President’s Message

After more than a year of almost no activities, we have just been through two of the hardest events of our “normal” OCWS year, our two Competitions! And yet as hard as we work to accomplish these monumental events, they are also the most rewarding for our members, both in the feeling of accomplishment at the end, and also in the ability to actually see each other, and not just “Zee” each other over the computer screen. We saw a lot of hugs and heard “It’s so good to actually see you!” greetings, and it was so good to again see so many of our members! Our Commercial Wine Competition was held June 5-6 at the Hilton Orange County Costa Mesa hotel on Bristol Street, and we were ecstatic to receive 2,440 entries! We welcomed back many of our returning judges, and a few new ones. Congratulations to Liz and Lloyd Corbett for your months of work beforehand, Leslie Brown and Kevin Coy for your leadership, and to all of you who volunteered to make this such a wonderful event. Visit for results from the Competition.

It always amazes me to see the “OCWS machine” that receives, prepares, and transports the wines to the hotel, and then the organization and execution of the Competition.

This was followed by our Home Wine Competition on June 12, where wines were judged from amateur winemakers. 624 wines were judged, which actually exceeded the number of wines we received in 2019. Thanks to Bill Forsch, David Rutledge, Rob Romano, Jim Downey, and Sam Clark for your leadership, and to all of the volunteers for your hard work. Congratulations to all of our entrants, both commercial and amateur, who submitted their wines. Without you, there would be no OCWS.

Next up is the OC Fair from July 16 through August 15, and all the efforts we are currently putting forth, our latest major work activity to make the OC Wine Society what it is today!

The Courtyard will be looking a little different this year, but we’ll make it happen! Thanks to Fran Gitsham for your leadership on The Courtyard Committee, Rich Skoczylas for organizing the volunteers, Rochelle Randall for leading the TIPS training, and all the other committee members who are backing them up. We are still looking for more volunteers to staff the wine bar!

Because of the great work you have all put in during past years, we were able to survive the past year with no income or in-person activities. We look forward to welcoming you all back and seeing all of our friends, as we will be beginning our social events this coming fall!

Kevin Donnelly, President