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February 2016 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter


            Entries for the 2016 WineMaker Magazine International Amateur Judging may be brought to the next meeting.  Please write one check to “WineMaker” for $25.00 for each entry.  Complete the Entry Form (www.winemakermag.com) following all of the instructions listed there.  Choose “Contra Costa Wine Group” as your Winemaking Club.  Then write another check to Valley Vintner for $5.00 for each entry and enter “Valley Vintner” as your Favorite Winemaking Retailer.”  CCWG Member Mike Orton, owner of the Valley Vintner in Livermore will insure that the wine entries are shipped to arrive in time for the judging being held in Manchester Center, VT.  There will be marked boxes at the next meeting and I will insure that they get to Livermore for shipping.  The more the merrier!  We’d like to repeat as WineMaker Magazine Club of the Year.  Every level of winning entries accumulates points for the CCWG to accomplish that task.  Please consider entering a single bottle of some of your best wine into this competition.  Thank you.

2016 Winners & Extra Ribbons


Members of the Contra Costa wine Group, I'm happy to announce the winners of this years' 38th Annual Professional Wine Judging and Potluck Dinner.  They are as follows:




David Hicks - Clear Lake 2014

2 Bonneau Dickson - Amador County 2014

3  Scott Etzel & Betsy Schmidt - CoCoCo 2015




1.  Steve & Susan Abbanat - Sauvignon Blanc - Yolo County 2012

2.  Michelle Beason - Pinot Gris - CoCoCo 2015

2.  John & Eloise Pound - Primitivo Rose' - CoCoCo 2015

HM Tom Warriner - Sauvignon Blanc - El Dorado County 2014




1.  David Hicks - tie - Red Hills Lake County 2014

1.  Bonneau Dickson - tie - OBW John Gist - Yolo County 2014

3.  Bill English - CoCoCo 2012


BEST OF SHOW - WHITE  DAVID HICKS-2014 Clear Lake Viognier




1.  Mary Rogan & Alan Nunns - Napa 2013

2.  David Buchanan - San Benito County 2010

3.  David Buchanan - San Benito County 2012

HM  Tom Warriner - California NV

HM  Mary Jo Gordon & Karen Fearon - CoCoCo 2013




1.  Mike Mowery - CoCoCo 2014

2.  Bill Rose - Sierra Foothills 2013

3.  Rich Eber - Lodi 2014




1.  Bonneau Dickson - CoCoCo 2014

2.  David Hicks - Clear Lake 2014

3.  Greg Bequette - CoCoCo 2014

HM  Mary Jo Gordon & Karen Fearon - CoCoCo 2013




1.  David Hicks - Clear Lake 2013

2.  Bill English - CoCoCo 2011

3.  Bill English - CoCoCo 2012

HM  Al Turner & Aaron Hardy - California 2013

HM  David Hicks - Clear Lake 2014




1.  Dan Boykin - Dry Creek Valley 2014

2.  Bonneau Dickson - Amador County 2014

3.  David Hicks - tie - Clear Lake 2013

3.  Bob Schoenfeld & Bernadette Homen - tie - CoCoCo 2014




1.  Rich & Marie Andrews - CoCoCo 2011

2.  Mike Albrecht - CoCoCo 2014

3.  Scott Etzel & Betsy Schmidt - CoCoCo 2014

HM  Dan Boykin - Northern Sonoma County 2014

HM  Al Maas & Mark Brown - Suisun Valley 2014




1.  Bill English - CoCoCo 2010

2.  Bonneau Dickson - Amador County 2014

3.  Bob Schoenfeld & Bernadette Homen - CoCoCo 2014




1.  Steve & Susan Abbanat - Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2014

2.  John & Eloise Pound - CoCoCo Primitivo 2014

3.  Dan Boykin - Dry Creek Valley Malbec 2013




1.  Geoff Linder - Napa 2014

2.  David Buchanan - tie - San Benito County 2011

2.  David Buchanan - tie - San Benito County 2013

2.  Joe Caturegli - tie - Sonoma County 2012






1.  Dan Boykin - Merlot Port - Northern Sonoma County 2014

2.  Dan Boykin - Zinfandel Port - Northern Sonoma County 2014

3.  Dan Boykin - Late Harvest Viognier - tie - Northern Sonoma County 2014

3.  David Hicks - Sauvignon Blanc Dessert Wine - Clear Lake 2013

HM  Tom Anders - Marsala - California NV

HM  Tom Anders - Faux Orange Muscat - California NV


BEST OF SHOW - DESSERT - DAN BOYKIN - Merlot Port - Northern Sonoma County 2014




Now, a special note to all of the First Place (and especially Best of Show) winners “Bolded and Underlined” above.  The Awards Night for Red Wines will be held on Friday night, February 26, 2016 at the home of Carolyn & Marv Schick in Walnut Creek.  The Awards Night for White and Dessert “Wines will be held on Friday night, March 25, 2016 at the home of Rupert & Eran Perera in Martinez. 


Here's the Special "Heads Up" to only those First Place Winners “:  At the respective meeting, you must do two things:


1.  Bring two (2) bottles of your First Place wine to the meeting.

2.  Prepare a one page handout telling us everything you can about how you made your wine.  That includes things like, but not limited to, where you got the grapes, how much you paid, what yeast you used, what oak treatment, if any did you use.  You could include a pretty picture of your label on that handout if you can fit it in.


If you cannot make it to the meeting, it is your responsibility to get both your wines and your handouts to a member that will be attending the respective meeting or call me if you can make one meeting but not the other.  Special arrangements can be made.


Awards for all Red Wine winners, First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention plus Bes will be handed out at this meeting. 


We had right around 115 people at the Potluck Dinner Saturday night, January 23rd.  We only had room for 120 so we were almost at capacity.  A great time was had by all that attended.  The entire day was a great success.  Thank you also to everyone that helped prepare for the judging and then setup for the dinner.  We couldn't have had such a successful day without you.


Congratulations to all of the winners listed above.  We had 99 entries for the judges this year.  I'd like to thank all of them for their efforts.  They are very much appreciated.  Those judges were:


1. Maria Terry

2. Brent Amos

3. John Bristow

4. Sudsy Torbeck

5. Jim Waltz

6. Vlatka Bathgate

7. Aaron Luna

8. Dave Burchfield

9. Christian Brockman

10. Mark Zuercher


These judge’s notes will be available at this meeting.  This is one of the best things that a home winemaker can receive.  Typically thoughts on improvement are included in the notes.  This is very worthwhile.


I will be bringing to the meeting a box of utensils left at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  There are LOTS of them!  Feel free to “browse.”  There’s one insulated water bottle, Donna’s platter, and another container as well.


The pouring order for the Red Wines at this meeting is as follows:

1.      Pinot Noir – Steve & Susan Abbanat

2.    Merlot – Geoff Linder

3.    Red Blends – Mike Mowery

4.    Syrah/Rhone Blends – Bill English

5.    Sangiovese/Super Tuscan – David Hicks

6.    Petite Sirah – Dan Boykin

7.    Cabernet Sauvignon – Bonneau Dickson

8.    Meritage – Mary Rogan & Alan Nunns


The Zinfandel winner, Rich Andrews will be in Hawaii so will pour at the March 25, 2016 meeting at Rupert & Eran Perera’s home in Martinez.


Our next meeting will be held on Friday night, February 26, 2016 at around 7:00 p.m.  This meeting is called our “Red Wine Winners” meeting.  The meeting will be held at the home of Marv and Carolyn Schick in Walnut Creek.  Their address is: 2303 Belford Dr., Walnut Creek.  Their telephone is (925) 945-6199 should you get lost.


Please bring with you: 1) a folding chair; 2) a wine glass and 3) a bottle of your best, or an eclectic selection that you believe the attendees might enjoy, for the hors d’oeuvres table.



From Highways 24 and 680, take Ygnacio Valley Blvd. East.  After about 3 miles, turn right on Wiget Lane.  Then turn right on Belford Dr. and the Schick home will be on your left on the corner.


See you at the meeting.

Respectfully submitted. 

Al Turner, Secretary, CCWG