Garagiste Southern Exposure Festival 2014



The Garagistes are coming to town and they are bringing their wine with them!  This weekend, March 29th-30th, Solvang plays host to the second annual Garagiste Southern Exposure Festival, a festival devoted to promoting small, undiscovered artisanal Californian winemakers, many of whom are pouring their very first vintage.

The Garagistes derive their name from a movement begun by a group of Bordeaux rebel winemakers who defied French winemaking laws by bottling small production blends in their garages.  This movement inspired winemakers throughout the world to follow suit and the vintners featured at this year’s Southern Exposure festival represent some of the best, most exciting handcrafted wine that Central California has to offer.

The Southern Exposure event provides a fun yet informative setting to not only try these ultra-premium wines, but also meet with the unique Garagistes who crafted them.  All of the participating winemakers produce under 1,500 cases per year and many do not have tasting rooms, selling wine only to those on their allocation lists.  This means it can be near to impossible to get your hands on most of these gems outside of the festival.


The 2014 Southern Exposure Festival will take place this Saturday and Sunday at the beautiful Veterans Memorial Hall in the heart of Solvang and will feature fifty-six of Santa Barbara County’s highest-quality, limited-production Garagiste winemakers.  Due to popular demand, the festival has been expanded into two days and will feature two exciting seminars by some of the leading winemakers of the region.

“Saturday’s seminar series, entitled Rhones Rule: The Wines of Ballard Canyon will be focused on Santa Ynez Valley’s brand new AVA, Ballard Canyon, and proves that Santa Barbara is not all about Pinot and Chardonnay. Featuring Michael Larner of Larner Vineyards, Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines and Mikael Sigouin of Kaena Wine Company (all of whom source from this AVA), the seminar offers compelling evidence, in the glass, that Ballard Canyon wineries are at the forefront of the California Rhone movement.

Sunday plays host to A Pinot Noir Primer from the Roots Up led by Joshua Klapper from La Fenetre Wines, Adam LaZarre from LaZarre Wines and Clarissa Nagy from C. Nagy Wines, which will help consumers understand the impact different clones and SYV regions have on what ends up in the bottle.”

Proceeds of the festival benefit the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here

WSA/NASA Silver Pin Certified Sommelier, Central Coast wine enthusiast and overall travel junkie

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