President’s Message

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

President’s Message

As summer comes to a close and we transition into fall, it is time to look back and look forward.

Looking back, what a busy summer with the OC Fair and The Courtyard. Thanks to all of you who worked or attended the OC Fair this year. We had some record-breaking days and could not have done it without you—a special thanks to our members who answered the “SOS” emails to help staff The Courtyard.

Looking forward, there is no rest for the OCWS. About the time you are reading The Wine Press, you will note that September and October have major events. The Annual Business Meeting will be held on Friday, September 6, at Baja Blues. The candidates running for the Board of Directors will be introduced and an overview of the organization will be presented.

The following weeks take us to the Champagne Brunch at BLK and member BBQ & Chili Cook Off.

October is no less busy with our Annual Installation Dinner where we say farewell and “thank you” to our retiring Board members and “hello” to our newly elected Board members. In addition, come celebrate the Champagne Brunch & Oktoberfest at The Phoenix Club. You can read the details in this newsletter. If you have not already signed up for these events, please do so and give them a try.

I would like to take this time to remind all of our members to please check and update your profile on our website. We depend on your contact information to communicate with our members. Please log in to ocws.org, click on “Howdy, your name” and use the drop down “Edit My Profile” to review and make any changes.

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

Cheers,

Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

This year’s highly successful Commercial Wine Competition, co-sponsored by the OCWS and the OCFEC, was held June 1 and June 2 at the Costa Mesa Hilton Hotel. The event took place under the direction of Competition Chair, Leslie Brown and Head of Judges Kevin Coy, along with Jane Goodnight and the Wine Competition Committee. The event featured 2,919 entries with 142 varietals entered. Eighty-nine Judges from throughout California, in panels of 5 judges, scored the wines entered.

To accomplish this precision undertaking required over 250 volunteers who contributed approximately 5,800 hours mailing brochures, making calls to wineries, receiving and cataloging wines under the direction of Liz and Lloyd Corbett, bagging, moving, washing and drying glasses, stewarding, wine verification and scoring, and data entry of the results. After the Competition, the award-winning wines were photographed and the winners made available online at Winecompetition.com. This Commercial Wine Competition website allows anyone to search for wines by award, price, sugar, varietal or winery. Kudos to Stacey Taylor for developing this comprehensive informational Wine Competition site.

A few interesting highlights from this year’s Commercial Wine Competition:

  • Entries—43% of our entries were from wineries new to the Competition. A record 256 cases of wine were delivered on a single day!
  • New Varietals—Falanghina, Macabeo and Norton.
  • Label Competition Awards—Best of Show—1849 Wine Company. Look for the label display at The Courtyard during the OC Fair.

The Home Wine Competition was held last month on Saturday, June 15 and was supported by almost 200 persons who volunteered as judges, stewards, administrators,

President’s Message

The months of June through September are among the busiest times for the OCWS. In June, the Commercial Wine and Home Wine Competitions are held. The Commercial Wine Competition will either be in progress or completed by the time The Wine Press hits your mailbox. The Home Wine Competition is two weeks later this year, Saturday, June 15. With a brief break, we will enter into a very active wine Courtyard during the annual OC Fair held from July 13 thru August 12. In September, election of Directors for the OCWS Board and the Annual Business meeting will be held.

All of this is not a surprise to many of you!  These activities and events take a tremendous amount of member volunteers to accomplish. With my apologies in advance for anyone not mentioned, I would like to spotlight some of the major efforts that are currently or will be taking place to accomplish the events mentioned.

The Commercial Competition Committee, chaired by Leslie Brown and Head of Judges Kevin Coy, supported by the Committee has been recruiting wineries—thanks to Ken Scott and Terry McLean; receiving and cataloging wines for judging—thanks to Liz and Lloyd Corbett and crew. The weekend of May 31 through June 2 will see hundreds of our members working to bring wines and supplies to and from the Hilton Hotel, serving as stewards, score verifiers, data processors, and drying thousands of glasses! Thanks to Ken and Irene Scott for organizing this small army of volunteers.

The Home Wine Competition requires judges, stewards, scoring, glass washing and drying, and food servers. This event is once again under the care of Kevin Donnelly and Jim Downey. Thanks to all of you who have signed up to make this event a success.

The Courtyard will once again be staffed by hundreds of volunteers serving and educating the public about wine and the mission of the OCWS. Thanks to Brian McDonald, Fran Gitsham, and Rich Skoczylas for leading The Courtyard Committee.

See you all at the Fair!

– Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

In the February edition of The Wine Press, I encouraged everyone to try some new things. I am happy to report that I have visited a winery that is new to me and will definitely be added to my list of wineries to re-visit.

The OCWS also sponsored our first Wine Education Seminar which was well attended and garnered great reviews. The second in the series, “Wines of Bordeaux,” was held on April 14. Kudos to Irene Scott, Wine Education Chair, for getting this series going. Do not miss out on future wine education seminar opportunities.

If that was not enough, April was also the month for our Annual Wine Auction that was attended by a record number of members. Thanks to all the dozens of volunteers who made this event such a success, and to the members who purchased auction lots to help sustain us financially.

In rapid succession, April 12 was the Red Soles Winery program, April 27 the Rhone Mini-Tasting, and the Champagne Brunch was held at Newport Landing on April 28. Please thank the Event Chairs, volunteers and hosts when you see them.

There are so many new members attending our events for the first time. If you are one of our “veteran” members, please introduce yourself, invite someone to sit at your table, offer assistance, and make them feel welcome.

With the 2019 Commercial Wine Competition on June 1 and 2 and the 2019 Home Wine Competition on June 15, a lot will be happening on the competition side of the OCWS. If you are interested in volunteering for either of these events, please refer to The Wine Press or visit our website at ocws.org for more details. Cheers!

– Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

Over the years, many members have asked, what happens to all of those bottles? They are, of course, referring to the wines that are entered into the OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition which is co-hosted by the OCWS. The entries take quite a journey from wineries to a multitude of uses once they arrive at the Orange County Fair & Event Center (OCFEC). Each winery submits six bottles so each step involves a lot of duplicate maneuvers. Last year there were over 2,700 entries with 126 varietals!

The wines are received by the Wine Competition Committee and then cataloged and labeled in preparation for the judging in June. The entry to this competition is free! Bottles are labeled with a unique code for each bottle. The bottles that will be judged are “bagged” and labeled, sorted by sugar level and price categories so that wines are judged fairly to ensure a high priced wine is not judged against a low priced wine. Two of these six bottles are then sorted and put into judging categories, e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon (CS-1) bottles “A” and “B.” The bottles are then judged in a blind tasting by a panel of five judges with the “B” bottle held in reserve in the event the judges wish to re-judge a wine.

After the Competition, the remaining wines are then sorted again by varietal and placed into groups—those that were awarded a medal and those which were not. These wines are put into the OCWS Cellar and are offered to the public at The Courtyard during the annual Orange County Fair. Some are available as “Award” winning wines for taste. Others are used and poured on the “varietal” side for sale by the glass. This is a great opportunity to try many wines in one location, so come on by and tell your family and friends to come to The Courtyard and support the OCWS.

The remaining bottles are then re-sorted by varietal, medal and price and placed into either verbal lots or silent auction lots. This is the second fundraising event that makes the Commercial Wine Competition possible. This year’s Auction is Saturday, April 6; sign up online or even at the door. Cheers!

– Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

We are off to another busy year, and a lot of work is already being done by our member volunteers for the OCWS major events. The Wine Auction group is busy working on getting wines sorted, bagged and ready for our annual Wine Auction, one of only two revenue sources for our organization. The OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition, co-hosted by the OCWS, has begun its work of soliciting entries, arranging for judges, and planning the 2019 Wine Competition. If that isn’t enough, The Courtyard Committee is also hard at work planning to open and operate The Courtyard during this year’s OC Fair. This year’s theme is “Acres of Fun,” and the OC Fair runs from Friday, July 12 through Sunday, August 11.

There are hundreds of members who make the OCWS the successful organization that it is. I am constantly amazed at our members’ willingness to help out, even for events that they may not be able to attend. It is our members who make this organization great!   Many of these people do so in the background contributing hundreds of hours utilizing their skills and their passions to our benefit.

This month I would like to recognize Linda Mihalik who has taken on the responsibility of putting together our superb newsletter,  The Wine Press. Each month she receives numerous articles highlighting our activities. Linda then deftly weaves these together, receives input from our sharp-eyed editors and gets the final edition ready for publication on our website and to be sent to the printer for mailing. Linda, on behalf of the Board of Directors, Committee Chairs and members, thank you for a job appreciated by all. Cheers!

– Bill Redding, President

President’s Message

2019 is now upon us and New Year’s resolutions have been made by many. My New Year’s resolution is to attempt “new” things. I am going to work towards discovering a new wine I haven’t tried, visiting new wineries that I haven’t yet been to, making a wine out of a varietal that is new to me. You get the idea. Fortunately, my membership in the OCWS is going to help make this resolution a reality. I invite you to share in this new journey. There are a host of activities and events to choose from with details of upcoming events in this edition of The Wine Press.

Your OCWS is also working on “new.” Wine Education Chair Irene Scott, along with Director Leslie Hodowanec, are busy working on wine education seminars and articles that will help members to learn, understand, and enjoy wine. With so many new members, some who are new to wine, these seminars will be a great opportunity for something new and even for existing members to expand their wine knowledge and fine-tune their wine palate. Additional details on the seminars can be found in this edition of The Wine Press.

In addition, Leslie Hodowanec along with member Greg Risling, will be working on wine field trips to Orange County wineries. Please stay tuned for more information as these trips develop this year. Any guesses as to how many wineries are located in the OC? 

The first Winery Program for this year was held last month at the Avenue of the Arts Hotel featuring Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard. Winemaker Karen Steinwachs gave an incredible, fun, and informative presentation on the wines with interesting commentary on the Santa Barbara Region, the Santa Ynez Valley, and Los Olivos District AVAs. In keeping with the “new” theme, 19 of our new Members attended this event and were treated to Karen’s humor and love of wine as well as two wines that had their premier at the tasting. Don’t miss out on future Winery Programs this year. Cheers!

– Bill Redding, President