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May 2017 Newsletter 


Our last meeting was held on Friday night, April 28, 2017 at the home of Stuart and Debbie Bussey in Lafayette.  There were approximately 40 people in attendance.  Debbie put out a very nice spread of hors d’oeuvres for all to enjoy.  We really appreciate the Bussey’s volunteering their home to host the meeting.  A grand time was had by all.

     Our speaker for the meeting was Shea Comfort, the “Yeast Whisperer” who consults with Lallemande and is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of fermenting grapes into wine.  This is the second time that Shea has spoken to us and, as usual, it was obvious that he’s barely scratched the surface in presenting information to our group.  This meeting was primarily about Malolactic Fermentation, ML Nutrients, proper pH levels and TA before starting malolactic fermentation.  He discussed co-fermentations, sequential fermentations and the like.  Questions asked by those in attendance created an open forum for all to enjoy.  There was no straightforward answer to almost any question presented causing a lively back and forth presenting of information.  I guess it’s safe to say “you should have been there.”  Our thanks go out to Tom Olson and/or the Program Committee for lining up Shea as our speaker for the evening.

     The next meeting will be, Friday night, May 19th from about 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. or so at the home of Steve and Joyce Mirabito in Lafayette.  This date is moved up to avoid any conflict with the Memorial Day weekend that many will try to turn into a 4 or 4½ day weekend.  Try and carpool as I understand that parking is at a premium.  You will be asked to park below their home and you’ll be taken up the hill in the family 8 passenger van.

     Our Program Committee had some difficulty this month so there will be “dancing girls” and for the ladies, “Thunder from Down Under”, direct from Las Vegas.  Just kidding, of course.  We will either have a last minute speaker or the evening will turn into a Social Hour.  Come and see for yourself.      

     DIRECTIONS: From I 680 both North and the South, take Highway 24 West toward Oakland.  Take the very first exit, the Pleasant Hill Rd. exit (#14) North.  After about 0.7 miles, turn left at the 3rd Stop Light onto Reliez Valley Rd.  Go through the 2nd Stop Sign about 1/8 of a mile and turn left onto Shangri La Rd.  The Mirabito home is located at 3432 Shangri La Rd., Lafayette.  Their telephone in case you get lost is: (925) 988-0255.

     Be sure to bring 1) a jacket, 2) a wine glass, 3) a folding chair and 4) a bottle of your best wine, or a commercial one that the group might enjoy, for the hors d’oeuvres table.   Again, Friday night, May 19th from about 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. or so.  I’ll see lots of you there!  I’m pretty sure Steve will be firing up the pizza oven and preparing several for all to enjoy. 

Respectfully submitted,

Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group  (925) 837-9384

Hopefully one of the WineMaker Magazine Conference attendees in New York State will email me as to whether we have “three-peated” as Club of the Year.  The Awards Dinner is being held on Saturday night, June 3, 2017.  Cross your fingers!