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When I received an invitation to the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Grand Tasting, it was the prefect excuse for a weekend getaway. The Spring Weekend Festival takes place over 4 days with the Festival Grand Tasting as the main event of the weekend. We drove up early Saturday morning to the River View Park in Buellton. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the temperatures were moderate with a lovely cool breeze.  With over 100 wineries pouring wine, along with food and music, we strolled from tent to tent to taste some of the best wines in the region.
GARAGISTES -(gar-uh-zhē-stuh) n, Fr. – A term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their garage, who refused to follow the “rules.” Today it is a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. Syn: Rule-breakers, pioneers, renegades, mavericks, driven by passion. These are small production commercial winemakers who are making under 1200 cases per year. Most of them don't have tasting rooms, nor do they have big marketing budgets to promote their wines. The Garagiste Festival was created to celebrate the artisan winemakers.