Historical Award Recipients
2016 Annual Awards
Bob Beck Memorial “Wine Educator of the Year” Education of members is the mission of SHW. This award is given to a member who has most contributed to the education of both new and veteran home winemakers. In his quiet way, this member circulates amongst you answering questions, opens his home for crushing while educating, served as a panel member at Winemaking 201 and serves on the Education Committee. This year’s award goes to none other than Henry Wilkinson.
Hal Ellis Memorial Award – “For Service Above and Beyond the Crush” – the 2014 award went to Thad Rogers. Thad transported countless tons of fruit to member homes during this year’s crush, organized glass buys, and supported the cellar at our annual Jubilee Competition. Thank you Thad!
Rookie of the Year Award – This award is given on an occasional basis to the member who may be fairly new to the club but who has shown an adventurous spirit and a passion for home winemaking that is rare. Kevin Lemay is our Rookie of the Year. Kevin only in 2016 began entering his wines, but scored big with silvers in this year’s Jubilee Competition. In November of this year, he presented his Petit Syrah Port for evaluation and blew us all away. Congratulations Kevin!
Stu Shafer Memorial Award – “Most Improved Winemaker of the Year” Award – Given to a member of SHW who has most improved their home winemaking processes and results. This year’s award goes to Sue and Bob Summersett. Having previously scored “only” silver medals, they broke through this year, earning gold and double gold awards in competitions.
Community Partner Award – Beginning with a Petit Syrah focus group in 2011 led by Donna Bettencourt and through the 2016 harvest, Bogle Winery has consistently provided quality fruit to members of SHW, led vineyard walks pre-harvest, and encouraged home winemakers. We wish to particularly thank Warren Bogle for his sincere support of home winemakers. As he once said, after participating with us in 2011 during a 2013 PS tasting at the winery: “I think I would like to become a home winemaker!”
SHW Winemaker of the Year 2016 is a fiercely competitive honor to earn. It is about the numbers, the strategy, and above all making consistently good wines, really good wine.
The 2016 Winemaker of the Year is David Hicks with an amazing score of 125 points. When David won in 2014, his score was “only” 119. With 5 Double Golds and Golds at the Orange County Fair, State Fair Best of Class for his Chardonnay as well as Double Golds and Golds, and Best of White Wine at the Jubilee, David showed again his facility with not only sourcing quality grapes, but producing excellent home wines.
1st Place: David Hicks – 125 points
2nd: Don and Gayle Koehler – 122
3rd: Pilar Millar – 112.66
4th : Bruce Currie – 82
2015 Annual Awards
Bob Beck Memorial “Wine Educator of the Year” – the 2015 award recipients
Hal Ellis Memorial Award – “For Service Above and Beyond the Crush” – the 2014 award
Stu Shafer Memorial Award – “Most Improved Winemaker of the Year” is to recognize members whose wines progressively receive positive notice
SHW Winemaker of the Year 2015 is a fiercely competitive honor to earn. It is about the numbers, the strategy, and above all making consistently good wines, really good wine.
1st Place: Tom Montgomery – 139.1
2014 Annual Awards
Bob Beck Memorial “Wine Educator of the Year” – the 2014 award recipients are Tom and Rebecca Ramme. They “spread the word” by volunteering in many activities (taking SHW along with them) including designing the model for the California State Fair Home winemaking booth, coordinating the home winemaking activity during Sacramento’s Farm to Fork celebration and showing how good SHW wines are at UC Davis activities.
Hal Ellis Memorial Award – “For Service Above and Beyond the Crush” – the 2014 award went to the dynamic duo of JD Phelps and Sonia Barron. Both served as co-vice presidents for 2014 and were actively involved in Winemaking 101, and SHW winemaking activities. They guided many winemakers through more than 18,000 pounds of grapes in 2014 alone.
Stu Shafer Memorial Award – “Most Improved Winemaker of the Year” is to recognize members whose wines progressively receive positive notice. The 2014 award recipients, Amy Gregory and Holly Heggli started making wine in 2012, and by 2014 there wines earned golds and double golds in competitions.
SHW Winemaker of the Year 2014 is a fiercely competitive honor to earn. It is about the numbers, the strategy, and above all making consistently good wines, really good wine.
1st Place: David Hicks – 119 points
2nd Steve Tankersley – 103.2 points
3rd JD Phelps – 98.33 points
4th Pilar Milar – 96.67 points
2013 Annual Awards
Bob Beck Memorial Award – “Wine Educator of the Year” – Gin Yang was given this award for her contributions to wine education and guidance of home winemakers. Long term Membership Coordinator, Winemaking 101 Coordinator, instructor at many new mentor focus groups, and general club go-to girl, Gin is an educator extraordinaire for the club.
Hal Ellis Memorial Award – “For Service Above and Beyond the Crush” – Judy Pinegar – as long term volunteer Jubilee Competition Coordinator and Web Master, instructor at many classes and mentor to many new and now experienced members, Judy is very deserving of this award.
Stu Shafer Memorial Award – “Most Improved Winemaker of the Year” – Linda Clevenger and Seth Brunner
“Rookie of the Year” Award – Thad Rogers
SHW Winemaker of the Year 2013 –
(2nd Place David Hicks
3rd Place Tom Ramme
Community Partner Award – A new category of awards for SHW begun in 2013, this award recognizes people in the community who have been particularly helpful to the club and its members.
Andrew and Elizabeth Standeven, Shaker Ridge Vineyard
Presidents Award – Gary Young – As outgoing president for the second time and long term Club Historian Gary is always there when we need him.
2012 Annual Awards
Bob Beck Memorial Award – “Wine Educator of the Year” – Henry Wilkinson – Cellar Master Henry was given this award for his contributions to wine education and guidance of homewinemakers. In addition to quietly teaching at the last three SHW Winemaker 101 Classes, Henry coordinated and the Beginning Winemakers Varietal Focus Group which included a mini‐Winemaking 101 plus he also mentored anyone who called for help.
Hal Ellis Memorial Award – “For Service Above and Beyond the Crush” – Debbie Moretton – A tireless volunteer, Debbie has ensured that December’s Holiday Party is a fun time for all giving partygoers and an evening to remember. In addition to coordinating several holiday parties and fundraising efforts, Debbie continues to contribute in many ways with great ideas and suggestions.
Stu Shafer Memorial Award – “Most Improved Winemaker of the Year” – Pilar Millar –
Pilar started making wine just a couple harvests ago and demonstrates that one can excel in anything they do if they do it with passion and commitment. This year Pilar’s wines struck gold multiple times and also won a best of show.
“Rookie of the Year” Award – Sonia Baron – Zestily plunging into the world of home viticulture and home winemaking, Sonia has developed her own non‐stop approach to winemaking. As a novice winemaker, she’s made white wines, harvested grapes
and made wines from her home vineyard, plus vinted a golden plum port from her orchard.
SHW Winemaker of the Year 2012 – Barbara Bentley and Rex Johnston – Year
This annual award is earned purely by the numbers. Well, of course, it starts with outstanding wines. Following the Winemaker of the Year criteria (available on the Club’s web site), Barbara and Rex blew the 2012 competition out of the water. Virtually all of their wines entered into competition earned high honors. They make knock‐out white, red, fruit, and port wines and generously share their winners and winemaking expertise.
Presidents Award – Donna Bettencourt – Donna served as Club president for two consecutive years – an unmatched feat as anyone who has served in that capacity knows winemakers are a tough rogue bunch! We continue to benefit from Donna’s clear guidance.
2011 Annual Awards
Bob Beck Memorial Award – “Wine Educator of the Year” – D.D. Smith. D.D. continues to serve as chief judge and contributes winemaking and varietal articles to The Grapevine, along with providing guidance on wine making issues.
Hal Ellis Memorial Award – “For Service Above and Beyond the Crush” – Gin Yang volunteers as SHW’s membership co-chair and The Grapevine editor.
Stu Shafer Memorial Award – “Most Improved Winemaker of the Year” – Henry Wilkinson was bestowed this honor as several of his wines already good wines got even better and took double gold honors in 2011 competitions.
In 2012, the BOD honored David Pinegar (posthumously) with “Rookie of the Year” award. David made a cactus wine that won a gold award at the 2011 SHW Jubilee. His mother, SHW member Judy Pinegar, accepted this award on David’s behalf.
SHW Winemaker of the Year 2011
Well, it was a rough and tumble competition this year with only 1.16 points separating the top three finishers! In fact, the top two finishers TIED – a first for our Winemaker of the Year competition! Further, the scores were well above any we have seen in our competition, ever; Steve Barrett’s winning score last year (104.6) would have copped him only fifth place in this year’s contest!
The first-place tie this year was unusual, for sure. We do not view these winners as co-awards or anything short of individual Winemaker of the Year. Each earned the award and each deserves the full measure of recognition associated with Winemaker of the Year. So here they are:
FIRST PLACE – Steve Barrett (116.63 points). Double Gold (DG) and three Gold’s at the SHW Jubilee, a Gold and two Silvers at the California State Fair (State), and three Gold’s at L.A. Cellarmasters. (Pictured on left.)
FIRST PLACE—Dar Geramian (116.63 points). Two Gold’s and Best of Red at the SHW Jubilee, a Gold and two Silvers at State, and a DG + a Silver at Sonoma Home Winemakers (Sonoma). (Pictured in middle.)
SECOND PLACE – Donna Bettencourt (115.0 points). Two Gold’s at the SHW Jubilee, two Silvers at State, and a DG and Best of Red at Sonoma.
THIRD PLACE – Danyal Kasapligil (106.10 points). At the SHW Jubilee: Two Gold’s, Best of Whites, Best of Deserts, Best of Show. Three Gold’s at State and three Gold’s at Monterey County Fair.
FOURTH PLACE – Henry Wilkinson (96.6 points). Three DG’s at the Jubilee, a DG at State, and a Silver and a Bronze at Orange County Fair.
2010 Annual Awards
Bob Beck Memorial Education Award–Wine Educator of the Year Award – Judy Pinegar was bestowed with the 2010 honors. Last year, Judy again opened up her home for the SHW Jubilee, hosted Winemaking 101 (including participants bottling and going home with a bottle of Judy’s wine), and mentored numerous members.
Hal Ellis Memorial Award- For Service Above and Beyond the Crush. This award recognizes members who have devoted unwaivering time, effort and dedication to the Club. There were two parties honored this year for their volunteerism. Neal Shleffar and Donna Brown were an integral part of the team who hosted a silent auction event – progressive dinner and wine for 8. They also bravely volunteered as part of the “Chefs” at the dinner stop for last spring’s SHW Winery Tour. In the fall, Neal coordinated the 2010 Club Project, Amador zinfandel at Oakstone Winery with over 35 participants – the largest number of participants in recent Club history.
The second party to be acknowledged is Debbie Moretton. In 2010, she was SHW’s board secretary and also the SHW Holiday Party Coordinator for the second consecutive year. Through Deb’s creative fundraising skills, the holiday party silent auction and raffles have been very successful.
Stu Shafer Memorial Award– Most Improved Winemaker of the Year. Bob Peake is the 2010 recipient for this award. Watch out – Bob’s wines have been receiving high awards in wine competitions!
SHW Winemaker of the Year 2010
FIRST PLACE – Steve Barrett (104.16 points).
SECOND PLACE – D.D. Smith (95.00 points).
SECOND PLACE – Dar Geramian (95.00 points).
THIRD PLACE- Bob Peake
Presidents Award – Lynn Keay – Lynn served as Club president for two consecutive years – a feat as anyone who has served in that capacity knows winemakers are a tough bunch to corral!