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   Our last meeting was held at the Rios-Lovell Winery in Livermore.  It was our annual outing instead of a more formal meeting in someone’s home.  There were just over 30 people in attendance.  The event was arranged by new CCWG member Bob Joakimson, a good friend of member Dan Boykin.

     Attendees brought either hors d’oeuvres or desserts with them along with a bottle of their wine.  The owner of Rios-Lovell, Max Rios, gave us a tour of the facility while we were there.  They opened at least a case of wine for us, much of it quite good.  They make a large variety of Port-style wines there at Rios-Lovell.  Our group was invited inside to a conference-type room which was quite nice considering how hot it was outside.  The air conditioning did struggle but when a door was opened and the brisk cross breeze came through, all was much better.  I’d like to thank Bob Joakimson for doing such a fine job in making this event happen.  Everyone that attended had a great time.

     Lee Wines, our Treasurer, has informed me that between August 11, 2014 and August 20, 2014, someone was robbing his mailbox!  All of the authorities have been informed and Lee and Mary are still trying to sort things out.  The key here is that if you happened to snail mail your CCWG Membership check to Lee during that period, you should let Lee know and also check with your bank to see if any unusual and probably illegal transactions have taken place. 

     The Bancroft Gardens are looking for wine donations for upcoming events.  If you are so inclined, please bring your donation wines to the next meeting.  Rich Eber will be there to collect them for that organization.  Any and all wines donated are greatly appreciated.  There will be specially marked boxes for you to place your wine in.  Bring a “couple!” 

     It’s time again for the payment of our annual dues.  We voted at the July meeting to maintain the dues at $65.00 upon the recommendation of our Treasurer, Mr. Lee Wines.  I have also talked to Brad Ring, Publisher of WineMaker Magazine in Manchester Center, VT.  He has agreed to maintain the subscription rate for our group at $8.00 per subscription.  We typically mail off our check about October 10th.  Only those members at the start of our year will receive that subscription.  This is a once a year and a one check offering.  We cannot add anyone at a later date.  Annual Dues now become “delinquent” on September 30, 2014.  If you become delinquent, a $10.00 late charge will be made, if there are still openings in the CCWG!  We are currently at 83 memberships and “max out” at 85, per vote of the group.  You may bring a check for $65.00 made out to “Contra Costa Wine Group” to the next meeting.  Lee Wines will collect them at the next meeting.  The alternative is to mail your check to him, Mr. Lee Wines, 1105 West K St., Benicia, CA 94510. 

    Carolyn Schick has dropped me a line to have me put a notice in this newsletter.  For the 9th year in a row, they are hosting a fundraiser for the education of women who could not otherwise go to school.  The event will be held on Saturday, October 4, 2014 from 4-7 p.m. at the Schick home.  They will be pouring some of Marv’s great wine along with selected cheeses to pair nicely, I’m sure, with the wine tastings.  The cost is $20.00 and is indeed for a great cause.  Marv and Carolyn’s home is located at 2303 Belford Dr., Walnut Creek.  Their telephone number is (925)945-6199.

     Bill English will be making another fine presentation for us at the next meeting.  The CCWG is purchasing a “Wine Faults Aroma Kit” and it will be used as the basis for the meeting.  Possible solutions to the faults will also be presented by Bill during the presentation.  I truly believe that it will prove to be an extremely worthwhile meeting.  Please try and come.  “Playing” with your grapes is NOT a sufficient excuse!  OK?  See you there.

     The meeting will be held at the home of relatively new members, Steve & Kristen Riter.  The meeting will be held on Friday night, September 26, 2014 starting at around 7:00 p.m. with the “formal” portion of the meeting starting at around 7:30-7:45 p.m.

DIRECTIONS:  From the North:  Take Highway 680 South through Walnut Creek to Alamo.  Take the Stone Valley Rd. EAST exit (#42A).  Turn right on Stone Valley Rd. and go about 3.2 miles and turn right onto White Gate Rd.  Take the 2nd right onto Lackland Dr.  Take the 2nd right onto Parkmont Dr. and then turn left onto Fallbrook Dr.  Steve and Kristen’s home is located at 1836 Fallbrook Dr., Alamo, CA 94507.  Their telephone should you get lost is (925) 820-8963.

From the South:  On Highway 680 North through San Ramon, take the Diablo Rd. exit (#39).  Turn right onto Diablo Rd.   After About 0.7 miles, turn right to stay on Diablo Rd.  Turn left onto Green Valley Rd.  Turn right onto Stone Valley Rd., take the 1st right onto White Gate Rd.  Take the 2nd right onto Lackland Dr.  Take the 2nd right onto Parkmont Dr. then turn left onto Fallbrook Dr.  Steve and Kristen’s home is located at 1836 Fallbrook Dr., Alamo, CA 94507.  Their telephone should you get lost is (925) 820-8963

     Things to bring:  1) Your dues check; 2) a bottle of your best for the hors d’oeuvres table; 3) a wine glass; 4) donation wines for the Bancroft Gardens; 5) a folding chair (just in case); and 6) a jacket, should it turn cool.  If you haven’t made wine yet, please bring along a commercial bottle of wine that you believe the members might enjoy.

This newsletter is hereby respectfully submitted,

Al Turner, Secretary, Contra Costa Wine Group