Southern Exposure

The Southern Exposure wine festival is celebrating its sixth year in Solvang from Feb. 9 to 11 at Veterans' Memorial Hall.

Southern Exposure is celebrating its sixth year in Solvang by showcasing dozens of micro-production wineries from Santa Barbara County and across California. The 2018 event, produced by the Garagiste Wine Festival, takes place Feb. 9 to 11 at Veterans’ Memorial Hall in Solvang.

To mark the festival’s sixth year in the county, it's inaugurating a seminar series featuring a Q&A and tasting with Central Coast winemaking pioneer Bob Lindquist. An original Rhone Ranger and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award, Lindquist founded Qupe. He was one of the first winemakers in the area to advocate American-made syrah and other Rhone varietals.

“A true original ‘garagiste,’ Bob is an inspiration to micro-production winemakers everywhere and epitomizes everything that the American garagiste movement is about — handcrafting stunning wines from underappreciated grapes, ignoring established rules, innovating and taking risks and generously sharing knowledge with peers,” said Doug Minnick, the Garagiste Wine Festival’s co-founder.

“There would be no garagiste movement, no Rhone Rangers — and the Central Coast would still be a blip on the way to Napa — without visionary winemakers like Bob,” Minnick continued. “We are so honored and excited that he is kicking off our original garagiste series as we celebrate our sixth anniversary in Solvang.”

Roots planted in 2012

For the past five years, Southern Exposure has showcased hundreds of micro-production winemakers from Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez area. In fact, many poured their first vintage at the festival and have gone on to greater renown.

The Los Angeles Times dubbed Garagiste festivals “wildly exuberant and fun” and “wine tasting nirvana.” 

This year, the event kicks off Friday night, Feb. 9, with a "No Repeats, Rare and Reserve" tasting and barbecue with food provided by Neighbor Tim’s BBQ.

The Q&A and tasting with Lindquist takes place Saturday, Feb. 10, immediately preceding the Grand Tasting at Veterans Memorial Hall. The event will be moderated by the Garagiste Wine Festival co-founder and winemaker Stewart McLennan.

Sunday, Feb. 11, features the return of Passport Day, which offers special deals at participating local wineries for Garagiste Festival ticket holders who want to further explore Central Coast wineries. 

Garagiste limits ticket sales for Southern Exposure in Solvang to give attendees a comfortable and relaxed tasting experience with personal winemaker interaction.

Garagiste Festivals Inc. is a nonprofit organization that benefits Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Wine and Viticulture Department. 

For more information, visit, follow Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook at


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