Food & Wine Festivals/Conventions & Shows

Garagiste Wine Festival on June 17th in LA- Preview, Tickets


Garagiste Wine Festival Brings 40+ Micro-Production Wineries to LA on June 17th


Garagiste: Urban Exposure returns to LA County for the 8th time, showcasing wines from nearly every California AVA, all under one roof, with 25% of wineries pouring at festival for the first time; VIPs can ‘get happy’ at special seminar on the Happy Canyon AVA of Santa Barbara County 

Paso Robles, CA – May 8th, 2023 – The Garagiste Wine Festival returns to LA for the eighth time on Saturday, June 17th with over 40 micro-production, commercial ‘garagiste’ California wineries from Malibu, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara County, Paso Robles, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Baja California, and more. The festival, which takes place at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, also offers a VIP tasting seminar on Santa Barbara County’s smallest, but perhaps most intriguing AVA, ‘Happy Canyon’, and features winemakers Dusty Nabor (Dusty Nabor Wines), Anna Lancucki (Final Girl Wines) and Jessica Gasca (Story of Soil). The festival also includes a “No Repeats Rare and Reserve” early access hour. Tickets are now on sale here.

“We love bringing The Garagiste Festival to Los Angeles because it is the only wine event in LA that brings together so many high quality, small-production winemakers from so many different areas,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “It’s a whole California winery road trip all in one place on one day.”

“Our winemakers all have interesting stories. We have a winery that began on California Street in Huntington Beach, the ‘Miracle Vineyard’ that survived the Malibu fires, our first across-the-border winery pouring wines that reflect the Baja California terroir, and many more. You will discover a multitude of delicious, one-of-a-kind wines, all while talking to the winemakers themselves.”

The Garagiste Festival showcases under-the-radar, innovative, commercial winemakers who handcraft 1500 cases or less of wine and is renowned for its passionate winemakers who pour in-person at the festival, as well as for its diversity of handcrafted wines, renegade spirit, and rules-breaking, ‘no snobs allowed’ ethos.  The festival has been described as “tasting nirvana,” “strange and wondrous,” and “one not to miss” by the LA Times and ‘beloved by geeks near and far” by Sonoma Magazine. About its wineries says the Sonoma Sun: “if corporate mega-wineries are like the dinosaurs of rock music, these are the garage bands,” and, wrote Vinography’s Alder Yarrow: “they offer a sense of discovery. I’ve watched many a wine brand start out small…and end up an established name on the California Wine scene.”

“Over the years, some really exciting wines have been poured at our festivals from the Happy Canyon AVA; so, we’re pleased to dedicate this year’s VIP tasting seminar to its wines,” continued Minnick.  “Happy Canyon is the warmest AVA in its region and, like our garagiste winemakers, it is small, still quite undiscovered, has no tasting rooms and stands alone in producing stunning wines not typical of its region, all of which makes it a very happy match for our festival.”

Minnick added that legend has it Happy Canyon earned its name because it was where bootleggers could be found during Prohibition since it was so hidden: made you ‘happy’ to visit!

The Happy Canyon AVA tasting seminar kicks off the festival at 11:30am for VIP ticket holders and is moderated by Garagiste Festival co-founder Stewart McLennan.  The seminar is followed by the popular “No Repeats Rare and Reserve” early access to the festival at 1pm, offering an exclusive opportunity to taste over 30 extremely limited Club Only, Library and Pre-Release bottles, as well as some barrel samples.

Saturday’s main event, The Grand Tasting, starts at 2:00pm and features over 40 winemakers pouring 150+ wines and 25+ grape varieties. Complimentary cheese and charcuterie will be provided, along with food samples from local artisan vendors, bottled water and a souvenir Stolzle crystal wine glass.

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.

Among the over 40 winemakers pouring at The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure 2023 are:

Absolution Cellars, AJA Vineyards*, Ascension Cellars, Bella Luna Estate Winery, Caelesta Vineyard, Caldeaux, California Street Winery*, Cavaletti Vineyards, Civilization Wine Company, Concur Wines, Cypher Winery, Dana V. Wines, DENO Wines, Dot Wine*, Dusty Nabor Wines, Elkins Wines*, Emercy Wines, Enriquez Estate Wines, Etnyre Wines, Final Girl Wines*, Fuil Wines, Greyscale Wines, Hayseed & Housdon, Hoi Polloi, Holden Cellars*, Intent Wines, Le Poidevin Cellars, Lions Peak, Lunasa Wines*, Lussier Wine Company, Marin’s Vineyard, Monroy Wines, Montage Vineyards, Optio Vineyards, Pine Mountain Vineyards, Puppione Family Wines, PWR (People’s Wine Revolution), Rivahil Winery*, Seven Oxen Estate, Stiekema Wine Company*, Tercero Wines, Thomas T Vineyards, Tiny Vineyards Wine Company, Trois Le Fou, Vinicola La Nuestra*

*pouring for the first time at the festival

Tickets are very limited for the Garagiste Festivals and always sell out. Tickets are available


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The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure festival is the third event of the 2023 Garagiste Festival season, preceded by the sold-out Southern Exposure in Solvang in February and sold-out Northern Exposure Festival in Sonoma in April, and will be followed by the ‘OG’ Festival in Paso Robles (November 10-11).


Sponsors include:

ETS Labs, Fortis Solutions Group/Digital Dogma, Glenn Burdette, G3, Laffort, and mWEBB Communications.


For sponsorship info, email info(at)

The non-profit Garagiste Festivals benefit the Cal Poly SLO Wine and Viticulture program.


For sponsorship info, email

For more information and full Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure schedule details, go to:

About The Garagiste Wine Festival

The Garagiste Wine Festival (, named “Best of the Fests” for 2019 by Fest Forums and the ‘Best Wine Festival in the US in 2018 in USA Today’s 10Best Readers Choice Awards, is the first and only wine festival dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized American artisan ‘garagiste’ micro-wineries 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 Festival, Northern Exposure, in Sonoma; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more.

In addition to being named the US’ Best Wine Festival, 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 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. 

Garagiste (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.