, June 22
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: “The Rebirth of the LA Wine Industry”seminar (VIP ticket holders only: VIP tickets include lunch and early access to the Grand Tasting.)
2-5 p.m. “The Grand Tasting”showcases over 50 winemakers pouring 200+ wines and 20+ varieties.
All events take place at Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 North Verdugo Road, Glendale, CA. There is plenty of onsite parking and easy access from the 134 and 210 freeways.
Tickets: To reserve an intimate experience with one-on-one interaction with winemakers, tickets are very limited for the Garagiste Festivals and always sell out.
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, or follow on Twitter @GaragisteFest or Facebook.
The Garagiste Wine Festival, annual flagship event in Paso Robles, California (Nov. 8-10, 2019)
The Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, Santa Ynez Valley
The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure, Los Angeles
The Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure, Sonoma
In addition to being named the “U.S.’ Best Wine Festival” by USA Today, The Garagiste Festival was 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 LA Times and “Best Festival” in Sunset Magazine’s “Best of the West.”
During the Coronavirus pandemic, many venues are limiting public access and events with safety in mind. Please call to confirm visitor details in advance. We anticipate that regular operations will resume as soon as possible. In the meantime, wash your hands frequently, stay safe, and keep calm.