Author Archives: Gin

Holiday Party Reservations – Make Yours Now!

Don’t wait!

As President Joe McGillivray announced at the November meeting, reservations for the Club’s December 15 Holiday Party will NOT be accepted after December 8. No exceptions.

Please use this form to reserve your seats.

Direct questions to Fred Millar at or text 916 576-9596.

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Make Your Reservations – SHW Holiday Party on December 15

There’s still time to make your SHW Holiday Party reservations!  

This year’s soirée is at the Embassy Suites at the Sacramento River Waterfront.  Bring your wines to share and enjoy a festive Sunday evening with on the Embassy’s Terrace.  Reservations must be made by December 8 (no exceptions).  See this link for the details and reservation form.

Please direct inquires to Party Coordinator Fred Millar:  email to and text 916 576-9596.

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Winemaker of the Year Competition

SHW’s Winemaker of the Year (WOY) competition gets more fierce every year. The annual award, named for winemaker extraordinaire Rex Johnston, recognizes the winemaker whose wine(s) earned a cumulation of top honors.  The Chief Judge reminds all that 2019 WOY entries are due by November 30, 2019.

Please see here for the details. Chief Judge Donna Bettencourt can be contacted at

Good luck!

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November 20, 2019 Meeting

Luke Laubaugh, with for St. Amant Winery in Lodi is this Wednesday night’s guest evaluator. Bring two 750 ml bottles of your fruit, port-style, fortified and sparkling wines for evaluation. The meeting’s wine evaluation form helps organize your wine’s fermentation and ageing adventure so complete that for each of the wines you’re bringing for evaluation.

SHW’s annual holiday party is on Sunday, December 15. We’ll be accepting reservations at the meeting so don’t forget to bring your party form and check/cash.

Wednesday’s meeting starts at 7pm upstairs at the Turn Verein located at 3349 J Street in midtown Sacramento. Thanks for consuming responsibly.

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The Grapevine – November 2019

For your reading pleasure, please click on the link below for the November 2019 issue of SHW’s The Grapevine.

Luke Laubaugh, winemaker at St. Amant, is the November 20 meeting’s guest evaluator.  Bring your ports, fortifieds, fruits, and bubblies to the meeting for evaluation.  The November meeting is also the Club’s annual meeting when elections for the 2020 executive board positions.

SHW’s annual Holiday Party is on Sunday, December 15 in Old Sacramento.  

Read The Grapevine for the details on these two events plus more.

Thanks to the newsletter editor, Stephanie Wilson for an informative publication!

November 2019- The Grapevine

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SHW Bylaw Amendment Proposal

The SHW Bylaws have been dusted off and updated. Two different versions (same base content) are available for your review. One copy contains all the proposed mark-ups (called <track changes> in MSWord). The other has been simplified to show only the proposed bylaws going forward and the major changes are highlighted in yellow. The proposed bylaw amendments will be voted upon at the upcoming November 19th club meeting. If you will not be present but would like to register a proxy vote, please contact Gin Yang, Questions or concerns, please contact Robert Wharton,

SHW Constitution and Bylaws Update Proposal 20191106 (1)

SHW Constitution and Bylaws Update Proposal 20191106 no markup (1)

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SHW Holiday Party – December 15

Make your reservations for SHW’s annual holiday party for Sunday, December 15. This year’s party is at the Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade near Old Town Sacramento.

The evening’s program includes recognizing outgoing board members. The Board of Directors will be presenting the Club’s annual awards to members or the community for their outstanding contributions. The Chief Judge will also reveal the 2019 Winemaker of the Year.

The Embassy will be preparing a unique buffet dinner for the party. Thus, please make your reservations / pay by December 8. Please note that no refunds or new reservations can be made after that date. For your convenience, we’ll be accepting your reservations at the November 20 SHW meeting. 

Here’s the link to the reservation form: Holiday Party Reservations 2019

For partyers, the Embassy is offering guest rooms at a special rate that evening. For the details, please text or email Fred Millar: 916 576-9596 or

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Grapes for Sale: Cab Sauv, PS, Primitivo, Zin, Syrah – Fair Play

November 5 Update:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Primitivo also available.

Please let your membership know that pricing is negotiable depending on who is doing the picking.


Zinfandel and Syrah for sale:
Element 79 Vineyards, located in the Fair Play AVA of El Dorado County/Sierra Foothills at 2400 feet elevation writes:
Zinfandel – Our Zinfandel has won Double Gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Commercial Wine Competition. It is Dupratt clone on 101-14 rootstock, VSP and cordon pruned to 8×5 spacing and farmed with great pride and best practices. We prune to a yield of 4 tons per acre and we use deficit irrigation practices both which enhanced flavors. $.65 per pound and minimum of 500 lbs. Harvest on the Zin will be late September or early October.
Syrah – We may have a couple tons available this year. It is the fantastic 877 Clone on 101-14 rootstock, VSP and cane pruned to 8×5 spacing and farmed with great pride and best practices. We sell all that we don’t use to a top tier Napa winemaker and this year we have a larger crop so we have a couple extra tons. No watering was necessary this year. $.90 per pound and a minimum of 500 lbs. Harvest will be late September.
We will pick it for you but you must bring your own macro bins or containers. We have a forklift on site and will load for you. Call Les for maturity numbers. We will be taking samples at least weekly from now through harvest.
Come up to our tasting room and taste the estate wines we make from these grapes. You will be glad you did and we would love to meet you.
Call Les Heinsen at 916-337-2718 or email

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Response: Restarting Stuck Fermentation with Wine Juice Kit

A member asked whether juice from a wine kit could be used to restart a stuck fermentation. Veteran Rex Johnston responds with a clear “no”! Read Rex’s rationale here. (Scroll to bottom of post.)

More questions and responses to your wine making inquiries can be found under Member Resources, Winemaker Q & A.

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Last Call – October 26 SHW Harvest Dinner

There’s still a few seats left for SHW’s Harvest Dinner for this coming Saturday evening October 26. Vince’s Ristorante in West Sacramento is preparing a special dinner featuring dishes that aren’t on their menu. To reserve your seats, please contact Fred Millar via email or call/text 916 576-9596.  More details here.

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