Garagiste North is one of the more intriguing wine festivals on the calendar.
Garagiste northA few years back, a forward thinking group in the Okanagan sought to change that—and concocted a showcase specifically for those smaller players.

I regularly meet people disappointed in being not able track down wines from smaller wineries, whose wines aren’t widely available.
At Garagiste North: “The Small Guys” Wine Festival, you’ll find only wineries making under 2,000 cases a year. The name “garagiste” alludes to a small group of Bordeaux winemakers. Tired of being hampered by DOC regulations, they took their winemaking ‘underground’, often into their own garage.
This ‘little festival that could’, which was first held in 2014, has turned into not one but three hot tickets.

This year, 2017, sees three Garagiste North tastings, in Vancouver, Parksville and Penticton, as follows:
VANCOUVER: Saturday April 22nd 4-6:30 pm.
Art Works Gallery – 225 Smithe Street.
Wine tasting+ live music+Tacofino taco truck. +Marquis Wine Cellars pop up shop selling Garagiste wines on site.

PARKSVILLE: Saturday, July 29th 4-6:30 pm
Parksville Museum – 1245 East Island Hwy+ pop up wine shop selling Garagiste wines on site.
Wine tasting+live music+yummy food

PENTICTON: Sunday, August 27th 3-5:30 pm
Canadian Tire Garden Centre – 960 Railway Street
Wine tasting+live music+yummy food+Fairview Liquor Store pop up shop selling Garagiste wines on site.

Even though that first Garagiste North festival happened only a few years ago, the grapevine has been doing its job. In 2015 the UK’s Financial Times named Garagiste North among “Five of the best: wine festivals” held around the world.

What makes it so special? When you think about it, it was people like this who got the whole BC wine thing started. That was when the only wineries on the landscape were a few commercial juice giants. In part, that’s why this particular festival so unique.

If you want to taste; and hear it like it is from the folks who happily get their hands dirty at every stage, book in quick for this truly taste-worthy afternoon.
(Partial proceeds benefit Garagiste North Wine Study Scholarship at Okanagan College, which helps people in the community get involved in the industry.)

Garagiste 'rebels' Andrew Stone (l) and Bradley 'Black Cloud' Cooper

Garagiste participants Andrew Stone of Anarchist Mountain Vineyards (l) and Bradley ‘Black Cloud’ Cooper

Garagiste North participants

(with more to come)

Anarchist Mountain Vineyard
Anthony Buchanen
BC Wine Studio
Bella Wines
Black Cloud
Black Market Wine Co.
Cana Vines
Corcelettes Winery
Forbidden Fruit
Kitsch Wines
Les Dames Wine
Marichel Vineyard
Nagging Doubt
Niche Wine Co
Nighthawk Vineyards Phasion Estate Winery
River Stone
Seven Directions