It has been SHW’s long-standing tradition to annually recognize members and supporters who have given extraordinary efforts to the Club in the past year.  Sacramento Home Winemakers also highlights individuals who have demonstrated noticeable improvements in their wine making.

Five of these awards are decided upon by the Board of Directors, while the Winemaker of the Year award is determined by an established calculation based on points. The President’s award is given to the outgoing club president. All are presented at the annual SHW Holiday Dinner and Party.

This year’s recipients of SHW’s Annual Awards are:

Bob Beck Memorial Educator of the Year Award – Will Carlton.  Will chaired the Club’s Education Committee in 2020 and 2021, evolved Club meetings into virtual programs supplemented with auxiliary education sessions, and created social meetings.  Additionally, Will worked actively with the Education Committee to craft this year’s Winemaking 201 and the Cider Making Workshop.

Henry Wilkinson Memorial “Volunteer of the Year Award for Service Above and Beyond the Crush” – Jim Garrett.  Jim has tirelessly guided the Club forward with his endless contributions – upscaling the Club’s website so that it’s more secure and beneficial to members, creating a data base that matches wine grape sources with members, and contributing his wine making and viticulture expertise.  His techie talk, linear thinking, and patience continue to help keep us moving forward. Watch for future changes!

Stu Shafter Memorial Award “Most Improved Winemaker of the Year” – Mike Menard.  This winemaker’s first entry into the Club’s Jubilee wine competition bombed (2015 Primitivo).  Mike looked ahead. In the 2019 Jubilee, his entry earned a Bronze. Mike focused on the future. And, in the 2021 Jubilee, Mike’s wine entries earned a silver, a gold, and a Best of Class!

Rookie of the Year – Nancy Berge.  Nancy dipped her toes into the world of wine making by attending SHW’s 2019 Winemaking 101. She made good use of Club mentors Joe McGillivray and Donna Bettencourt.  She’s worked hard focusing on crafting dry red wine and attended Winemaking 201.  Nancy’s hard work paid off earning 2 silver medals in 2021 competitions, including the SHW Jubilee.

Four Community Partners were recognized for their continuing contributions to the Club.  Receiving this year’s awards are:

Matt Di Visconte – with Lodi Wine Labs, Matt has amped up our technical wine making game by providing easy accessibility to wine lab products and tests;

Scott Harvey – sharing his invaluable wine making toolbox and answers to our winemaking questions, Scott challenges us to make better wines;

Luke Laubaugh – a winemaker with Heringer Estates and former SHW member, Luke returns regularly to mentor and evaluate members’ wines; and

Bob Peak – Bob continues to impart his knowledge and experiences in home winemaking and viticulture with his technical presentations and wine judging;

The 2021 Rex Johnston Winemaker of the Year Award – Donna Bettencourt. Donna secured this year’s honor with a competition score of 120 points. Donna earned top awards entering her wines in at least three home wine competitions including SHW’s Jubilee and the Orange County Fair.

The President’s Award was received by Robert Wharton who served as Club President in 2020-2021.

Congratulations to all!

Learn more about these awards here.