Doug Minnick, owner of Double Trouble, a wine tasting room in Old Town Newhall, is also the co-founder of Garagiste Wine Festival, a nonprofit event scheduled July 22-23 in Glendale, highlighting small, commercial wine makers and the wine they are producing.
“We wanted to find a way to shine a spotlight on this movement that was developing of micro wineries,” said Minnick.
The idea came to Minnick 12 years ago when he and a friend discovered amazing wines in Paso Robles from small winemakers. They ultimately decided to create an event in which these winemakers can present their wines to wine enthusiasts, who purchase tickets for entry into the tasting experience. Minnick describes the festival as a “matchmaking” service to pair winemakers with wine enthusiasts.
Since the first festival 11 years ago, Minnick has hosted it at multiple cities including Sonoma, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
The name of the event comes from a story of the famous wine critic, Robert Parker. Parker was in France, in the Bourdeaux region, visiting with the owners of big wine companies, when he noticed a few winemakers down the road. The winemaking regulations in France are strict, so one of the chateau owners called them “garagistes,” a term used for people working in their garage.
Despite the criticism, Parker went and tasted their wine to find it was actually quite good. “Garagiste” then turned into a term of honor in the wine community for small, artisan winemakers.
The winemakers are invited to bring their wine to the festival and personally pour into the attendees’ glasses. Among those pouring will be Santa Clarita Valley winemakers Ben and Katy Sposato, who will be pouring wines from the Los Angeles-based winery they founded, Acri Wine Co.
“These winemakers are pursuing their passions and they’re doing very interesting things and with very interesting grapes,” said Minnick.
The festival also hosts a silent auction, in which all the proceeds go toward the scholarship fund for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s winemaking students.
Garagiste Wine Festival is scheduled July 22 and 23 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road. Tickets are available at bit.ly/3RqeMiq and more information can be found at the Garagiste website, bit.ly/3uLcVv2. Double Trouble is located at 24338 Main St, Newhall.