President’s Message

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 winecompetition.com 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!

Cheers,

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.

Regards,

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 ocws.org

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.

Sincerely,

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.

Cheers!

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

President’s Message

As this edition of The Wine Press reaches everyone, we will have made it through Thanksgiving and moved on to the next round of holidays.

The OCWS website lists Director Responsibilities which identifies major/key events and administrative committees and assigned Chairs. In addition to the Committee Chairs and their OCWS member assists, a great deal of work is accomplished by many additional OCWS members. This gives me the perfect opportunity to recognize members who work in the background on many of our activities.

First, my apologies for any events or individuals that are not identified.

Some of our very popular Mini-Tastings require 5-10 host sites for each event. We have many longtime hosts and a good number of new hosts who have graciously opened their homes to hold this event. Special thanks to the Romanos, the Rowes, the Solises, Topham/Genis, the Unruhs, the Neutzs, Frank/Puzzo, the Newells, Baurmeister/Schlotts, the Taylors, the Fornadleys, the Edwards, the Vaughans, the Kawais, the Rislings, Daison/Beckes, the Del Medicos, the Whites, the Phillips, the Bretts, the Rizuttos, the Bruces, and the Goods. Your generosity is truly appreciated.

The very successful Annual Wine Auction requires 8-10 members to bag and sort wine, working for 11 weeks to get this one-day members’ only event accomplished. In addition, this past year 28 members volunteered their time in between placing their bids! Special thanks to the Esslingers, Peter Schlundt-Bodien, the Whites, the Kawais, Richard Ward, the Wolsfelts, Stacey Taylor, the Stroms, the Lanes, the Bruces, Mike Iglesias, and Kevin Coy.

The Winemakers’ Group is supported by Bill Forsch, Bruce Powers, Rob Romano, and Dave Wiegand year after year as they obtain corks, bottles, grapes, and juice for all very active OCWS home winemakers. Please read more about their tremendous efforts in the Winemakers Newsroom article.

The Annual Home Wine Competition that our members and many others from throughout the state enter each year, could not happen without Jim Downey, Kevin Donnelly, and OCWS member judges, stewards, cooks, and the many support staff who devote countless hours to make this event take place.

It takes hundreds of people to pull together the Commercial Wine Competition each year. Prior to the weekend, those two bottles that make their way to the Hilton are bagged, labeled, and sorted. Larry Graham, Fran Gitsham, the Bartletts, the Corbetts, Terry McLean, and George Cravens work many evenings to prepare the wines.

The next time you attend one of these events or meet these members, please express your gratitude and thanks to each of them.

Please remember to drink responsibly and consider using a designated driver or ride service. Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season, cheers!

Bill Redding, President

 

President’s Message

At this year’s Annual Installation Dinner, newly elected Board members Linda Mihalik, Rich Skoczylas, and returning member George Cravens were introduced, as well as this year’s officers: President—Bill Redding, Vice President—Ken Scott, Treasurer—Mel Jay, and Secretary—George Cravens. Board member contact information is listed in every edition of The Wine Press.

The assignments for Director Responsibilities are posted on our website under About>Our Organization>Director Responsibilities.

Please feel free to introduce yourself to this year’s Board of Directors at upcoming events. A special note of gratitude to outgoing Board members Terry McLean and Stacey Taylor for a job well done.

The upcoming holiday season brings with it reasons to celebrate with family and friends. Please consider joining your fellow members at our Annual Holiday Dinner & Dance held this year on Friday, December 6 at the Atrium Hotel in Costa Mesa.

However you choose to celebrate, please remember to drink responsibly and use a designated driver, ride-share or consider an overnight stay at hotel events.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone of our Winecompetition.com website which allows a search of award-winning wines from this year’s Commercial Wine Competition—a great tool to use for finding that special bottle for the holidays. Cheers,

Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

The Annual Business Meeting was held Friday, September 6, at Baja Blues. We had a tremendous turnout with 157 of our members who reviewed highlights of the past year’s events and the financial health of the organization. The highlight of the evening was the recognition of 95 attendee volunteers who, along with all our volunteers, contributed over 20,000 hours of volunteer time in support of the OCWS.

It was my honor and privilege to present the President’s Award to Kevin Donnelly for his many years of outstanding dedication and service to the OCWS and the Home Wine Group. Congratulations, Kevin!

This year, the election was suspended pursuant to Article 4, Section 4.6. Incumbent Director George Cravens, Rich Skoczylas and Linda Mihalik were elected at the Annual Business Meeting.

At the Annual Installation Dinner, we will have the opportunity to thank our outgoing Director Terry McLean for his dedicated service over the past three years, and Director Stacey Taylor for his outstanding expertise over the past four years. The newly elected Board members and Officers will be introduced. This year’s Officers are: President—Bill Redding, Vice President—Ken Scott, Treasurer—Mel Jay, and Secretary—George Cravens. Their contact information is listed on every newsletter. Please feel free to introduce yourself to this year’s Board of Directors at all upcoming events.

Upcoming activities are posted on our website at ocws.org and in our newsletter, The Wine Press, which is mailed out at the beginning of each month. Please join your fellow members at one of our upcoming events.

As always, I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. Cheers,

Bill Redding, President