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October 2016 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter

            Our last meeting was held at the home of Daniel and Annemieke Howsepian in Lafayette.  There were about 35 people in attendance.  Annemieke laid out a very nice hors d’oeuvres table for the enjoyment of everyone.  We truly appreciate the Howsepian’s hospitality in volunteering their home for this meeting.

            Our speaker for the evening was arranged by CCWG member Tom Anders who has recently retired from Scott Laboratories in Petaluma.  A fellow Scott employee, Michael Jones, made a wonderful presentation on “Avoiding Stuck and Sluggish Fermentations.”  I’m still not sure how he did it, but Michael held our rapt attention for about 75 minutes while discussing many of the intricacies of his subject.  He had a handout that laid out the Primary Causes including: 1) Nutrient Deficiency; 2) Competition (wild yeast, fungi/mold and bacteria; c) Sterols/fatty acids (survival factors) deficiency; d) Osmotic shock (high sugar); e) Ethanol; Temperature; f) Toxins (medium chain saturated FA’s, volatile acidity, high SO2; g )Inadequate yeast population; h) Highly clarified must; and i) pesticide residue.  He then laid out some General Recommendations plus the Lag Phases of Various Yeasts, Temperature, YAN, Dosage and the Fermentation Phases.  You should have been there!  Michael did a wonderful job getting the information out in what is “normally” a full day presentation.  We would like to thank him for an extremely worthwhile presentation.

            Four families have volunteered their homes for 2017 CCWG meetings.  The dates that remain are:

Friday, February 24, 2017        Large Home for White/Dessert Wine Awards Night

Friday, March 31, 2017            Large Home for Red Wine Awards Night

Friday, September 29, 2017    Regular Meeting

Friday, October 20, 2017          Regular Meeting (early to avoid Halloween Parties)

Friday, December 1, 2017        Large Home for Nouveau Night

             The CCWG is now reimbursing “Regular” meetings $125.00 for hors d’oeuvres, etc. and $175.00 for a meeting requiring a Large Home.  Please seriously consider this and give me a call if you can support your group.  The sign-up will also be passed around at the next meeting.

            There will also be a sign-up sheet for volunteers at the 39th Annual Contra Costa Wine Group Professional Wine Judging and Potluck Dinner.  That event will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2017 so mark your calendar NOW!  We simply cannot have a successful day without CCWG members volunteering some of their time on that day.  Sign up!

            Our next meeting will be held at the home of David and Cyndee Milam in Danville.  That meeting is this coming Friday night, October 21, 2016.  This is early to avoid any possible Halloween parties and this newsletter is late as Michele and I just returned from a “leaf peeping” adventure in New England.  The meeting will start right around 7:00 p.m. with the “formal” part starting at around 7:30 p.m.  Friday is our annual “Harvest Report” so please bring along your notes on when, where, what and how much you paid for your grapes and how things are going.  It’s usually a very interesting and informative meeting and a lot of fun. 

DIRECTIONS:  There are several different ways to get to the Milam home but I’m only going to give you the easiest one to follow.  From Highway 680 in Danville, take the Crow Canyon Rd. exit and go East.  After about 4 miles, Crow Canyon becomes Blackhawk Rd.  After a little more than 2 miles, turn left on Saddleback Lane.  At the gate, enter the following code:  #2095  The number sign precedes 2095 so don’t forget it.  Go all of the way up the hill to 2394 Saddleback Lane.  It will be on your right.  Parking is either on the street or in their driveway.  Should you need to call, the Milam telephone is 925-549-5600.

WHAT TO BRING TO THE MEETING:  1) A bottle of your finest for the hors d’oeuvres table; 2) a wine glass; 3) a folding chair to sit in; 4) Notes on this years’ grapes; 5) a flashlight(?) to find your way. 

            Again, the meeting will be held on Friday night, October 21, 2016, this very Friday!!!

I hope to see lots of you there plus I hope to have nametags for our newest members.

Respectfully submitted,

Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group