Monthly Archives: February 2017

Volunteers Wanted – California State Fair Home Wine Competition

Contact Robert Wharton at

As announced at the February SHW meeting, the Club has the opportunity to assist the California State Fair prepare for its home wine competition.  If you’d like to volunteer to help,  please use the web link below to access the Sign-up Genius page.  Should you have questions, contact Robert.

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Lake County Wine Tour and Wine & Dinner Party

Contact David Hicks at 925 997-1997 and

Have you been to Lake County’s wineries?

SHW members and guests are invited to attend my fourth annual wine tour and catered wine dinner which will be held at my home in Buckingham Park on the shore of Clear Lake in Lake County Ca.  These events are my effort to showcase Lake County wineries and their wines to folks from other wine areas.   It will require a two night weekend stay and require attendees to arrive in Lake County on Friday afternoon/evening June 16.   Most attendees stay at the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake, or near by hostelries. I will provide directions to Upper Lake in subsequent emails.   [for those interested please ask me for the names of other nearby hotels]

Our tour bus departure and arrival will be at the Tallman Hotel.  Upper Lake has a lovely wine studio across the street from the Tallman for those interested in sampling Lake County wines on Friday night.  The hotel dining room and bar has a selection also.  For those planning on attending PLEASE reserve your room at the Tallman NOW, they only have 17 rooms and sell out quickly in the Spring.  I strongly suggest you make dinner reservation for Friday night at the same time.

On Saturday morning we depart the Tallman Hotel at 10:30 AM in a Black Tie 24 passenger van and drive to our first winery stop in Lakeport Ca.   Our second stop will be at a lovely hillside winery where there will be a catered box lunch.  These first two wineries are small owner operated wineries where you will be able to meet and discuss winemaking with the owners.   After lunch we will drive to the East end of the lake and visit a lovely and much larger winery with some of the most beautiful wine caves in California.   [Details on menus and wineries to follow]

After the tour the van will return you to the Tallman to freshen up for an hour or so.  Weather is changeable at this time of year so I recommend you bring warmer jackets and such for the evening.   The van well then chauffer you to my home for a lovely lakeside wine tasting, followed by dinner.   Depending on the temperature that day for those with an adventurous sporting bent feel free to bring swimming apparel.  I have a large dock and the lake is lovely for swimming.  I have towels and changing rooms by the lake.

Costs:  I charter the van and retain the caterer and pass that cost directly to attendees on a per person basis.  Once I have a head count I will be able to determine the amount. Once I contract with those providers I am obligated to pay them in full.   I will require a deposit by check of 50% of the TBD cost in early March and final payment in full by April 20, 2017.   Your deposit would only be refundable if you cannot attend and either you or I can refill your spot.

Costs you cover:  Your transportation to Lake County, your stay in the hotel, your meals and wines other than the lunch and dinner I provide on Saturday.  And of course any other assorted amusements you and your SHW friends care to indulge in?

Comment regarding wine:   We taste each others wines regularly at our events.  This weekend is especially designed for you to learn about and experience Lake County wines.  I will be providing an array of wines from our local wineries for you to taste as part of the late afternoon wine tasting hour and our dinner.  Therefor I request that you not bring any of your or wines?

If you are interested in attending this fun weekend please contact me by email at the address below, and PLEASE make your reservations at the Tallman. I will take your name and contact info and in early March I will send all who contacted me a request to issue me a 50% deposit check and mail it to me right away.  Deposits will be logged in on a first received, first reserved bases.  When I last did this event, several folks got left out by not reacting quickly.  If you wish to speak to me regarding anything about the event, feel free to call me by phone any time?

I look forward to having a great weekend.

David Hicks

916B Dewing Ave,

Lafayette, Ca, 94549


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For Sale: Gently Used Carboys and Fermenter

Please contact Steve Yaeger by phone at (916) 258-3475 or by email at

Steve Yaeger has sold most of his gently used wine making equipment but still has three 6-1/2 gallon carboys @ $14 each and a 32-gallon fermenter for $12.  Contact Steve if interested.

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2017 SHW Membership Dues

Contact Membership Co-Chair Fred Millar at and Gin Yang at

If you haven’t already, thank you for renewing your annual membership dues.  The 2017 dues remain at $50 per household.  Membership entitles members to a bunch of things including a year’s subscription of WineMaker magazine (if renewing or joining by March 1), getting your wines analyzed by the Club’s chemist (for a nominal fee), renting Club equipment, and participating in Club buys for grapes and winemaking necessities.  Members also receive discounts at Lodi Wine Labs, Brewmeister and Tri-Mark Kitchen Restaurant Supply.

Please use the 2017 membership form found here.  Thank you for your support!

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Nevada Vines and Wines Home Wine Competition

Nevada Vines and Wines invite Sacramento Home Winemakers to enter their 3rd annual home wine competition.  Entries are $10, only one 750 ml bottle is required (375 ml for ports), and are due by April 1, 2017.  More info on their website.

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UC Davis – Walt Klenz Leadership Lecture

On March 8, 2017, the Walt Klenz Leadership Lecture Series through the UC Davis’ College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, features Agustin Huneeus and Agustin Francisco Huneeus, both leaders in the wine industry.

The details and registration information can be found here.


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February 15 Meeting – Evaluation of 2016 Whites and Roses

Contact VP Henry Wilkinson at 916 997-3056.

This coming Wednesday’s meeting is the evaluation of members’ 2016 white and rosé wines.  The evening’s evaluators are Craig Haarmeyer with West Sac’s St. Rey Vineyards / Haarmeyer Wine Cellars and Kurt Burris formerly with Madroña Vineyards in Camino.

The evaluators will make recommendations on making your wine better (if necessary), so if it’s a little murky, stinky, or you’re not sure that it’s doing, bring it in.  If you haven’t yet bottled the two 750 ml bottles, please do so without adding sulfites.  Dig up your winemaking notes and translate them onto this.

Thanks to all for participating with the program:

  • bring 2 wine glasses for your use;
  • only members’ wines will be evaluated (membership form here);
  • thanks for helping set-up and cleaning up before and after the meeting; and
  • consume responsibly.

The Wednesday, February 15 meeting starts at 7pm, upstairs at the Turn Verein located at 3349 J Street in midtown Sacramento.


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2016 SHW Profit / Loss Statement

Contact SHW President Donna Bettencourt at

The 2016 Club Profit/Loss year end statement that President Donna Bettencourt referenced in her President’s Message in February’s 2017 The Grapevine didn’t make it into the newsletter.  You can view it here:  SHW Profit – Loss January 1 – Dec 3, 2016 (1).

2016’s ending balance is the result of multiple efforts:  executive board leadership along with program and activity coordinators who diligently keep their eyes on”the bottom line”; a hard working and creative fundraising crew; and generous donations and support from members and Club supporters throughout the year.  Thanks to many of you, December’s Holiday Party Silent Auction and Raffle was a success!

SHW appreciates your support in membership and generosity in opening your hearts and wallets.  We’re looking for different ways to generate funds throughout the year, so if you have ideas, we’d like to hear them.

January’s monthly meeting with Randall Grahm was truncated when the Turn Verein’s power went out shortly after he started his presentation.  We were also supposed to auction off an autographed copy of his book “Been Doon So Long” but he forgot to bring it (book’s out of print).   Bob Peak, with The Beverage People, is scheduled to talk to us about oak at the March 15 meeting.  We have a new 10-gallon of something fun to raffle off at the meeting so mark your calendars!

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Wanted: 70-Gallon Stainless Drum

Contact Matt Lonergan at 916 715-7589.

SHW member Matt Lonergan is looking for a stainless 70-gallon barrel to ferment verdelho. Please contact him if you have what he might be looking for.

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Here’s the February 2017 issue of The Grapevine Newsletter

The Grapevine – February 2017

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