Garagiste Wine Festival

This year marks  the seventh year of the Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles. The Festival, which also brings Central Coast wineries to Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Solvang, has its home in Paso where the first festival was held in 2011.

Dubbed “one of the most exuberant wine festivals because of the thrill of discovery,” and “Wine-tasting Nirvana” by the LA Times, the festival takes place in  Paso from November 10th to 12th 2017, at the Ponderosa Pavilion at the Paso Robles Fairgrounds and other area locations.  Over 60 local commercial garagiste winemakers will be pouring over 200 handcrafted, micro-production wines.

Now a local institution because it benefits a special scholarship fund for the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program, it is the first and only festival dedicated to undiscovered and under-recognized American garagiste winemakers who are making some of the best, most exciting wines in the world.

This year’s festival includes a Grand Tasting, a Winemaker mixer featuring “Rare and Reserve” wines, intimate and educational tasting seminars, a Rocking After-Party, a Paso Passport Day and more.  And, like all Garagiste Events, the Paso Robles Festival offers attendees a low-crowd experience, high-quality wines, first-time and ‘soon-to-break-out’ discoveries, personal winemaker interaction, diverse grape varieties and a renegade and fun-loving spirit.

Tickets: / 805-769-8211



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Live Music Series at Pelletiere Estate

Live Music Series at Pelletiere Estate

Pelletiere Events

Mark your calendars and join us for a season of live music, great wine and good times. We have a rockin line up of wonderful local musicians. Kicking off our live music series is Marty Paris, who will be performing March 19th at Vintage Paso Zin Fest from 1:30 to 4:30!

For more information click here

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The Farmhouse at Pelletiere Estate

The Farmhouse at Pelletiere Estate is the quintessential wine country hideaway!

The Farmhouse at Pelletiere Estate is an elegant and luxurious wine country retreat.  Privately situated and surrounded by vineyards, the Farmhouse is located down a secluded yet convenient country road, nestled in the foothills for the Willow Creek District in the heart of Paso Roble’s renowned Westside.

Pelletiere Farmhouse

The Farmhouse at Pelletiere Estate is an elegant and luxurious wine country retreat.

This three bedroom two bath Farmhouse boasts a charming kitchen complete with a coffee service island, breakfast nook, granite countertops, and a timeless vintage stove-oven. The dining room and living room both boast French doors that open onto the expansive private multi-level deck that overlooks our estate vineyards and beckons you to enjoy the sunset, while sipping a glass of our vineyard’s exceptional wine! The refined rustic furnishings and cozy fireplace are sure to make your stay unforgettable.

For more information and a picture gallery, click here.

For rates and reservations, please contact Janis at 805.239.9432 or


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Pelletiere Estate Vineyard and Winery

Pelletiere-LogoJanis Denner and the entire Pelletiere Family share a love and respect for wine, especially Italian varietals, we believe that wine should be delicious and representative of it’s origin. We make Italian wines to drink- inviting wines that we and our friends- and by extension our customers, truly enjoy drinking.

Located in the heart of the Willow Creek district on the westside of Paso Robles, Pelletiere Estate Vineyard & Winery can be found on Township Road just off Highway 46W in the foothills of the Templeton Gap. Its south facing sloped terrain, rocky limestone soils, cool coastal breezes and diurnal fluctuation in temperature create above all an estate ideal for wine growing. Here we produce exceptional Italian varietals that honor our Italian heritage and those of our predecessor.

Today, 100 percent of Pelletiere Estate wines are sourced from its sustainably-farmed estate grown varietals which include; Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Lagrein, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Viognier. We are dedicated to meticulous vineyard care, picking at optimum ripeness, and creating elegant Italian wines which express the balance and pure flavors of our vineyard.

Distinctive wines, beautiful tasting room, breathtaking setting, and passionate crew members, make Pelletiere Estate truly worth the visit.

Pelletiere Estate Vineyard & Winery
3280 Township Road
Paso Robles, CA

Pelletiere Barn

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Wow! Chronic Cellars sold to Winery Exchange

See the story here:

Read the story

Chronic Cellars Website

Winery Exchange

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Proliferation of Lesser-Known Varietals in Paso Robles

Paso Robles is experiencing an increase in visitation, in part due to the unique varietals being produced in the region, according to John Kelliher of Grapeline© Wine Tours.

Paso Robles, CA (PRWEB) August 21, 2013

Walk into Rotta Winery in Paso Robles, and you are likely to have your first encounter with a Black Monukka. Some visitors have joked that it sounds like a dangerous viper, but the truth is much more appealing. The rarely-heard moniker actually refers to a grape varietal, and is one of the many unusual wine grapes that Paso area wineries are using to create unique wines that pique tasters’ interest.

Rotta Winery is the exclusive producer of Black Monukka, a sweet dessert wine that scored a 92 in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. UC Davis describes this obsolete grape as mostly being used in specialty markets such as health food stores for its unique qualities. The 1997 California acreage report listed 359 acres for ‘Black Monukka,’ almost strictly for Raisin production.

Long associated with its signature varietal Zinfandel, Paso Robles also boasts a breadth of varietals that tantalizes oenophiles seeking to find new tasting experiences. The region now produces wine from more than 40 distinct wine grapes. The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance points to the region’s diverse soils and many microclimates as the reason that the Paso Robles AVA is suitable to grow a wide variety of wine grapes.

With its campaign slogan “Paso Robles, where wine grows wild,” Paso Wine Man, the popular video series created by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, features varietals that are not usually associated with Paso Robles. In July’s video highlighting Grenache Blanc, Paso Wine Man describes this wine as “too good to be true.” According to Chris Kern’s Forgotten Grapes, Grenache Blanc is the fifth-most planted grape in France, but the first Grenache Blanc planting in the U.S. did not occur until 1996, and that was by Tables Creek Winery of Paso Robles.

Owner of Grapeline Wine Tours, John Kelliher, describes how Paso’s wide range of available wines draws in more wine tour customers, “So many guests are drawn to Paso Robles wine country for the diversity that it provides. The Paso wineries seem to be particularly adventurous in their wine grape cultivation. Many local wineries specialize in lesser-known varietals, and often not on traditional California grapes. It gives this area a depth of character not often found in other wine growing regions.”

“Wine tasting is becoming more mainstream,” said Kelliher, “and visitors are coming out over and over again. So it’s probably to be expected that finding new and different varietals, like you do in Paso, would be a draw.”

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News From Janell Dusi

Tasting Room, Coming Soon!!

Finally, I am opening up a tasting room with my own production facility in Paso Robles!

A soft opening of the tasting room will the beginning of September and grapes should be rolling in shortly after.  If you are out and about, stop in and check out the new facility.  We will be processing fruit all through September and October and the tasting room has a great viewing window in to the cellar where you can watch all of harvest.


J Dusi Wines Paso Robles

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Zinfandel, the Quintessential Paso Robles Varietal

Zinfandel, the Quintessential Paso Robles Varietal, Is the Star of a One-Day-Only Wine Tasting Tour Created by Grapeline© Wine Tours

The Zin Lovers Tour offers a full day of exceptional Zinfandel tasting in the Paso Robles appellation. Created by industry leader, Grapeline Wine Tours, the hosted tour includes door-to-door transportation from all area hotels, an insider’s look at the winemaking craft, catered picnic lunch, and wine tasting flights at four wineries celebrated for their Zinfandels.

Paso Robles, CA (PRWEB) August 12, 2013

First introduced to the state during the gold rush, Zinfandel is a varietal more closely associated with California than with its European heritage. Nowhere has Zin been embraced more than in Paso Robles, which celebrates its quintessential wine grape with the Zinfandel Weekend each March. The Zin Lovers Tour, created by Grapeline Wine Tours, gives fans of the versatile varietal another opportunity to sample the best expressions of Paso’s signature wine grape.

On Saturday, September 28, guests participating in this one-day-only event will taste a variety of wines with a focus on premium Zinfandels from various Paso Robles vineyards and winemakers. The four featured wineries, each renowned for Zinfandels, are Zin Alley, Turley Wine Cellars, Peachy Canyon, and Rotta.

The Zin Lovers Tour begins with a tasting at Zin Alleywhere owner and winemaker Frank Nerelli personally introduces the wines he creates on his property. Zin Alley is a boutique winery nestled in the heart of the Templeton Gap whose only focus is producing top notch Zinfandel with production limited to 500 cases. The dry-farmed, head-pruned vines are grown in the old world tradition to produce a rich and very complex wine.

The majority of the 28 wines Turley Wine Cellars produces are single vineyard designated Zinfandels. Relying primarily on head trained old vine Zinfandels, Turley Zins originate in several local vineyards, including one planted in 1885. With very old vines, certified organic vineyards, and wines made with all-natural yeasts, Turley is a great stop for Zin aficionados.

Peachy Canyon Winery’s old school-house tasting room overlooking the vineyards in the beautiful West side Paso Robles pours many award-winning Zins and has helped establish Paso Robles as a premier wine region. The winery has been owned and operated by the Beckett family since 1988.

The last stop on the tour is Rotta Winery, one of the first three wineries established in Paso Robles. The original vineyard and winery was started in 1856 and bought by Joe Rotta in 1908. Rotta bonded the winery after Prohibition in the 1930s and forged the label into one best known for its hearty Zinfandels. Mike Giubbini, present owner and descendent of Joe Rotta, undertook the task of replanting the old family vineyard “mostly to Zinfandel. It’s a hearty grape that’s proven in this area, and my grandparents planted it. I wanted everything head pruned and dry farmed – dry farming’s really the only way to go out here.” With so many generations in this vineyard, Mike Giubbini is the perfect guide for the behind-the-scenes look at this special varietal for the Zin Lovers Tour.

This Zin Lovers Tour is part of the Grapeline Signature Series – occasional tours incorporating wine country’s best experiences and offerings. Grapeline is the top guest-rated wine tour company in
Southern and Central California, with over 350 5-star reviews on review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

The tour departs at 10am from all local hotels and concludes at approximately 4:30pm. Pricing is $129 per person, all inclusive.

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Garagiste Festival Expands Line-Up for 2012

Garagiste Festival Expands Line-Up for 2012: Tickets Available July 16th

Second annual event extends festivities to four days; monthly mini-tastings lead up to festival

Paso Robles, CA – June 26, 2012 – The Garagiste Festival, the first and only festival dedicated to promoting artisan ‘garagiste*’ winemakers, today announced an expanded line-up for 2012, including four days of events during Garagiste Festival weekend November 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th. The Garagiste Grand Tasting event, seminars and after-party will again be held at beautiful Windfall Farms, while specialized events will take place at other Paso Robles venues, including Vines on the Marycrest, The Vintner’s Vault and others yet-to-be announced.  Festival tickets go on sale on July 16th at

In addition, the festival’s monthly “Taste of Garagiste” mini-events are underway, with the next event to be held Thursday, June 28th at Monopole in Pasadena, featuring four winemakers who will be pouring at the 2012 festival.

“The enthusiasm and feedback from last year’s festival – and the excitement generated about these remarkable winemakers – was so overwhelming, it inspired us to find ways to include more events, more winemakers and more wine consumers in 2012,” said Garagiste Festival co-founder Stewart McLennan.

The Garagiste Festival showcases high-quality, cutting-edge, small production wineries that produce fewer than 1,200 cases a year. Last year’s sold-out festival presented 45 outstanding artisan winemakers to over 700 passionate wine consumers, members of the trade and media, raising the profiles of many of the winemakers nationally for the first time. The event also raised $10,000 for the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

“Given the caliber of our participating winemakers, it is no surprise that our event has been named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News**… a tribute to the spirit and extraordinary wines of the garagistes,” added Garagiste Festival co-founder Douglas Minnick. “We look forward to helping more wine lovers discover more of these hard-to-find, passionate, but underground, rock star winemakers during our 2012 events.”

According to McLennan and Minnick, while the November 10th Grand Tasting event will remain intimate enough for festival-goers to have the opportunity to once again have true interaction with the winemakers, the festival has doubled capacity for this year’s seminars, which were completely sold out in 2011. Proceeds from the 2012 festival will once again benefit Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture program.

The Expanded 2012 Garagiste Line-up Includes:

Thursday, November 8thMulti-Winemaker Dinner, details and location to be announced.

Friday, November 9th: Pre-festival Mixer at the brand new tasting room of last year’s “Spirit of Garagiste” Award Winner, Vines on the Marycrest. Wines, winemakers and details to be announced.

Saturday, November 10th: The Main Event: The day begins by bringing back one of the most popular features of last year’s event, its winemaker panel and tasting seminars. This year some of the Central Coast’s most innovative winemakers and “hottest” grapes will be featured in the seminars titled Digging Deep Into Syrah: Microclimates, Terroir and Stylistic Decisions and A Look at Emerging Varietals. The festival’s Grand Tasting follows, taking place from 2 – 5pm, featuring over 45 garagiste winemakers. The day finishes with the Winemaker After-Party where guests and winemakers can mingle, drink and continue the conversation.

Sunday, November 11thSo You Want to Make Wine? symposium at The Vintner’s Vault. An event for serious avocational, and aspiring, winemakers — and those who simply want to learn more about the nitty-gritty of the winemaking process.

‘Taste of Garagiste’ Monthly Mini-Tastings: held in tasting rooms, wine shops and art galleries from Paso Robles to Southern California leading up to Garagiste Festival weekend.

June 28thMonopole in Pasadena, featuring the wines (and winemakers) of: Argot (Sonoma), Center of Effort (Edna Valley), Cloak & Dagger (Paso Robles) and Edmond August (Paso Robles). The evening will feature 12 wines – whites and reds, blends and straight-up varietals – for just $20.

August 18thWood and Vine, Hollywood, California. Winemakers to be announced.

September and October Mini-Tastings: to be announced.

The Garagistes

Artisan winemakers already slated to showcase their wines at the festival include Aaron Wines, Alta Colina Winery, Ambyth Estate, Anglim Winery, Argot, Barton’s, Bodega de Edgar, Bodegas M, Caliza Winery, Cayucos Cellars, Center of Effort, Cloak & Dagger, Edmond August, Giornata Wines, J Dusi Wines, Jacob Toft, JK Wine Company, Kaleidos, La Filice, Les Deux Chats, Liquid Farm, Luminesce Wine, Nicora Wines, Paix Sur Terre, PasoPort Wine, Per Cazo Cellars, Ranchero Cellars, Rangeland Wines, Red Zeppelin Winery, Rendarrio Vineyards, Sinor-LaVallee, St. Hilaire Vineyard, Stage Left Cellars, STANGER Vineyards, Two Shepherds, Vin Alegre, Vines on the Marycrest, Westberg Cellars and Zin Alley.

Last year’s festival sold out and the 2012 festival is expected to sell out early. To be alerted when tickets go on sale, to learn more about The Garagiste Festival, and to get the latest event info, sign-up for The Dirt at Or follow us on Twitter (@PasoGaragiste).

For sponsorship opportunities, contact or go

*Garagistes (gar-uh-zhē-stuh) 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. Click here for more info and proper ‘garagiste’ pronunciation:

**ABC News Online, May 31, 2012:

About The Garagiste Festival

The Garagiste Festival ( is the first and only wine festival dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. The Garagiste Festival was named one of the Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations by ABC News.  Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festival is committed to fostering the spirit of free exchange of ideas and encouragement that has made Paso Robles one of the friendliest, most successful and innovative wine-making communities in the world. The festival is 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 2011’s sold-out festival were donated to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

Media Contact
mWEBB Communications for The Garagiste Festival
Melanie Webber,, (424) 603-4340
Crystal Hartwell,, (714) 987-1016

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Castoro Winery – “dam fine wine” video

Here is a short video about Castoro Cellars, another great Paso Robles Winery!

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