Garagiste Festival Scholarship Fund Established for Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Students

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Annual scholarships awarded to high-achieving, entrepreneurial students of viticulture, enology or wine business; funded by donations from Garagiste Festival events.

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The Garagiste team could not be more proud to celebrate our fifth anniversary with the announcement of the establishment of a permanent scholarship fund at Cal Poly for those future winemakers who aspire to challenge, enrich and move the industry forward

The Garagiste Wine Festival, in conjunction with California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, today announced the establishment of the Garagiste Festival Scholarship Fund which will award scholarships annually to high-achieving, entrepreneurial students of viticulture, enology or wine business in the university’s wine and viticulture department. Seeded with a $20,000 donation, the fund will be a beneficiary of proceeds from future Garagiste Festival events which include Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure in Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez, Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure in Los Angeles, and the Festival’s annual flagship November event in Paso Robles.

“Five years ago, the Garagiste Festival was born on the Central Coast, fueled by the passion and talents of the area’s artisan, and often rebel, winemakers – and dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Douglas Minnick. “And, what began as a local event has blossomed into a full-fledged movement, with impact across the wine industry.”

“From day one, it made perfect sense that Cal Poly University’s Wine and Viticulture department should be a beneficiary of the festival,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Stewart McLennan. “Today, the Garagiste team could not be more proud to celebrate our fifth anniversary with the announcement of the establishment of a permanent scholarship fund at Cal Poly for those future winemakers who aspire to challenge, enrich and move the wine industry forward.”

The Garagiste Festival Scholarships will be awarded annually to high-performing undergraduate wine and viticulture department students who have demonstrated leadership and entrepreneurial creativity. Recipients of the 2015/2016 Garagiste Festival scholarship will be announced as part of fifth anniversary celebrations at The Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles, November 5th – 7th.

“It is no secret to anyone that higher education today is incredibly expensive; and we are so grateful for the hard work and commitment of The Garagiste Festival team - and to their sponsors, winemakers and the consumers who attend - for making this scholarship possible. It will help some of our most accomplished students as they seek to broaden their education,” said Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department Interim Head Marianne McGarry Wolf. “The Garagiste Festival Scholarship students will be a reflection of the spirit of the garagiste winemakers: leaders with entrepreneurial DNA and a passion for excellence and innovation.”

The Garagiste Wine Festivals, which first exposed the American garagiste** movement, are among the most unique and influential wine events in the world and are the only wine events that exclusively showcase ultra-premium, cutting-edge, micro-production commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,500 (and many under 800) cases a year. The Garagiste Festival just wrapped its second annual, and highly successful, Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure in Los Angeles.

The Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture department includes nearly 300 undergraduate majors, making Cal Poly among the largest Wine and Viticulture departments in the country. The program uniquely integrates three fundamental components of the modern wine industry, with a curriculum emphasizing the inherent connectivity between wine grape growing in the vineyard, wine making in the winery, and wine selling in the marketplace through a unique “learn-by-doing” approach. The department is currently developing a Center for Wine and Viticulture that will include new state-of-the-art teaching facilities.

To support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund as a Garagiste Festival sponsor or individual, contact info(at)garagistefestival(dot)com.

For updates on Garagiste Festival events and news, sign up for The Dirt at, or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook (

**Garagistes (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. Since then, the festival has helped thousands of consumers discover the remarkable wines of hundreds of true garagistes, who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make.

About The Garagiste Wine Festivals

The Garagiste Wine Festivals ( are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized American artisan ‘garagiste’ producers 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; garagiste mini-tastings presented from So Cal to Tahoe; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. The festivals were 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 are donated to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

Media Contacts:

mWEBB Communications for The Garagiste Festivals
Melanie Webber, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, 424-603-4340
Crystal Hartwell, crystal(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, 714-987-1016

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