2010 picnic photo

Home About Us Newsletter Photos For Sale or Trade Contact


Our last meeting was held at the home of Steve and Joyce Mirabito.  As usual, Steve did a great job on the custom pizzas and Joyce had a wonderful layout of hors d’oeuvres for those in attendance.  Their home was wonderful for our meeting.  There were about 35 people in attendance for the meeting.  We’d like to thank Steve and Joyce for volunteering their home for this meeting.  A grand time was had by all.


Jennifer Scott, DWS, the Northern California/Hawaii Regional Manager for Huneeus Vintners led us through the steps that a professional wine judge would take in analyzing a given wine.  A wonderful back and forth discussion was had by the attendees with Jennifer and I know that a lot of good information was exchanged.  Jennifer has been one of the CCWG Professional Wine Judges for well over 5 years at our annual Professional Wine Judging and Potluck Dinner held in January of each year.  We’d like to extend our thanks to Jennifer for doing such a great job for us.


The results from the California State Fair’s Homewine Competition have been posted.  Members of the CCWG, as usual, did a wonderful job and garnered many awards.  They are as follows:

Bill Pence/Chris Cook

Silver – 2013 Lodi Zinfandel

Bronze – 2013 Lodi Zinfandel (French Oak Only)

Bronze – 2011 Napa Merlot

Bronze – 2011 El Dorado Cabernet Sauvignon

Gold-Best of Class 2012 Livermore Petite Sirah


Dan Boykin

Bronze – 2009 Sonoma Merlot

Gold – 2010 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Bronze – 2012 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Bronze – 2012 Sonoma Malbec-Batch H

Silver – 2013 Sonoma Malbec

Bronze – 2013 Sonoma Petit Verdot

Gold – 2010 Sonoma 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Franc

Silver – 2011 California 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Petit Verdot, 20% Cab. Franc

Silver – 2011 Canadian 100% Blueberry

Silver – 2012 Sonoma 100% Syrah Port

Bronze – NV Contra Costa 100% Pomegranate Port Wine

Double Gold – 2010 Sonoma 98% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot Port

Gold – 2013 Sonoma 100% Late Harvest Viognier


Bill English

Bronze – 2013 Contra Costa 79% Cabernet Franc, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver – 2013 Contra Costa (Lamorinda) 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cab. Franc

Silver – 2012 Contra Costa (Lamorinda) 100% Sangiovese

Double Gold-Best of Class 2013 Contra Costa 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Double Gold – 2011 Contra Costa (Lamorinda) 63% Sangiovese, 37% Syrah


Mary Jo Gordon

Bronze – 2013 Contra Costa 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Bronze – 2013 Contra Costa Cabernet Sauvignon B


David Hicks

Bronze – 2013 Contra Costa (Lamorinda) 100% Chardonnay

Bronze – 2014 Clear Lake 100% Viognier

Bronze – 2014 Lodi 100% Verdelho

Bronze – 2013 Clear Lake 100% Sangiovese


Bob Joakimson

Silver – 2014 Alameda Co. Chardonnay

Bronze – 2013 Contra Costa Viognier

Silver – NV Alameda/Contra Costa Chardonnay/Viognier

Silver – 2013 Canadian (Okanagan?) Zinfandel

Bronze – 2013 Healdsburg Merlot

Bronze – 2013 Stags Leap Merlot

Silver – 2011 Napa Syrah

Silver – 2013 Contra Costa Syrah

Bronze – 2011 Contra Costa Mourvedre

Silver – 2010 Healdsburg Petit Verdot

Silver – 2012 Healdsburg Petit Verdot

Bronze – 2013 Contra Costa Sangiovese/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon

Gold – 2012 Alameda Co. Cabernet Franc Port

Bronze – 2012 Healdsburg Malbec Port

Gold – 2013 Contra Costa Zinfandel Port

Gold – 2012 Contra Costa Barbera Port

Bronze – 2012 Healdsburg Petit Verdot Port

Silver – 2013 Healdsburg Merlot Port

Double Gold – 2014 Canadian Blackberry Port

Bronze – 2013 Contra Costa Syrah Port

Bronze – 2013 Contra Costa Cabernet Franc (Sweet)


Bob Schoenfeld

Silver – 2012 Lodi Petit Verdot


Lee Wines

Silver - 2013 Lake County Sangiovese

Bronze – 2012 Solano County Syrah


Congratulations to all of these winners.  You did the Contra Costa Wine Group proud!


At our next meeting, we have arranged to have Monty Paulsen speak to us about his background in the wine industry and as a winemaker.  He’ll also talk some on the topic of amateur winemakers going “commercial.”  I extracted the “bio” below from the Pat Paulsen Vineyards website:


Monty Paulsen, owner and winemaker of Pat Paulsen Vineyards, is taking over where his father left off.
Active in all areas of the original family business, from the initial vineyard planting to the final sale of the winery, Monty went on to establish himself as an award winning winemaker, entrepreneur, and industry operations expert. He has revived the family brand and brought new life to the business.  

His accomplishments creating new product lines, implementing global brands, managing boutique to million-case facilities, and facilitating major transitions, (such as the $105 million sale of Rosenblum Winery to Diageo) provide an inexhaustible resource in his pursuit to make fine wine in a variety of markets. Monty is a frequent lecturer and instructor in enology, winery business management, and sensory analysis.  From prestigious academic institutions to Chinese consortiums he continues to develop training and educational programs for cellar, lab, an winemaking staff.  As a consultant he provides guidance to winemakers and businesses needing assistance streamlining production to enhancing their product and profitability. Building on his deep relationships with vintners and family winemakers, he has rolled out over 18 varietals in less than three years, garnering over 20 awards, and opened two tasting room venues in the Bay Area.  Obviously, he is driven to top the Pat Paulsen Vineyards legacy with "each and every bottle."

I’m sure that it will be a presentation that you’ll not want to miss.  Be there!  Also, though, the five of us that attended the WineMaker Magazine Conference in Portland, Oregon will also hold an impromptu talk on what we saw, heard and learned while at that conference where the Contra Costa Wine Group was once again named “Club of the Year!”  Next year’s conference will be held in Santa Rosa so you’ll hear of it again at a later date as we will again set up a table to pour CCWG wines.

Our next meeting will be held on Friday night, June 26, 2015 starting at around 7:00 p.m. at the home of John and Janine Walkinshaw in Walnut Creek.

Directions: If you know how to get to Rudgear Road it is very easy. From I-680, go East for one quarter (1/4) mile. Make a right onto Rudgear DRIVE (a steep windy road) and go 0.6 mile to #173.  Go beyond and make a U turn and park on the right (East side of the road. If you do not know how to get to Rudgear Road, see detailed instructions below.

John and Janine Walkinshaw, 173 Rudgear DRIVE, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-6315, (925) 933-8220 John’s Cell: (925) 876-0728


From the West: 1) Drive Route 24 East to Walnut Creek. Stay in Right Lanes to I-680 South (towards San Jose). Take the first exit, “So Main Street”, which, if you are in the right hand lane on the connecting ramp from 24 to I-680, takes you to this exit, as an “exit only” lane.


2a) At the bottom of the ramp there is a traffic light. Make a RIGHT. This is South Main Street. At the SECOND traffic light, make a LEFT, from the LEFT “left turn lane” which takes you under the freeway onto Rudgear road. (Note, just before the light, there is a left turn lane that takes you onto I-680, DO NOT TURN THERE!)


2b). Go a ΒΌ mile (0.25 mile) and make a right turn onto Rudgear DRIVE (it’s the second street on the right and after a retaining wall (with a fence on top) on the right, and is partially hidden. Rudgear Drive is a steep, winding and narrow street. You will drive about 0.6 miles to get to 173 Rudgear drive and will pass “Layman Court” at the top of the hill.


For those of you that have been here before, there are NEW PARKING RESTRICTIONS on the uphill side of the street (right as you are coming to the house). DO NOT PARK ON THIS SIDE. So if you are parking on the street, turn around (make a U turn) beyond our driveway (using a driveway or the space at the end of the street), and park in an open space along the street, without blocking anyone’s driveway. PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN THE SPOT RIGHT OPPOSITE OUR DRIVEWAY, since it prevents anyone parked in our driveway from exiting. There is a new, RED ZONE opposite # 165, further limiting legal parking. Once parked, you will need to walk up a short steep driveway (next to large mailbox with #173) and 22 stairs to the front door.


There are THREE spots up our driveway, and there is room to turn around up there.

If you back in (you may want someone to help guide you), there are four spots to park without blocking anyone. Three in front of garage/stairway, one straight up driveway, when last to back in.


From the North(Pleasant Hill or Concord): Take I-680 south towards San Jose through the Route 24 interchange and AFTER the “Olympic Boulevard” exit, start merging to the right very quickly to exit at “So Main Street”. Follow directions from 2a) above.


From the South (Alamo, Danville). Go North on I-680 and exit at Rudgear Road exit (first of Walnut Creek). At the light at the bottom of the ramp, make a RIGHT. Follow 2b) above.


From within Walnut Creek: Take “Broadway” south until it terminates at Rudgear Road. Make a LEFT and follow 2b) above.

Again, the meeting will be held on Friday night, June 26, 2015 starting at about 7:00.  I’m sure that it’s going to be a very enjoyable evening.  THINGS TO BRING: A bottle of wine for the hors d’oeuvres table, a folding chair, a wine glass and perhaps a light jacket for the evening.

This newsletter is hereby respectfully submitted.  Al Turner, Secretary, CCWG