Solvang Windmill

World-renowned festival kicks off 2024 in Santa Ynez Valley

Solvang, Calif. – America’s Best Wine Festival, The Garagiste Wine Festival, kicks off its 2024 line-up of events with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of its Southern Exposure festival, held February 9th and 10th.

The festival’s two days of wine discovery events include rare access to over 30 of the most exciting small-production winemakers from the Santa Barbara County area, as well as a ‘Rare and Reserve’ tasting. Those pouring at the festival for the very first time this year are Alamati Wines, Bocce Ball Wine, Buckaloose Wines, Chris Caruso Wines, CrossHatch Winery, Entity of Delight, and Riding Monkey Wines.

One of America’s Best Small Historic Towns

Hosted in Solvang, one of America’s 10 Best Small Historic Towns, Southern Exposure is held at the landmark Mission-style Veterans’ Memorial Hall on Solvang’s Mission Street. Tickets are now on sale.


Sonoma, Los Angeles, Paso Robles

After a record year of sold-out Garagiste Festivals in 2023, showcasing over 200 small-production wineries, the not-for-profit festival, which supports the next generation of winemakers through the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund at CalPoly’s Wine and Viticulture Department, also announced its 2024 line-up:

“Solvang was the natural first expansion of the Garagiste wine festival after Paso Robles, given the richness of the winemaking and the diversity of terroir in the Santa Ynez/Sana Barbara areas, as well as the idyllic setting Solvang provides, so we could not be happier to be back in this charming town for the tenth time,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “And that romantic ambience, coupled with the opportunity to discover some of the most exciting micro-production wines California has to offer, makes it the perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

Minnick noted that the ‘romance’ of the garagistes was recently on display in one of Netflix’s top-ranking holiday films, Holiday in the Vineyards, on which The Garagiste Festival consulted.

Hand-crafted wines

The festival provides attendees with a unique opportunity to be among the first to discover some of the best of the area’s hand-crafted wines from wineries who produce under 1500 cases per year (with 10 of those pouring this year producing less than 300 cases!). And, while some of the wineries have opened tasting rooms since the first Garagiste event in 2012, four out of five of the Southern Exposure wineries do not have tasting rooms, meaning the festival is the only opportunity for the public to taste all of these wines, under one roof, and all in one day. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, a number of the Original Garagistes who participated at the very first festival in Solvang, and who have grown beyond Garagiste Festival case limits, are back to celebrate on Friday night including, Casa Dumetz, Kaena Wine Co, and Kessler-Haak Vineyards.

The Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure launches on Friday February 9th with its signature “Rare & Reserve” tasting, showcasing extremely limited Club Only, Library and Pre-Release bottles and a traditional Santa Maria-style BBQ dinner buffet. On Saturday, February 10th, The Grand Tasting, in addition to showcasing 30 wineries, includes cheese and charcuterie and a Silent Auction filled with first-rate wine packages that benefit The Garagiste Festival Scholarship Fund at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Weekend Pass holders have entry into both events, along with early access, lunch and a special sweet surprise. Sunday, February 11th is the popular Garagiste Passport Day, during which several participating wineries – including some “Garagiste Graduate” wineries who have poured with Garagiste in past, but have grown larger in over the years – will be offering special treats and discounts for Garagiste Festival attendees.

Original Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles

The Garagiste Festival premiered in Paso Robles in 2011 and is the only wine festival that exclusively features high quality wines from commercial California ‘garagiste’ winemakers. Unlike other festivals, the wines are poured by the winemakers/owners themselves, offering a rare opportunity to interact with the creative forces behind the wines, while making brand new wine discoveries. The festival expanded to the Santa Ynez Valley in 2013 to highlight the wines of Santa Barbara County and surrounding AVAs, as well as small production wineries from across California.

Garagiste Festival Southern Exposure wineries include:

Absolution Cellars, Alamar Wines, Alamati Wine, Bocce Ball Wine, Boutz Cellars, Bucakloose Wines, Cairjn Wine Cellars, Chris Caruso Wines, Civilization Wine Co, Cordon Wine, CrossHatch Winery, Diablo Paso, Dusty Nabor Wines, Entity of Delight, Fuil Wines, Gagnon Cellars, Hayseed & Housdon, Kaleidos Winery, MCV Wines, Montagne Russe, Montemar Wines, Murder Ridge, Pine Mountain Vineyards, RF Fine Wines, Riding Monkey Wines, Stiekema Wine Co., Tercero Wines, Tomi Cellars, Wildflower Winery and ZANOLI Wines.

FRIDAY ONLY: Casa Dumetz, Hoi Polloi, Kaena Wine Co., and Kessler-Haak Vineyards.

New Wineries: Alamati Wines, Bocce Ball Wines, Buckaloose Wines, Chris Caruso Wines, Crosshatch Winery, Entity of Delight, and Riding Monkey Wines.


For more information and full Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure schedule details, go to:
Tickets are limited for Garagiste Festival Southern Exposure. Garagiste Festivals always sell out in advance. ORDER TICKETS ONLINE.

Sponsors include

Visit Santa Ynez Valley, Vinland Hotel & Lounge, AgWest Farm Credit, Digital Dogma, ETS Laboratories, Flying Flags, Fortis Solutions Group, G3 Enterprises, Glenn Burdette, hotel hygge, Laffort, mWEBB Communications, Santa Ynez Valley, Sideways Inn, and The Winston.

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