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October 2013 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter


Sorry for the delay in getting this months’ newsletter out.  Michele and I just returned from an 11 day visit to New England to catch the changing leaves.  We went as far north as Fredericton, New Brunswick.  We watched the A’s lose their last game at a sports bar in Fredericton.  They actually stayed open until midnight just for us to watch the entire game.  Really, really nice people!   We went as far south as Newport, Rhode Island and hit Newport Vineyards in Middletown, R.I.   Their best red wine, by far, was a Landot Noir, a grape that I’d never heard of.  The color was excellent, tannins light, low acid and alcohol (12%) that made for an excellent immediate drinking wine.  Their other red wines were all medium ruby, light tannins and acids and low alcohol.  The grapes outside the tasting room still hadn’t been harvested and we were told that they may not harvest some of their grapes until the end of November!  In 11 days of driving, we put 2,222 miles onto the rental car.  We had a great time.

The CCWG is now down to 71 memberships.  That leaves us room for as many as 14 more family memberships.  If you know of anyone that has been looking for a great group of home winemakers, refer them to me and I’ll put them on the straight and narrow.

Please bring an extra bottle or two of your wine to the next meeting for the CCIH Red Boots Charity Dance & Auction.  They are the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing charity and do very fine work here where we live.  In the past, we’ve donated as many as 7 full cases of wine for their function and have raised a lot of money from auctioning off our wines.  Please be generous. There will be specially designated boxes for those donations.

Here is the schedule for the 2014 calendar year.  Go ahead and mark these dates down:

  1. Saturday, January 25, 2014  36th Annual Contra Costa Wine Group Professional Wine Judging & Potluck Dinner, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Walnut Creek

  2. Friday, February 28, 2014 Awards for Red Wine Winners-Need a large home                  

  3. Friday, March 28, 2014 Awards for White/Dessert Winners-Need a large home                            

  4. Friday, April 25, 2014 Regular meeting (Program Committee #1)                                                                                               

  5. Friday, May 30, 2014 Regular meeting (Program Committee #2)                                                                                           

  6. Friday, June 27, 2014 Regular meeting (Program Committee #3)                                                                                         

  7. Friday, July 25, 2014 Regular meeting  (Program Committee #4)                                                                                                

  8. Friday, September 26, 2014 Regular meeting (Program Committee #5)                                                                               

  9. Friday, October 24, 2014 (to avoid Halloween) Regular meeting-Harvest discussion                      

  10. Friday, December 5, 2014 Nouveau Night-Need a large home     

August–Date TBD-Off Site Meeting (Hors D’oeuvres, Desserts & Wine-Local Winery? TBD)

This is your very first opportunity to volunteer your home for a meeting in 2014.  We need 3 Large homes as three meetings typically have about 60 or so people in attendance.  For that, the hosts are given a $150.00 check for hors d’oeuvres at their hosted meeting. We also need 6 Regular homes for the other meetings.  The hosts for those meetings are given a check for $100.00 for hors d’oeuvres at their hosted meeting.  Please give me a call at (925) 837-9384 at your earliest opportunity to reserve the meeting night that you’d like to host in 2014.

We will be discussing the Program Committee and their responsibilities at the next meeting.  They have to come up with a program of some sort for only 5 meetings during the year. 

Our next meeting is an annual tradition of simply discussing the current harvest.  Where you found your grapes, what did you get, how much did you pay for them, etc.  It’s an easygoing sort of meeting but one in which an awful lot of good information is passed around.  Please plan on attending.

Speaking of that meeting, our next one is this coming Friday, October 25, 2013 starting at 7:00 p.m. in Danville.  (Again, sorry for the very late notification)  It’s going to be held at the home of Jim and Bette Felton, high in the hills of Danville.

DIRECTIONS: From either direction on Highway 680 in Danville, take the Diablo Road exit and head West.  Turn left on Front St. and take the first right onto E. Prospect Avenue.  Turn slightly right to go onto Sky Terrace.  Jim and Bette’s home is located at 6 Sky Terrace, Danville.  Their telephone is (925) 838-8348 should you get lost.  Jim has asked me to specifically tell you that you need to either park in their driveway or only on the South side of Sky Terrace.  The road is simply too narrow to park on both sides of the street.  Again, the meeting is this Friday, October 25, 2014 starting at 7:00 p.m.

Bring a bottle of your best for the hors d’oeuvres table, a folding chair, a warm jacket and a wine glass with you to the meeting as it will be held outside.  Along with that, please remember to bring wine for the CCIH Red Boots Dinner/Dance Charity Auction with you.

I hope to see lots of you there along with potential new members.  Bring along your guests.

Respectfully submitted, Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group