One of my favorite wine-tasting events is The Garagiste Festival, and Urban Exposure is coming back to Los Angeles, more specifically Santa Monica, on July 15, 2017. What makes this a great event is the ability to discover new up-and-coming wineries. Most of all, I love to find out what the little guys are creating and the impact they are having on the wine industry.
Being in a room with approximately 50 winemakers, you immediately feel their passion and love for making wine. This feeling permeates the event, driving one to discover more about each and every one of the wineries in attendance.
Looking back at the last Garagiste Festival I attended, three wineries really hit my wine radar.
The first winery hitting the mark was Chêne Wines. I yearned to discover this winery because their vineyards are located in front of a ranch my father used to own in Arroyo Grande. I had been up to SLO for Roll Out The Barrels, and after driving down, Corbett Canyon Road observed that vines had been planted along the road since my last visit to the region. My curiosity peaked, and I desired to discover who had planted the vines. Garagiste made that wish come true.
A high percentage of the wineries participating in Garagiste, purchase their grapes. A select few own their own vineyards, and Chêne happens to be one of them.
The name Chêne is French for oak. Oak is a strong, steadfast wood and symbolizes the dedication owners David and Lisa Platt take with great pride in creating elegant wines from the Edna Valley. The flexibility of their schedule as airline pilots gives them time to perfect their love of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. I was particularly taken with their Provence-styled Rosé and also their Chardonnay.
TLO is a winery based in San Luis Obispo. Andy Zaninovich is the winemaker/owner of this winery. Andy’s heritage goes back to Croatia, and the winery’s name, TLO, represents the Croatian word for ground, soil, or earth. In this case, TLO stands for the terroir where their grapes grow. TLO’s wines are a family affair paying tribute to their Croatian ancestors, who also made wine. Andy purchases his fruit from many areas along the Central Coast. Most impressive were their Pinot Noir, GSM, and Tempranillo.
Trail Marker Wine Co.:
Trail Marker Wine Co. comprises a husband and wife team, Andrew Huffine and Emily Virgil, whose roots take them back to Los Angeles. Now living in San Francisco, they produce some spectacular wines. I loved the Rose of Grenache and Chardonnay. Most noteworthy and impressive were two unusual wines, Austrian varietals. Both displayed bright fruit and had lower alcohol levels. One was the Mokelumne Glen Blaufränkisch, and the other was Mokelumne Glen Zweigelt.
2017 Urban Exposure:
This year’s Urban Exposure features some of my all-time favorite wineries, including Alta Colina, Ascension Cellars, Carucci, MCV, Montemar, Press Gang Cellars, Rendarrio Vineyards, The Farm Winery, and Theopolis,
Furthermore, I look forward to exploring these new wineries at the event: Anglim, Ann Albert, B de E, Burning Bench, Chenoweth, Coruce, Deno, Enoteca Five, Golden Star, Golden Triangle, Halcyon, Hoyt, Lou Bud, Malibu Ridge Vineyard, March Wines, Metrick, Monochrome, Olsen Perri Wines, Putchella, Slyd, Starfield, Tao Vineyards, Top and Triassic.
Finally, there are many more wineries that I have not listed, so you might just have to purchase a ticket to sample and discover what these creative winemakers are up to.
To purchase tickets today, click here.
Past Garagiste Articles by Written Palette:
Wine innovation begins at The Garagiste Festival