President’s Message

President’s Message

Thanks to all of our members who joined the virtual Annual Business Meeting on Friday, September 11. Highlights of the year’s past events and the financial health of the organization were reviewed. A recording of this meeting will be available on the OCWS website to those of you who missed the live meeting. Special thanks to all of our presenters for helping to pull off this event. The highlight of the evening was the recognition of our volunteers who this past year contributed over 1,034 hours of volunteer time in support of the OCWS up through March when COVID-19 restrictions were implemented. Please see George Craven’s article in this edition for the details of those recognized.

This year, it was my honor and privilege to present the President’s Award to Kevin Coy for his many years of outstanding dedication and service to the OCWS as a Director, President, Cellar Master, and Director of Judges for the Commercial Wine Competition. Pictured is Kevin holding his award. Congratulations, Kevin!

At the September BOD meeting, Jim Beard, was recognized with the President Emeritus Award. This award is presented by the President with Board recommendation, as a special designation to acknowledge the dedication, time, and effort given to the OCWS by those who served as OCWS President, and who have continued to volunteer after their term of office has concluded. Congratulations, Jim!

This year’s BOD election has brought forth a great turnout of candidates. In addition to our first “virtual” Annual Business Meeting, we are conducting the election electronically this year. Thanks to Greg Hagadorn and the Election Committee for pulling this off. Please stay tuned to for information on the election results. Unfortunately, the Annual Installation Dinner is cancelled. I would like to thank outgoing Directors Brian McDonald for his dedicated service over the past six years, and Ken Scott for his expertise over the past three years. This will also conclude my six years of service on the Board.

As the outgoing President, I wish to thank all of my past fellow Board members for their service. A special thanks goes to my wife, Carolyn, whose encouragement and delightful sense of humor has supported me over the years and who introduced us to the OCWS over 19 years ago—it has been quite a journey!  Cheers,

 Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

It is my sincere hope that everyone is staying safe, staying busy, and drinking great wines!

I am pleased to report that at the August BOD meeting, it was unanimously approved to extend all memberships an additional four months. 

In last month’s issue of The Wine Press, I highlighted some of our virtual seminar offerings. We hope you have enjoyed the offerings during July and August which have been produced by our members: Ed Reyes, Carolyn Christian, Ken Knapp, Sara Yeoman, and Kevin Donnelly. Thank you all for such an outstanding job!

If you missed attending a virtual seminar, they have been uploaded on our website, and you can locate them after signing in and clicking Zoom Seminars. Simply locate the seminar you missed, click on the name of the seminar, and watch the ones you missed . . . or watch them again!

The OCWS Winery Program is also making plans to conduct programs virtually. On September 20, we will be featuring ZD Wines. More details are provided in this month’s newsletter. Thanks to Rich Skoczylas and Leslie Hodowanec for your efforts. 

I am very pleased to see that as I am writing this article we have five members who have submitted their intent to run for the Board of Directors. You can find their candidate statements on our website.

The candidates will also be providing a brief statement at the “Annual Business Meeting” as required per Article 6 of our By-laws. The 2020 Annual Business Meeting will be held on Friday, September 11. Due to gathering restrictions currently in place, the meeting will be held “virtually.” The announcement for signups for this meeting was sent out via email and posted on the website. As a reminder, for those with a dual membership only one individual needs to sign up to attend this meeting. 

According to our By-laws, the Board of Director election must be held three weeks from the Annual Business Meeting. This year, we will be conducting the election electronically. A ballot will be sent out to members after the September 11 meeting.

Please be sure to update your email address to a current and valid email address using the edit profile feature on the OCWS website. More information on the electronic voting process and what you can expect can be found under the Electronic Voting article contained in this newsletter.


 Bill Redding, President

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: Ed Reyes, Carolyn Christian, Ken Knapp, Sara Yeoman, and Kevin Donnelly. If you missed our July lineup, do not miss the remaining seminars scheduled for August. Sign-ups are done online through a Zoom link found in the weekly email sent on Monday/Friday mornings or through corresponding links incorporated on our OCWS website’s Zoom Seminars page. Since these are member-only events, you must log in to see this page on our website. The OCWS Winery Program is also making plans to conduct their programs virtually this Fall. More details are provided in related articles in this month’s newsletter.

The OCWS has also partnered with the Orange County Fair & Event Center to participate in a Virtual Fair which will be held during the originally scheduled Fair dates of July 17 through August 16. We have posted two virtual offerings on Fair Food & Wine and Summer Go-To Wines. The Virtual Fair can be found at

Summer has always been a busy time for the OCWS each year. Importantly, it is the time when new Board of Directors are needed as directors’ terms expire. Please consider submitting your candidacy now. I can promise you it is a rewarding experience in which you will get to know our members and get an opportunity to contribute to our future success. Each summer, we also have our “Annual Business Meeting” as required pursuant to Article 6 of our By-laws. The 2020 meeting will be held on Friday, September 11. Due to restrictions currently in place, the meeting will be held “virtually.” The announcement for sign-ups to this meeting will be sent out via email and posted on the website in early August.


 Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

Greetings on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff. We are in strange times during which we are postponing or deleting events from the calendar. For many of us, the months of June, July and August are normally filled with OCWS activities.

The Winemakers’ Group is purchasing supplies and working on some virtual seminars. With all of this extra time many of you may want to try making wine. Please see Kevin Donnelly’s article in this month’s newsletter.

During the month of May, the BOD has attempted to make contact by phone or email with our members. Of my own personal contacts, it seems that our members are safe and staying busy. Doing puzzles, reading, cooking, gardening, painting, virtual seminars and getting to projects that are long overdue are popular activities.

I am sure everyone has been trying to stay busy at home. I have actually found the time to review some old Wine Spectator issues and organized my office bookshelf. To my surprise, I have found several of my wine-related books that I have been looking for, and they are now keeping each other company. A few favorites that are in my collection: The Juice by Jay McInerney, Judgment of Paris by George M. Taber, Perfect Pairings by Evan Goldstein and Wine Folly by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack. All great reference books and of course the great story by Taber which formed the basis for the movie Bottle Shock. No doubt you have your own wine books and magazines to get re-acquainted with. If you are just looking for reading with a wine themed author, Ellen Crosby offers entertainment with her 10-book Wine Country Mystery series. Our Wine Press Editor and Board member, Linda Mihalik, also has a book and film title summarily related to a wine theme in this issue in her “In Case You Missed It” article plus some ideas to stay active at home.

The OCFEC is working on plans to hold virtual activities during the five week Fair run this year. The OCWS has been invited to work with them to provide several virtual events. Cheers,

Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

As we all struggle during these difficult times to maintain a sense of normalcy, it is difficult to know what to say. It is my hope that you and your families are doing well and staying connected. Cisco’s WebEx, Zoom, and FaceTime are now part of everyone’s experience.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the OCWS staff, Directors, Event Chairs, and Committees who work diligently to keep our organization going. The commitment and dedication to this organization is truly inspiring. The challenges we have faced in these past weeks have been met and the best outcomes possible have been achieved. As an organization, we are determined to come back with renewed enthusiasm when we return to our event schedules.

Phone calls to wineries and wine judges have conveyed how important our organization is to the California wine industry. A frequent comment from them is that they “love” our organization and all we do to support them. I have received numerous emails and notices from wineries, many that are among my favorites, letting me know they are still open for business through online sales. In fact, many wineries are currently offering discounts and offers of free or reduced shipping.

If you are able to visit your favorite wineries online and support them by purchasing wine, the wineries would appreciate it, and I am sure everyone could use some additional wine right now!  Not every winery has the ability to distribute their wines on a large scale and sales “out the door” are vital to their survival.

The OCWS web address can provide not only the winery name, but has each winery website linked to their listing. This is a good way to support the wineries that support our Commercial Wine Competition.

At the virtual April BOD meeting, the Board unanimously approved a 4-month extension of membership terms, and also committed to working on ways to keep our members connected and to provide innovative activities for our members. Please stay tuned as these concepts develop.

Please remember to stay safe, drink some really good wine from your cellar, and wash your hands!


Bill Redding, President

President Update 4/7/2020

Fellow members of the OCWS- These past few weeks have been difficult for just about everyone throughout the County, State and Nation.  As with other organizations we have been affected in both large and small ways.  Our office staff has been shifted to work remotely-Thank You Lynda and Rochelle!

We have had to accept many changes beyond our control.  The BOD and Committees have adapted to Webex meetings and alternate ways of doing our daily business.  Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding as we have had to make these necessary changes.

Many of our events have been canceled due to the distance and meeting size requirements imposed by the Governor, the Orange County Fair and Event Center (OCFEC) and County Health Agency.   These have all been done in an attempt to ensure the health and safety of our county and state.  As an organization we also wish to ensure the health and safety of our members.   Up and down the state California Wineries have been forced to close their doors and conduct online business.  The restrictions that are currently in place have forced us to face the reality that some of our signature events must be modified, postponed or cancelled.

The Commercial Competition Committee in Coordination with the OCFEC has with much regret been forced to cancel the OC FAIR COMMERCIAL WINE COMPETITION for 2020. The decision was difficult and painful to make. A separate but related decision for the OC FAIR Home Wine Competition was also made by the Home Wine Competition Committee and the OCFEC. We are very proud of these competitions and their recognition and support of California wineries, winemakers both commercial and non-commercial. Please continue to support California wineries through purchasing your favorite wines

At the April 6th BOD meeting it was unanimously approved to extend all memberships an additional 4 months.  We will continue to work on mitigations as necessary in the days ahead.


Bill Redding

President’s Message

Dear OCWS members,

Effective March 16, all events on the Orange County Fairgrounds were cancelled for the next eight weeks by the Governor of California. This includes the Wine Auction, meetings, work parties, and other Fairground scheduled activities. As the OCWS transitions to a remote working environment, office support will be up and running and information will continue to be distributed to our membership via email and available on our website at

Additionally, the Eberle winery event in April and the ZD winery event in May at the Avenue of the Arts hotel have been canceled as the wineries have decided to do so under the current circumstances.

Due to restrictions and closures at food venues, the March 25th Dine with Wine at King’s Fish House, the April 26th Brunch at Newport Landing and the May 16th OCWS Spring BBQ have been canceled.

Our required TIPS training will also require some re-scheduling.

We are trying our best to get updates out to our membership who have signed up for upcoming events.   Please feel free to contact the Chair of the event which can be found on our website under About->Our Organization->Director Responsibilities.  Since most notifications are done using your email address listed in your My Profile under your account information please keep this information current.

As you have no doubt received numerous emails from organizations about the impact of the COVID-19 we are also working on these precautionary measures for the health and safety of our membership.  I am asking for your patience as we work through these difficult times for our membership, our communities and our nation.


Bill Redding

President’s Message

It’s happened. We have made it to a new decade, which causes some people, myself included, to take a look back. For me, this means considering the changes that have slowly or abruptly taken place in the wine arena.

My first experience with wine mostly included White Zinfandel and various forms of imported Rosè wines or Gamay Beaujolais. My first winery trip to Napa opened a whole new world to me. I discovered Cabernet Sauvignon that not only did I taste for “free” at Joseph Heitz, it was poured by Joseph Heitz!

One of the changes are screw tops. It seems that screw tops have graduated from Red Mountain by the gallon to wines that routinely win awards. A recent trip to New Zealand and Australia demonstrated that the change to screw tops is well established worldwide.  The percentage of screw tops in the U.S. has grown approximately 15% in the last ten years.

Yes, even wine in cans has arrived. Wine Spectator, May 2019, announced “Canned Wines Come of Age.” They report that canned wine sales have increased from $2 million in 2012 to $69 million, a 69% increase. Many giants of the industry, e.g., E&J Gallo and Treasury, are in the game.

A while back, I wrote a President’s article about trying something new. Well, I guess boxed wine and cans of wine are now on deck. I have already tried screw tops. How about you?

Things have changed over time for the OCWS as well.  In addition to our popular Winery Programs, Dine with Wine and Mini-Tastings, there are many new events for our members to enjoy including the educational seminars. Wines of Spain is coming in March.

At The Courtyard during the OC Fair, we have featured wineries where the winemakers come in person to meet the public and showcase their wines. There are also a wide variety of seminars held on weekends during the Fair.

Please be sure to join us for one of our many events this year. Cheers!

Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

We are embarking on our 44th year with the OCWS which was already jam-packed with events in January. Our members attended the Winery Program featuring Dark Star Cellars, the Wine Education Seminar—Intro to Wine and Wine Tasting, and a Dine with Wine event at Pescadou Bistro.

This time of year brings the start of a new cycle for the OCWS when we begin to plan and prepare for the Annual Wine Auction, Commercial Wine Competition, Home Wine Competition and, of course, The Courtyard at the OC Fair & Event Center during the Fair. This year, the Fair will be in session from July 17 through August 16.

All of these events take a tremendous amount of time and energy. To everyone who has participated in the past and will be participating this coming year, thank you!

I would also like to call your attention to the recent trend of “sold out” events. Please plan ahead by looking at the Save the Date and Upcoming Events sections which are usually found on the first and last pages of The Wine Press. Upcoming events are more detailed in each edition of the newsletter.

Also, please be sure to check your profile in your account to be sure it is up-to-date. This can be done after logging in and using the drop down My Account>My Profile. We rely on your accurate information to send out the newsletter and notifications to event attendees.


Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

The very busy month of December is in the books. The fabulous Annual Holiday Dinner & Dance was once again enjoyed by our members with a record turnout. See Brian’s article for details on this amazing evening. Our members showed off their dance steps even to the last song with great music from the “Three 2 Sevens.” Thanks to all of you who generously donated gifts to the Costa Mesa Fire Department’s “Spark of Love” children’s toy drive. Thanks to Brian and Sue McDonald for their outstanding efforts in arranging this sold out event.

The Winemakers’ Group Holiday Potluck was also a sold out event! Thank you to Kevin Donnelly for once again securing the beautiful lakeside site and the festive atmosphere created by the Scotts and McLeans. Delicious food and great wines were enjoyed by all!

The OCWS will once again have a busy schedule of events for 2020. I encourage you to note the upcoming events on your personal 2020 calendars so you do not miss out on events of interest to you. We have a wide variety of activities for our members with details in the related articles. The “Save the Date” column provides the dates of all upcoming events. Most of our recent events have had waitlists, and all events have online sign-ups. Please call the OCWS office should you need assistance.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we wish you a very happy and healthy New Year. Please remember to drink responsibly and consider using a designated driver or ride service. Cheers!

Bill Redding, President