September 2012 Contra Costa Wine Group Newsletter


     Our last meeting was held on a Sunday afternoon out at the Thomas Coyne Winery in Livermore.  The turnout was the smallest in my memory for the past several years.  Conspicuously missing (except for Lee & Mary Wines of Benicia) were any members from “North” and “West” Contra Costa County.  Our Wine Czar and the Abbanats also made it, but lots of people didn’t show.  There were too few hors d’oeuvres and too many desserts.  That leads me to believe that next year we should do 2/3 hors d’oeuvres and only 1/3 desserts.

Also, our Program Committee has been given a “heads up” to be on the lookout for an outing site somewhere in “Central” Contra Costa County.  If any of the membership knows of a location that would work well for us, please let one of your officers know.  I’d like to especially thank Tom & Emilie Coyne for hosting the event.  I know that it’s a hassle for them to do so and that just makes their contribution even more wonderful!  It was a beautiful early evening in the Livermore Valley!  If you didn’t attend, you missed out on a very nice event.


     I’ve had contact with Susan Staggs of the Amador Winemakers Association.  They are planning a tour of some Livermore wineries on Wednesday, April 24th and Thursday, April 25th 2013.  There will probably be around 50 of them on this outing.  They’re looking into the possibility of visiting with a few home winemakers (like them), vineyardists, etc. during their visit.  I believe that time constraints will prevent them from going much further than Danville or so if something can be set up.  If you have any ideas and/or are willing to “host” a visit by this group, please let me know.  We’ve got lots of time but it’d be nice if we could come up with something.  I believe that they’ll be staying at the Purple Orchid Inn in Livermore plus several RVs that will be parked around the Livermore Valley.


     CCWG Member, Matt Wood, has arranged for our speaker this month.  He is Mr. John Kinney from Occasio Winery in Livermore.  The winery has been getting some great reviews and is a real up and coming winery in Livermore.  Unfortunately, at “press time” I don’t have a “Subject” on what Mr. Kinney might speak on.  Come one, come all, to hear what he has to say.  I’m sure that it will be very beneficial to us as home winemakers.


     The next meeting is on Friday night, September 28, 2012 starting at around 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the home of Bob and Ruth Hussey, high in the hills of Danville.

DIRECTIONS:  Take the El Cerro exit off of Highway 680 and head West.  Turn right at the “T” intersection signal, which is Old Danville Highway.  Go 1 short block (just past San Ramon Valley High School) and turn left on Del Amigo Rd.  Follow it faithfully until it becomes Starview Dr., continue up the hill to 510 Starmont Ct.  There is a traffic circle around a large tree up there.  Please park in that area.  The Hussey telephone number in case you get lost is (925) 837-6643.  Bring a chair, a wine glass and a bottle of your very best (or a nice purchased one) to share with the attendees.  Also, bring a warm jacket.  They may be having the meeting portion of the evening in the garage and the wine table may be outside.  I’m just not sure and they’re out of town right now.


     This meeting will also be your last chance to pay your 2011-2012 Annual CCWG Dues timely.  Please bring a check made out to “CCWG” for $65.00 and give it to either our Treasurer, Mr. Lee Wines, or our Wine Czar, Mr. Bonneau Dickson.  If you find yourself unable to attend and want to continue your CCWG membership, plus the subscription to WineMaker Magazine, snail mail your check to Mr. Lee Wines, 1105 West K St., Benicia, CA 94510.  I have a waiting list with four names on it and they want “in.


     My wife, Michele, and I leave tomorrow (Thursday, September 6th) for Amsterdam.  After 2 nights, we then catch our Viking River Cruise ship, the Viking Prestige, for 15 days, go up the Rhine River, Main River, Main Canal and down the Danube to Budapest.  From there we’re going to Prague for 3 nights.  After that, we’re off to New England for 18 days (Leaf Peeping), returning around midnight on Sunday, October 14th.  Making wine this year is in real jeopardy!  Tom Coyne told me that there was a “slight” chance that there’ll be some late harvested Cabernet Sauvignon that might just be available.  If not, it’ll be the first time in about 30 years that I haven’t made wine.  Not good planning!     


     Respectfully submitted, Al Turner, Secretary, CCWG (925) 837-9384