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Are you interested in serving on the OCWS Board for one year? During our recent elections, we did not receive a third candidate to fill our vacant position. Per our […]
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Scholarship Winners: Where Are They Now?

Grit & Grace

Much like a wine can evolve over time, so has wine consultant Tymari LoRe’s appreciation for the industry and the imprint she is leaving on the Santa Ynez Valley.

LoRe grew up in Orange County – shout out to Cypress – and her first interaction with wine was working for her uncle at a winery. There she learned how wine serves as a conduit to uniting us.

“My favorite part of the industry is that it brings people together from all walks of life,” she said. “Wine is meant to be shared and enjoyed by people and fosters camaraderie.”

LoRe attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she double majored in enology and wine business. She received a scholarship from the Orange County Wine Society that allowed her to buy the necessary books to continue her studies.

Along the way, she landed three internships that provided her the tools for winemaking. LoRe traveled to Europe where she studied winemaking for seven to eight months before finding herself in Santa Barbara County.

She became associate winemaker at Kita Wines, which was run by Tara Gomez, the first Native American winemaker recognized by the California Legislature.

“It was really a cool combination of spirituality and the winemaking portion that flowed very well together,” LoRe said.

She also cut her teeth at Folded Hill Winery, owned by Kim and Andrew Busch – yes, those Buschs of Budweiser fame. LoRe was part of the winery’s management and spent about five years before she found her true calling of helping smaller wineries find their niche in the market.

“I had this love of seeing these brands launch and I felt there was a lack of that space in the industry,” LoRe said.

She started LoRe Consulting Group in 2021 and provides a host of services from designing and laying out an actual winery to creating business models that optimizes sales and forecasts income.

Tymari LoRe helps start-up wineries create their own business plan through her consulting firm based in Santa Barbara County

“What I’ve found by mistake is that wineries don’t have a plan. If you don’t know how to stand out, you will ultimately get lost in the fray,” LoRe said. “I want to make sure they don’t fall into a hole.”

She strives to get as much knowledge about what a winemaker wants and she believes each of her clients should have a unique story and niche. One of her main challenges is connecting the dots – or grapes – to help a winery push their brand forward and upward for maximum exposure.

LoRe has found a home in Santa Barbara County, which she says has the highest number of women in the wine industry across California. She says the region is finally getting the recognition it deserves and is not just a pit stop for those traveling to Paso Robles.

She hopes that her experience and knowledge will boost the profile and the margins of smaller wineries that will benefit not only her and the winemaker but the public as well.

“Being able to work with people who I felt didn’t get the right opportunity to showcase their strengths is very rewarding,” she said. “I want to see them grow and evolve and I’m there to help them get to that point.”

Greg Risling

Bottles in the Birdhouse

Story & Photos by Greg Risling

Pay one visit to the home of Betty Jo and Jay Newell in Yorba Linda and you will know why they enjoy hosting mini-tastings, parties and other events.

They have a sprawling and inviting backyard made for outdoor gatherings that once was home to a stable of horses and even a sand volleyball court. But it’s the large structure in the corner of the backyard that houses one of the couple’s favorite spots.

Jay Newell (above) punches in the code to enter his cellar. (Right) The 800-square-foot cellar stores up to 800 bottles.

Known as the “Birdhouse,” – affectionately named after Jay found a weather vane that now sits affixed at the top of what looks like an oversized garage – the building serves several functions but none better than the wine cellar tucked away in the corner.

When Jay, a retired investigator with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, he knew putting in a wine cellar was a priority “in case things didn’t work out.”

He got right to work, designing their dream cellar and doing much of the work himself. He arched the ceiling in an expressive manner, coated the space tightly with insulation (the cellar sometimes doubles as a backup refrigerator) and had the wine racks specially designed.

“I really researched it,” Jay fondly recalls. “I wanted it to be easily accessible and easy enough where you don’t have to search for that certain bottle. It is bigger than what I planned.”

The result is an 850 square-foot showpiece that can store up to 800 bottles. The rows are all numbered 1 to 46 and he meticulously keeps a binder of his inventory and cataloging that gives him quick access to find the right wine to serve to guests or to bring to their favorite restaurant.

“If we feel like drinking a certain type of wine, we go right to the cellar and grab a bottle,” Betty Jo said. “We always take a bottle with us to a restaurant. There is enough variety in the cellar that makes the decision easy for us.”

Mind you, the cellar isn’t completely stocked. Jay estimates there are somewhere between 400 and 500 bottles on average, worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 to $20,000. The Newells most expensive bottle is a $400+ 2013 Daou Cabernet Sauvignon.

When the couple first joined OCWS about six years ago, they stuck to drinking Cabernet Sauvignon and other popular varietals. But that all changed once they got involved, attended OCWS events and met new friends. Now, any OCWS member who has the fortune to visit their home, will get an added bonus of marveling at their cellar.

“Joining the wine society expanded our appreciation of different varietals,” Betty Jo said. “We have a whole circle of friends who are society members thanks to joining.”

Recipes of the Month – Winning Recipes

Congratulations to all of the winners and a big thank you to the hosts. Please send your recipes to George Cravens at for possible publication on the OCWS website.

Deborah Webber’s Balsamic Roasted Tomato & Mushroom Tartines took home Chef of the Evening honors at last month’s OCWS mini-tasting. Deborah, a six-year OCWS member along with husband Michael, adapted this recipe from one she found years ago in a magazine.

Balsamic Roasted Tomato &Mushroom Tartines


1 lb. multi-hued tomatoes, halved

6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil plus

some for brushing

2½ Tbsp. quality balsamic vinegar

1½ tsp. sugar

2 tsp. sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. large mushrooms, halved

Freshly ground black pepper

4 slices sourdough or rustic bread

6 Tbsp. pesto

8 oz. fresh mozzarella

Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

SPread tomatoes out in a single layer on one of the prepared pans. Drizzle tomatoes with 3 Tbsp. olive oil and 1½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar, ½ teaspoon sea salt and a generous grind of freshly ground black pepper.

Spread mushroom halves in a single layer on the second prepared

pan. Drizzle mushrooms with 3 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon sea salt and a generous grind of freshly ground black pepper.

Roast tomatoes and mushrooms 60-75 minutes or until most of the liquid has disappeared. Gently stir every 15 minutes during roasting time. Mushrooms will be finished about 10-15 minutes before tomatoes.

Remove from oven when veggies are deep golden and caramelized. Set aside, but leave oven on.

Brush both sides of bread slices lightly with olive oil. Place in a sauté pan and cook over medium heat until golden on both sides. Cook in batches, if needed.

Place bread slices on a sheet pan.

Top each bread slice with 1½ Tbsp. pesto. Spread pesto to edges of bread slices. Slice or tear mozzarella into small pieces. Top pesto layer with torn mozzarella. Add tomatoes and mushrooms, dividing evenly between the tartines.

Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 6-8 minutes. Scatter with fresh basil leaves and serve.


New OCWS member and Chef of the Evening Magda El Zarki dazzled mini-tasting guests recently with her endive salad.

El Zarki says she got the recipe from a French friend, and that it’s her go-to for summer lunches or as an appetizer for an evening meal.

“I love its crunchiness, the slightly bitter taste of endive, with the sourness of Granny Smith apple combined with the salty rich taste of gruyere,” El Zarki says. “Walnuts add some depth. The combo is a favorite of mine, also easy to prepare.”

Endive & Apple Salad


4-5 plump endives

2 green Granny Smith apples

8 oz. aged gruyere

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Vinaigrette salad dressing

(1/3-1/2 cup)


Slice the endive into 1/3” slices, toss into a salad bowl.

Peel, core and chop the apples into bite-size pieces; add to salad bowl.

Cut the gruyere into small 1/3” cubes; add to salad bowl.

Add the chopped walnuts to the salad bowl.

Mix all the ingredients; add vinaigrette dressing and toss

OCWS Photography Contest

The OCWS has started a photography contest and you are invited to participate! As you might have guessed, the subject is “Wine,” but this can mean many things to many people. Do you have a great shot of the sun filtering through the vines just before picking? Or an action shot of wine being poured with some great swirls in the glass? Or a romantic shot of a couple toasting each other with some wine? These are just a couple ideas, and I am sure you have many more ideas of that great shot involving wine in some way.

Each month the Photography Committee will select a “Photo of the Month” for publication in an upcoming Wine Press as well as on the OCWS website. The ultimate goal is to publish an OCWS Calendar, consisting of the 12 best photos of the year. These may or may not be the 12 monthly winners.

The rules are simple:

  1. Entrants must be OCWS members in good standing and the submitted photo must have been photographed by the OCWS member when he/she was an active member.
  2. The photo must be somehow wine oriented. It may be of a winery, a vineyard, the winemaking process, the finished product or simply the consumption. But don’t limit yourself to these ideas!
  3. The photo may be submitted to the photography committee anytime but will be considered only for the month it was submitted. There is a limit of five (5) submissions per month.
  4. Upon submission, rights of the photo are given to the OCWS for marketing purposes, so before you submit it make sure it is your property. Please get permission from any people in the photo to use for OCWS marketing purposes .
  5. The photo may be submitted in any either JPEG, RAW, TIFF, or Photoshop format. Any size is acceptable, but is preferred to be at least 3000×2400 pixels, which is an 8×10 shot at 300 dpi for printing.

To submit a picture attach it in an email to Be sure to include your name, phone number, picture location and picture title.

If you have any questions contact Jim Burk at, OCWS photographer and head of the OCWS photography committee.

– Jim Burk, OCWS Photographer

Search for Newsletter Editor

The Board of Directors regretfully announces that our Wine Press Editor-in-Chief, Linda Mihalik, is stepping down. Linda has served as our Editor for over five years. Linda especially enjoyed inserting […]
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2022 Courtyard Fun Facts

Here are a few “fun” facts that The Courtyard Committee thought you might enjoy knowing:

  • Largest Day—Friday, July 29: $23,461 and 2,098 Transactions 
  • Most Register Transactions—Saturday, July 23 for Awards: 1,000
  • Featured Winery Program— Scholarship Fund Contributions: $16,760
  • Largest Scholarship Day—Friday, July 15: $1,182 (First day of the Fair!)
  • #1 Best Selling Item—Korbel Sparkling Splits
  • #2 Best Selling Item—Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay: 2,070 Bottles = 8,280 Glasses
  • Govino Glasses Sold: 3,869
  • Total OCWS Volunteers: 212
  • Total Shifts Worked: 1343 (Managers – 21; Cashiers – 43; Stewards – 30; Servers – 126)
  • New Memberships: 180 Dual Memberships= 362 and 34 Single Memberships = Total New Members 396


Featured Winery Program at the OC Fair

Lloyd and I would like to invite you to visit us, along with Betty Jo and Jay Newell, at the Featured Winery Bar during the OC Fair. We will be presenting wines from a different winery each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You will get to meet the winemaker or a winery principal who will introduce you to their wines, answer your questions about their wines, their history with the winery, and any other inquiries you may have. We will be pouring tastes for you to enjoy.

Our participants scheduled to present to date are listed below.

Date Winery   Date Winery
July 15 Fallbrook Winery, Carrie & Kevin McCracken   July 31 Dark Star Cellars, Michael Cox
July 16 Seven Angels, Greg Martin   August 5 Gelson’s Private Label Wines, Jake Cheung
July 17 Double Bond Wine, John Klacking   August 6 Mineral Wines, Brett Keller
July 22 Dubost Winery, Zack Raines   August 7 Virginia Dare Winery, Francoise Cordesse
July 23 Big Nose Winery, Roger and Janice Mattar   August 12 Vinos Unidos Winery, Chris Jaregui
July 24 Cypher Winery, Susan Mahler   August 13 Shale Oak Winery, Curtis Hascall
July 29 Riboli Family Wines, Marty Spate   August 14 Bushong Vintage Co., Jason Bushong
July 30 Ammons Horn Wines, Roger Wolff      

All proceeds from the Featured Winery Bar go to the OCWS Scholarship Fund.

Please come make new friends, learn more about wines, and enjoy yourself.

– Liz & Lloyd Corbett,
Featured Winery Program Co-chairs

President’s Message – Gearing Up for Fair Fun!

With the Commercial and Home Wine Competitions quickly almost having been and gone, the 2022 OC Fair is fast approaching, and the OCWS is geared up to run our most important fundraising effort of the year—The Courtyard at the OC Fair. This year’s Fair theme is “Feel the Sunshine,” and runs Wednesdays through Sundays, beginning on Friday, July 15 and concluding on Sunday, August 14.

The Fair is attended by over 1,000,000 people a year, so The Courtyard clearly provides us with a perfect venue for reaching lots of people. In exchange for running the OC Fair’s wine competitions, the Orange County Fair & Events Center affords us the opportunity to run The Courtyard and realize the income therefrom. In addition to the income received from The Courtyard funding the wine competitions, it also provides funds for our year-round overhead and, by way of donations, for our Scholarship Program. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to the organization that The Courtyard be a huge success!

It takes over 300 OCWS volunteers to man The Courtyard during the Fair. Whether you are a new volunteer or a seasoned veteran at The Courtyard, this is your opportunity to support the fundraising efforts of the Orange County Wine Society. In addition to hosting The Courtyard during the OC Fair, some of our most knowledgeable and experienced OCWS members will be conducting wine seminars on Saturdays and Sundays. Check out the seminar schedule on the OCWS website and come learn something new about wines, and wine and food pairings that you may not know you don’t already know. So, if you seek fun, don’t miss coming out and feeling the sunshine with wine fun at the Fair!

I look forward to seeing you there.

– Fran Gitsham, President

An American Picnic—Wrap Up!

On Saturday, May 7, 121 OCWS members and guests enjoyed a beautiful spring day at The Courtyard for “An American Picnic.”  The red, white and blue was everywhere to be seen. Everyone danced to the music of the Three 2 Sevens, OCWS’s favorite band. The dance floor was full to the very end.

A special thank you to BettyJo and Jay Newell for the fabulous decorations. The Courtyard looked like a 4th of July Parade. And special thanks to Alice and Glenn Polser for directing the set up. It was Alice’s first time directing part of a major event and she totally stepped up to the plate. People were working on the set up as early as 9 am.

And, of course, to the Cooks’ Caucus led by Lynda Edwards for a great dinner (and a special mention to George Cravens’ sous vide tri tip, Craig Rowe’s special marinated grilled chicken, Rich Skoczylas for a Great American desert, Cheryl Heineke for homemade beans, Pamela Clauss’ Caesar salad, and Bonnie Gausewitz’ homemade potato salad).

And to all those who volunteered to work short shifts pouring wine, doing check in, serving food, etc. This organization only works because of our wonderful volunteers.

And thanks to the generosity of our members who donated wines, we raised $1,220 at the Wine Wall which will go directly into the OCWS scholarship fund. Thank you Rochelle for all your work.

We had a lot of new members who came to their first OCWS event. They were on the dance floor until the last song. I hope this event shows what a fun-loving group we are and that we will see them back for future events.

– Brian McDonald, Event Chair