Historical Award Recipients
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!