Category Archives: Meetings & Events

July 15 SHW Meeting – Adjusting pH in Wines

Webinar: Scott Harvey – “Bench Trial Your Way to the Perfect pH in Finished Wine”

On Wednesday, July 15th from 7 pm to 9 pm, Scott Harvey and Mollie Haycock of Scott Harvey Wines will be demonstrating via Zoom Webinar the techniques Scott uses for selecting the final pH of wine prior to bottling. Whether by raising the pH by adding citric or tartaric acid, or lowering the pH by adding Potassium Carbonate, you will learn how to set up bench trials of your own wine to select the perfect pH level for microbial stability and to your taste.

Scott Harvey will be demonstrating these techniques using the samples of members Marco Sguazzin and Scott Elliott, who will be in attendance at Scott’s winery laboratory in Plymouth during the Webinar. They will be able to taste, and even smell, Mr. Harvey assures, the difference that raising or lowering the wines’ pH can make.

As an added bonus, Mr. Harvey has gifted SHW with a series of lab videos he has made of him performing various wine evaluation and adjustment techniques that you can use at home. Look for a future blast for the link to these videos. We suggest that you view them prior to the Webinar.

Extra, extra added bonus: current SHW members can submit up to 3 samples of their own pre-bottled wines (375 ml sample) to Scott Harvey who will set up a bench trial of those wines and determine the optimal pH level. Every member who submits a sample will receive feedback and results via email within a week or so.

President Robert Wharton has volunteered to deliver the samples to Scott’s laboratory. The deadline for Robert to receive the labeled samples from you is Wednesday July 8th. All samples should be in a 375 ml sealed container, and labeled with your name, e-mail address, vintage and varietal of the wine. Contact Robert at for sample drop-off information.

  • Contact Gin Yang at for the July 15 meeting Zoom access.
  • Contact Robert Wharton at to arrange for sample drop-off. 
  • If you’re not current on your dues, remit to Robert when you give him your samples or send to SHW Treasurer Wreatha Duverney. Here’s the membership form with mailing address: 2020 SHW Membership Form
  • Watch for the blog update with Scott Harvey’s lab videos.

This meeting will not be recorded.


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Harvest Basics with John Troiano – Recording, June 17, 2020 SHW Meeting

SHW’s June 17, 2020 John Troiano’s presentation can be found in both audio-only and video formats at the google drive location listed, below. Using your favorite web browser, navigate to:

Once there, click (or double-click) on either “audio_only.mp4” or “zoom_0.mp4”. You should see a player appear on your screen and shortly thereafter the audio or video program will begin. John’s presentation is one-hour, forty-two minutes in length. So open a bottle, sit back and be informed.  The video can be paused and continued by clicking in the middle of the screen. 

Please notify Robert Wharton ( should you encounter any issues with the quality of the recordings.

The corrected handout accompany the presentation can be found here

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Topics and Hosts Wanted for Zoom Sessions

Starting in late spring, SHW has been presenting members with educational programs using Zoom for the Club’s monthly meetings and smaller sessions.

Future smaller sessions (virtual) may include: Ask The SHW Mentors; and Tips for Making Rosés and Whites.  What other wine making and home viticulture topics would you like to learn more about?  Please email your ideas to Donna Bettencourt at 

We are also looking for members to host the smaller sessions with their Zoom access (robust bandwidth and chat capabilities necessary).  Most small sessions are planned for a weekday evening starting around 7 pm.  If you can host, please contact Gin Yang at 



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June 17, 2020 Meeting Handout – Correction

SHW’s June 17 guest speaker John Troiano ran us through fermentation, chemistry and more last Wednesday evening.  He’s made a correction to his previous handout on the formula for using yeast nutrient Fermaid K and should now read “… 140 g/28 g per fl oz…”. 

Shred the original handout and use this revised version:  I Just Stomped My Grapesrev2020 Corrected.  This document is also posted on SHW’s website under the Members Resources tab; choose Mentors and Speaker Resources on the drop down menu and scroll down to Speaker Resources.


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WineMaker Magazine Digital Membership

If you renewed or joined SHW by March 1, 2020,  you will receive a full-year print subscription to WineMaker magazine as part of your dues.  The publisher writes:

“WineMaker also wants to make their new digital membership program available to you to add at 50% savings. Here’s how you can take advantage of our 2020 WineMaker Club Discount Subscription Program:

  1. Go to the WineMaker Digital Membership store webpage:
  2. Click on “Add to Order”.
  3. At the top of the form click on the Coupon Code link and type “club20” in the coupon code box for your 50% club savings.
  4. Fill out the Billing and Shipping information on the form. You’ll see the 50% discount already applied after you’ve entered the coupon code from step 3.
  5. Click the box with your payment option you prefer: credit card or PayPal. We accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, etc.). Fill in the payment information, check the terms and conditions box and finally click the “SIGN UP NOW” button.
  6. That’s it! You’ve locked in 50% savings for the next year and you will also be given the chance in the future to renew for another year at the same 50% savings if you wish.
  7. You’ll receive an email about setting up your account giving you full access to the thousands of winemaking stories, recipes, and projects online.
  8. This 50% discount “club20” coupon code is only good through June 30, 2020 so don’t wait to order if interested.

Any questions about the club discount subscription program? Please email us at:”

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June 17 SHW Meeting (Virtual)

Wreckless Blenders winemaker and former member John Troiano gets us fired up for the upcoming harvest:  choosing your wine style; balancing pH, acid and brix; ensuring successful fermentations; and post fermentation maintenance. He’ll also share the formula for a concentrated potassium metabisulfite solution to help protect your wine.  After John’s live presentation he’ll be answering your questions. 

Join the Club at its Wednesday June 17 meeting at 7 pm on Zoom.  To receive Zoom meeting invitation and password, email Gin Yang at  


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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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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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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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