About Us

The Orange County Wine Society, a non-profit organization that promotes the knowledge and appreciation of wines, is dedicated to raising funds for college scholarships for institutions throughout California. The volunteers of the organization, while enjoying social events, wine tastings and trips throughout the year, is best known for coordinating the OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition and running the wine courtyard at the fair each year. Within the OCWS lies an active home winemaking group which, along with their passion for making fine wines, runs the Homewine Competition which is also highlighted annually at the OC Fair.

The varied interests and social opportunities offered through the OCWS has something for everyone, from people just beginning to find enjoyment with wine in their lives and wanting to learn more to the well versed fine wine lover looking to share their passion with others of like mind.

Current News

President’s Message

It is my sincere hope that everyone is staying safe, staying busy, and enjoying some great wines! Since our last issue of The Wine Press, a lot of seminars for our members have been developed, scheduled, and taken place. We hope you have enjoyed the offerings during July which have been produced by our members: […]

Welcome to Zoom, the OCWS Alternative Event Platform

After COVID-19 made the outside world taboo, the OCWS adopted to interacting with members through computer screens. COVID has forced us to shift how we operate and interact in just a small window. During the month of July, we introduced the Summer Sundays Seminar series. Many members have expressed their interest in these web-based events […]

New Member Promotion

COVID-19 has sidelined us, to say the least. The virus made us hunker down and forced us to find creative ways to virtually stay social. Various virtual OCWS wine seminars have taken place and will continue throughout the year for members to sign up and enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. This being the […]

Last Call to Declare to Run for an OCWS Board Seat

Over the last several months, the Membership Committee has posted an article in The Wine Press calling on members who have an interest in running for a OCWS Board seat to do so. The What. In recent articles, we have outlined the overall time commitment, possession of certain skills and experience, and seeking individuals who […]

Wine Education 101: Pour Me Another Glass of Vitis Vinifera

Grapes that are made into wine are often referred to as “Vitis vinifera”.  But are all wine grapes Vitis vinifera?  Can wine be made from grapes that are not Vitis vinifera?  To understand what Vitis vinifera means, we should first understand the basics of Taxonomy, the science involved with the classification of organisms.  We can […]

Wine Education 101: Wine Trivia and other interesting tidbits!

· Most domesticated grapevines have both male and female reproductive structures and are self-pollinated by wind. [1] · The first U.S. AVA region was the Augusta AVA in Missouri. This AVA was federally approved on June 20, 1980, eight months before the Napa Valley AVA in California. [2] · During Prohibition, Alicante Bouschet was the most popular grape […]

Slip in Virtually to the Fall OCWS Winery Webinars

As you may recall, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we had to cancel two excellent and highly anticipated events as part of our regular 2020 Winery Program. We will now be evolving into conducting the OCWS Winery Program virtually! We anticipate starting this program in the fall of this year. You will be able to […]

In Memoriam: Dennis Esslinger

The OCWS has lost one of its most significant members, Dennis Esslinger, due to cancer and unrelated to the COVID pandemic. In 2017 during the Annual Business Meeting, Jim Beard, then President, awarded Dennis the highest award an OCWS President can bestow, the President Emeritus Award. Past President, Fran Gitsham, eloquently stated in 2017 that […]

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