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USA Today readers vote for Central Coast wineries, festivals as among the best in the country

Posted at 1:20 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 17:00:30-04

The Central Coast is getting some recognition for having some of the best wineries and festivals in the country.

USA Today readers recently voted the Garagiste Festival the country’s "Best Wine Festival" in the 2018 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

The Garagiste Festival was launched in Paso Robles in 2011 to shine a spotlight on California artisan winemakers who produce less than 1,500 cases per year. The festivals are now held all over the state. The next festival is scheduled to take place in Paso Robles the weekend of Nov. 9-11, 2018. 

Also in the 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards, Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria received second place in the "Best Tasting Room" category. Santa Barbara County was named the fourth "Best Wine Region." And, Niner Wine Estates Restaurant in Paso Robles was ranked tenth in the category of "Best Winery Restaurant."

Travel experts and editors choose the nominees for the awards, then USA Today readers whittle them down from 20 to the "10Best." Voting is conducted online.

Other Central Coast locales have popped up in recently released results for 2018. Pismo Beach placed second in the "Best Coastal Small Town" category. Solvang was ranked the eighth "Best Historic Small Town." And, the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest in Paso Robles was eighth in the category of "Best Beer Festival."