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March 2013 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter


     Our last meeting was held on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the home of Mike and Sharon Orton in Livermore, Alameda County!  There were about 40 people in attendance and all enjoyed the sumptuous hors d’oeuvres that Sharon and Mike laid out for us.  Special thanks go out to them for being willing to so ably host this meeting.


     We tasted 5 different First Place Wines during this meeting.  Everyone was well prepared and did an excellent job of presenting their wines and telling those assembled how they went about making their award-winning wines.  There were several excellent questions from the “peanut gallery” and things moved along quite well.  Everyone attending had a really nice time.


     First Notice:  If you are not attending the WineMaker Magazine Conference in Monterey, you may now volunteer to pour CCWG member wines on Friday night, May 17, 2013.  The pouring takes place that Friday night from 6 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. although I really doubt that we’ll be there that long.  I’ll be driving down with 3 other volunteers, hauling the member wines that I’m now going to hit everybody up for, as in 3 of the 5 previous WineMaker Magazine Conferences.  We previously poured in Napa, Sonoma and Santa Barbara.  We didn’t pour in Stevenson, Washington or in the Finger Lakes region of New York.  Please bring a bottle or two or three of your best to this meeting and place it in the specially marked boxes.  We need to have at least 5 cases of wine to take with us to this event.  It’s a great opportunity to show off the Contra Costa Wine Group’s winemaking skills.  It will be even better if we can take back the Club of the Year title from those yahoos up in Sacramento!  Call me if you want to be one of the volunteer pourers at this event, again, on Friday, May 17, 2013.  Again, I can only take 3 others with me to the pouring.   


     I’m pleased to announce that our “Dance Card” (CCWG Meeting Hosts) has been filled for the entire calendar year!  Tyler and Pat Hunt of Lafayette have graciously volunteered to host the 2013 Nouveau Night meeting on Friday night, December 6, 2013.  Thank you both.


     Here’s a “heads up” to the CCWG Program Committee.  Please start lining up speakers, etc. for our “Regular” meetings.  We have 6 “Regular” meetings scheduled between April 26, 2013 and October 25, 2013.  Thank you all, in advance, for your efforts.


     Our next meeting, to be held Friday, March 22, 2013 will be to taste the remaining First Place wine in the White Wine category, nine winners in the Red Wine category and both of the winners in the Fruit/Dessert category from our January 26, 2013 judging.  Mark your calendar now!  All of those winners should know that they need to bring in 2 more bottles plus prepare a one page handout telling us a lot more about their wine.  If a winner finds themselves unable to attend the meeting, they must get their wines and winning write-up to someone who will be attending this meeting.  Call around to the membership or call our meeting hosts and drop your wine off there.  All of the remaining awards will be handed out plus the Judge’s Notes for your perusal.  Come to the meeting, collect your awards and/or judge’s notes and save your club some mailing expense.


     The pouring order for this meeting will be as follows:


1)      Chardonnay – Lisa Anderson – 2011 Quail Hill Sonoma County Chardonnay

2)    Bordeaux Varietals & Blends – Tony De Venuta – 2011 Napa Cabernet Franc

3)    Cabernet Sauvignon – John Walkinshaw – 2011 Contra Costa Cabernet Sauvignon

4)    Zinfandel – Barry & Cindy Tedmus – 2011 Crest Vineyards CoCoCo Zinfandel

5)    NTRB-Pred. CS* – Donna Guedon – NV Sierra Foothills Bella Donna Cuvee

          (* Non-Traditional Red Blends-Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon)

     6)  NTRB-Pred. CS – David Hicks – 2009 Lake County Red Hills Red Blend

     7)  Syrah – Tom Warriner – 2011 Contra Costa Bon Syrah

     8)  Petite Sirah – Bonneau Dickson – 2011 Brentwood CoCoCo Petite Sirah

     9)  Petite Sirah – David Hicks – 2011 Lake County Clear Lake Petite Sirah

    10)  Other Red Varietals – Bill English – 2011 Los Carneros Glass House Vineyard Pinot Noir

                    BEST OF SHOW – RED

11)     Fruit/Dessert – Tom Anders – NV Napa Valley Banbury Chocolate Port

12)    Fruit/Dessert – Tom Anders – NV Napa Valley Banbury Sherry

                BEST OF SHOW – FRUIT/DESSERT


          The meeting will be held at the home of members, Cindy & Barry Tedmus in Pleasant Hill.  Their home is located at 459 Camino Las Juntas in Pleasant Hill.


DIRECTIONS: From the South and West:  Bring your Cellphone!  From Highway 24 in Lafayette, take the Pleasant Hill Rd. exit and head North.  Follow Pleasant Hill Rd. turning slightly left to stay on what becomes Taylor Blvd.  After traveling over 5 miles since leaving Highway 24, turn right on Lucille Ln.  After about 0.1 mile, turn right onto Osborn Ln. then 0.2 miles later turn right onto Camino Las Juntas.  The Tedmus home is uphill on a private lane and has very limited parking.  Look for the “Tedmus” signs and balloons on where to park.   Their telephone number is (925) 250-7347 if you get lost.

From the North:  Bring your Cellphone!  From I680 South, take the Willow Pass Rd. exit (Exit 51) toward Taylor Blvd.  Turn right onto SunValley Blvd./Willow Pass Rd.  After crossing Contra Costa Blvd., the road becomes Taylor Blvd.  Go another 0.4 miles and turn left onto Lucille Ln.  Turn right onto Osborn Ln., then onto Camino Las Juntas and follow the directions above. 

          Everyone needs to bring a folding chair, and a wine glass (I myself keep forgetting this one!) with them.  Bring along a bottle of your best wine or an eclectic commercial selection that you believe the attendees might enjoy.  The meeting will start right around 7:30 p.m.  Again, it’s on Friday night, March 22, 2013.  Please don’t forget an extra bottle of your best wine for the Winemaker Magazine Conference.


Thank you all.  This newsletter is hereby respectfully submitted.

Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group