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If you like to find the unknown winery, the small production winery or just meet new winemakers, then the Garagiste Festival is for you. Throughout the year, Garagiste Festival takes place in Paso Robles, Solvang, Los Angeles and now Sonoma. For the second time, Garagiste Festival returns to Sonoma on April 13th and I wrote about what you might and why you might want to go in my recent column in the Napa Valley Register which you can read here. Everyone knows the riddle: “How do you make a small fortune in the wine industry? Start with a large one.”
The dream to own a winery and make wine can seem like a fantasy. Land costs in Napa and Sonoma are prohibitive when a vineyard in Napa will cost anywhere from $120,000 to more than $370,000 per acre and a vineyard in Sonoma can cost $70,000 to more than $150,000 per acre.
Even if you do not own a vineyard, buying quality fruit in Napa and Sonoma can be costly. In 2016, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon averaged $6,829 per ton and Sonoma Pinot Noir averaged $3,678 per ton. But, despite these costs, there are small winemakers out there who are striving to make the best wines possible, even without a venture capitalist behind them.
For 19 years, World of Pinot Noir has been bringing together Pinot Noir producers and Pinot Noir lovers! Taking place at the Ritz Carlton Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, I attended for my fifth consecutive year and attended seminars, tasted delicious wines, saw lots of familiar friendly faces and met new winemakers. A fun weekend festival, World of Pinot Noir is the Please The Palate pick of the week. More than 200 Pinot Noir producers from around the world participated in World of Pinot Noir 2019. There were producers from all of the California Pinot regions - Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo County, Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey and Napa. There were producers from Oregon. And there were producers from France, Chile, New Zealand and Spain. So, if you like Pinot Noir, this is definitely the event for you!