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June 2013 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter


          Our last meeting was held at the hilltop home of Steve and Joyce Mirabito in Lafayette.  It was a beautiful evening to be out on the deck with views of Mt. Diablo and the Sacramento River in the distance.  Steve was whipping out pizzas like they were going out of style and the remainder of the hors d’oeuvres were wonderful.  Our thanks go out to Steve and Joyce for hosting this great meeting.  There were about 35 people present at the meeting.

          The speaker for the evening was arranged by member, Mike Orton.  Brian Geagan, a Sales Representative of Xtraoak, Inc. in Windsor, CA.   Brian’s presentation was all about oak alternatives that would be available to home winemakers.  There were chips, strips, Oak-on-a-Rope and small round oak balls that are called “Xoakers” (pronounced “Soakers”).  The company also sells barrels but nothing smaller than 60 gallons, which most of us find difficult to use.  The company’s website is www.xtraoak.com and piqued the interest of many of the members present.  Thanks Mike for arranging to have Brian speak to us.  It really was a very interesting presentation.

          I just got off of the telephone with Tom Coyne.  The property that his winery is on is being sold, but, he’ll still be there so that we can have our annual winery get together at his place.  Please mark your calendars for Saturday, August 10th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  There will be more details in the July and/or August newsletter.  That address is 51 E. Vallecitos Rd. in Livermore and it’ll be hors d’oeuvres or desserts only, plus wine, of course. 

          The speaker at our next meeting will be member David Hicks, he with the vineyard in Kelseyville.  His presentation will be on stuck fermentations and high VA (Volatile Acidity).  It sounds to me like very worthwhile subject matter and will be of benefit to everyone in the Contra Costa Wine Group.            Please plan on attending.  The weather looks like it will be great for the outside meeting.

          Our next meeting will be held at the home of Mike and Anne Koch in Alamo on Friday night, June 28th starting the drinking and nibbling at 7:00 p.m. with the David Hicks presentation starting at right around 7:30 p.m.

DIRECTIONS: From either direction on Highway 680 in Alamo, take the Stone Valley Rd. East exit.  After about 0.8 miles, turn right on High Eagle Rd.  Then turn right onto Pebble Drive and then turn right again onto Pebble Court.  The Koch address is 215 Pebble Ct.  If you get lost, their telephone number is (925) 552-7827.  Please plan on parking on the street below their home unless there are special needs as there is room for only 4 or 5 cars up near the garage.

Special Request: BRING A CHAIR & A JACKET WITH YOU!   Ladies should wear “flats” if you’d like to tour Mike’s Wine Barn.  Please bring a bottle of your best for the hors d’oeuvres table.  The outside “meeting” will start at around 7:00 p.m.  Don’t forget.  It’s Friday, June 28, 2013.

To help Mike and Ann with their planning for this meeting, please go to the following link to RSVP your attendance at the meeting.  This is fairly new (I forgot last month) and is very worthwhile to help out our host and hostess.  It’s a very simple process as all you need to do is enter the number of people that will be attending in the box next to your name.  If you’re bringing guests, simply increase that number.  Sorry that I don’t know how to set this up as a hyperlink so you’ll have to copy and paste it into your browser.




See you at the meeting.

For your consideration, Al Turner, Secretary, CCWG