Monthly Archives: May 2020

SHW Wine Analysis Service – ML Chromatography Only

Club member Bruce Currie,  offers  testing for members’ wines.   Wine samples are collected for testing at SHW’s monthly meetings but we haven’t been meeting in person to gather the samples. 

Thus, at this time, Bruce will be conducting malolactic chromatography ONLY.  The progression of malolactic fermentation in wines can be tracked by paper malolactic chromatography.

Please see this link for wine testing details, sample preparation and paperwork.  Contact Bruce Currie at to arrange for drop-off.


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June 2 (Tues) Zoom Meeting – Smaller Wine Quantities Management

At the May 20 Zoom meeting, several of you, particularly winemakers with 1-2 years of winemaking experience, asked for more information on smaller wine quantity and cellar management.

Join us for in a Zoom session on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 7 pm and let’s chat about what’s in your cellar.  The forum is designed to provide answers to your questions on small cellar heat and equipment management, ageing and oak additives in carboys, testing, finishing, and sourcing grapes and preparing your cellar for the upcoming harvest.

This session may be of special interest to you if you participated in SHW’s 2018-2019 Winemaking 101 and/or the 2018 and 2019 Beginning Winemakers crush.  Aspiring winemakers who’ve yet to endure their first crush are also invited to participate. To help ensure we address everyone’s questions, this forum is limited to 20 participants who are current SHW members.

To receive login and password information for the June 2 Zoom meeting, please email Gin Yang at


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May 20, 2020 Zoom SHW Meeting

ZOOM !!!!

Have you heard?  Have you seen?  Well, you would have if you were one of the 35 SHW members who attended the May 20, 2020 Zoom Sacramento Home Winemakers Meeting.

Did you know that Beth and Larry Carducci have made a delightful Rose of Grenache?  Jim and Kate Garrett has also made a Rose of Tempranillo; we can’t taste it, but we could see how lovely it looked.  Donna Bettencourt said she bought a case of commercial wine for drinking as she didn’t want to tap into her lovely Rose of Grenache.  What!? Home wine better than commercial wines?  And, Noni’s wine does not smell, or taste, like poop anymore!  Yeah!

Have you seen?  Wreatha Duverney and Amos Olson’s new wine cellar?  Well, attendees at the May 20th meeting did.  Catch a glimpse of Michael MacWilliams and Kathleen Swanson’s barrel room in San Francisco?  Well, you would have seen that too at Wednesday’s Zoom Monthly Meeting.  You would also have seen a lot of shaggy haircuts and T-shirts, babies crying, and children sipping milk.  We also weighed in on the wines we were visibly drinking:  the wines ranged from a 15-year old Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon made by Gin Yang and Bill Staehlin to a Costco Merlot, made by, well, who knows?  We also shared the great bargains that are out there:  commercial wineries have wine they can’t sell and are offering it at deep discounts.  Similarly, wine grape vineyards have had their contracts cancelled or greatly reduced, and have grapes to offer at, hopefully, a discount price, to us home winemakers.

Gin Yang took us on a tour of the SHW website and what a tour it was:  who knew we had recipes for exotic wines, and Excel formulas for watering down, and records of past recipients of SHW awards, all on the website?  Well, we do.  Check it out someday.

We do not yet know what format we will be presenting for the June SHW Monthly Program.  The Turn Verein intends to open its facilities on June 1st, but we do not yet know what that means for SHW.  If we can not meet in person, we plan to offer a Zoom meeting again on June 17th on a first come first served basis.  Stay tuned.

In the first week of June, however, we will be offering a new or nearly new home winemakers Zoom meeting hosted by Chief Judge Donna Bettencourt, for home winemakers who participated in either the 2018 or 2019 Winemaking 101 class.  SHW mentors will be in attendance to answer your questions.  This Zoom session will respond to the needs of fairly new home winemakers who are struggling with such issues as:  finishing 2019 wines, winemaking in carboys, oak additives, sourcing grapes for the 2020 harvest, etc.  Watch your email inboxes for a blog update regarding how to sign up for this session.

While we all missed the handshakes and the hugging, we can say that the Zoom meeting on May 20th reconnected us with those who share the same passion:  making wine at home!  Many thanks to Gin Yang for facilitating the meeting, and to Darcy and Robert Wharton for hosting and providing technical assistance.

Finally, contact a board member if you have ideas for future SHW Monthly meetings, whether virtual, or in person.


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WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition

This year’s WineMaker magazine’s conference has been cancelled but their wine competition is still on.  The deadline to enter is June 1.  The competition hopes to judge in Vermont by the end of June.  For competition details, see this link.

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Grapes for Sale: Select Varieties – Sierra de Monserrat, Loomis

Rob Pock SHW member with Sierra de Monserrat Vineyards writes:

We are a community owned and professionally farmed vineyard in Loomis with 28 acres of outstanding fruit.  The vineyard was planted in 2007 and we harvest 3-3.5 tons per acre. This is the first season we are reaching out to SHW members who are interested in small lot purchases.  We have Cabernet Sauv, Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Tempranillo, Primitivo, Zinfandel, Barbera, Graziano, Petite Sirah, Vermentino and Verdelho.  Forty three tons from the vineyard are already under contract with commercial wineries so some of the varieties may not be available.

We will be providing discounts to members who commit to purchases of one bin minimum, (1,000 lb).  If you would like a private tour of the vineyards contact Rob Pock at .  For availability and pricing contact Alice Jack at: .  Check out the website at:


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For Sale: Winemaking Equipment

1 Destemmer/Crusher, “Cantinetta”, S/S, Model #4120, Zambelli      $700
2 Water-Bladder Press, “Hydro-Press”, Model #160, Zambelli         
3 T-25, Variable Speed Wine Pump Controller, Penta-Drive            $950
4 Macro-Bin + Lid, Model #24-S (1/2-Ton), Macro Plastics            $100
5 Cap Puncher with Push-Handle & Perforated Push-Plate, S/S, 48″H  $65
6 Snorkel Strainer, Round with Handles, S/S, 48″H x 12″W            $180
7 Filtration Equipment                                              $125
8 Kegs, 15.5 Gal.(58.67 L), S/S, Tri-Clover Collar (2-1/2″)        $350
9 2-Barrel Storage Rack, S/S, 7″ Dbl.-Bar Spacing                  $65
10 Wine Barrel, S/S, 75-Gal.(283 L), Roll Rims, Tri-Clover          $600
11 Carboys, 5-Gal.(3 Glass + 2 Plastic)                            $25
12 Argon Gas Cylinder with Valve, 55 c.f., 10-yr.Cylinder Cert.    $100
13 Barrel Washer (attaches to Karcher Pressure Washer)              $25
14 Spinner (Foil), Table-top, 1770 RPM, 110-Volt                    $700
15 Bottle Filler, 3-Spout, S/S, Model #1623/H (Bench Mount)        $165
16 Corker, Bench-Top                                                $45
17 Corker, Floor-Stand                                              $70
18 Tin Capsules, Satin Red & Shiny Gold, ~3,000                    $300
19 Corks (45 x 24mm), CA-05, 700                                    $150
20 Lab Equipment                                                    $150
Please open the attached spreadsheet for many more details regarding the
equipment listed, above.
Contact Bob Traverso at 530-758-5323 (Davis, CA).
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Grapes for Sale: Quinta Port Blend – Shaker Ridge Vineyard, El Dorado

Shaker Ridge Vineyard is once again offering “shares” in its Quinta field of Portuguese/Iberian varietals consisting of Touriga Nacional, Tempranillo, Tinta Cao, Souzao, and Tinta Amarela. 

Each share is entitled to 250 lbs of the Quinta harvest, which will occur on a single Saturday TBD (based on ripeness) in the mid-Sept to mid-Oct 2020 time frame, and will be a blend of the 5 varietals in the proportions harvested.  The grapes will be suitable for, and have been used quite successfully by SHW members in the past, to make both complex (dry) red wines and Portuguese-style port wines.  Ten (10) shares are currently still available at a cost of $300 each.

Contact Andy Standeven directly at


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Order Yours: SHW Name Badges

“Absence makes the heart fonder” or is it “absence makes the memory wander?”

Help your fellow winemakers remember you when they see you in person.  Order a permanent name badge that you can wear at Club meeting and activities.  The badges have a magnetic backing so they’re easy to use and no puncturing your clothing.  Click on the link below to see what they look like and for order information.


Name Badge Order Form V1

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Winemaking 101 – August 1, 2020

SHW’s Winemaking 101 workshop is designed for new and novice winemakers and covers the basics to making dry red and white wines.  Aspiring winemakers will learn about the winemaking process, equipment needed, yeasts, chemicals, and resources.

The workshop also includes an equipment certification component for SHW members to learn about the use, care, and cleaning of Club equipment to be eligible to rent such.

This year’s Winemaking 101 is currently planned for Saturday, August 1 in Granite Bay.  The workshop is free for SHW members and $30 per person for non-members.  Registration is required.  Please contact Winemaking 101 Coordinator Joe McGillivray at and 916 261-9438 for more information and to make your reservations.


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May 20 SHW Meeting – See You on Zoom!

Hey SHW members!  It’s been a while since we’ve been in the same place sharing our wines and talking about winemaking, glassy-eyed sharpshooters, funky smells, and the upcoming harvest. We’re not able to hold the May meeting at the Turn Verein, so, let’s get together virtually to share wine and wine talk.

May 20, 3rd Wednesday in May is a Club general meeting day.  Instead of a speaker, the evening’s program starts with us getting reacquainted.  Then Gin Yang, who helps with Club communications, will guide us through some spiffy stuff that’s on the SHW website.  We’ll wrap up the meeting with a few winemaking questions.  Plan to have enough wine and snacks to get you through 60-90 minutes.

We’ll use Zoom, a web-based video and audio conferencing platform.  We suggest that members participate on a larger screen such as a laptop or tablet vs. a cell phone as we are planning to open up this meeting for up to 40 members.  If you are in the same household, please use the same device.

RSVPs are required so that you can receive an invitation for the Zoom session.  Send an email to Gin at  Until we see each other in person we’ll see you on Zoom.


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