Good day fellow winemakers,
First things first….a shout out to all of you who participated in the Amador County Fair Wine
Competition. Well done! And the club, as a whole, did quite well! And a thank you to Lee Richardson
for his time and energy for taking on this event. Again, well done!
What should we be doing in July in our cellars and in the vineyard? Firstly, may I implore you to top
off your wines that are bulk aging in your garages and cellars, and keep that wine properly sulfited
during this bulk aging process. Conventional wisdom might suggest that you keep your wine sulfited
while bulk aging at a level of somewhere between 30 and 40 ppm, and keep that darn air out! Some
of you may be racking one more time off of your lees prior to bottling. Also, don’t forget to properly
sulfite your wine prior to bottling. Your sulfite level is of course, pH dependent. The more acidic your
wine, the less sulfites you need as acid is inherently antimicrobial. Tannins are also naturally
antimicrobial. There are online charts available to determine SO2 level needed based on your wines
pH. And red wines generally require less sulfites, than white wines, because of the tannins in the reds,
I have read.
In the vineyard, you may want to keep an eye out for powdery mildew as it seems to be ubiquitous in
nearly all grape growing regions in California. Also, you may want to check your vines for water stress.
Luckily you don’t have to worry about the birds, just yet. Not until your grapes reach somewhere in the
vicinity of 21 Brix, I have read. Just when the grapes start being palatable to you and I in terms of
sweetness, they become tasty to the darn birds as well…. C’est la vie!
May 18, 2017
Snacks (Kate Keller)
Thanks to Bill and Gail Schwanki for the delicious array of snacks, which were a huge hit.
Minutes (Susan Lemkin)
Big “thanks” to Lannie for handling the April minutes, which were approved.
Treasurer’s Report (Robert Mosblech)
Since Bob was unable to make the meeting, his report was given by Susan. The Club bank balance is
$4,734.11, annual dues notices have been sent out, five (5) members have already renewed, and two
(2) folks – Bonnie & Harold Krupp and Jim & Trudy Mann – have dropped out. For everyone’s
convenience, dues can be paid during the break or after the meeting or you can do it the old-fashioned
way – by mail.
Equipment Manager (Rick Hanson)
Old / New Business
* Spring BBQ: “An Evening Among Friends,” the annual spring BBQ, will be held Saturday, June 3, at Dobra Zemlja Winery on Steiner Rd. in Plymouth starting at 5 p.m. and going on until you get tired. Tickets are $10 per person for members/$15 per guest. The meat course will be catered by Incahootes BBQ, with music by Dick and Jack of “I Got You Babe.” AWA members are asked to provide:
- A – C: Appetizers
- D – J: Salads
- K – N: Desserts
- O – W: Main Dishes
Suzanne asked about tables, chairs, plates and cups. Lannie has the plates/cups and contact will be made with Joann Mendoza in Fiddletown about rental of tables and chairs.
* Amador Co. Fair Wine Competition: Deadline for entries is June 17, with judging taking place June 24. Entry forms are on the Fair’s website – just patiently scroll thru until you get to “Homemade
* AWA Polo Shirts: Shirts with the AWA logo are available in a range of both men’s and women’s
sizes. Cost is $25.
* Club Crush: Lee asked around about getting Cabernet grapes and discovered the going price was
$2000/ton. Since that seemed a bit pricey, Lee suggested a switch to Sangiovese at $1500/ton and
the membership agreed. If you’re going to participate in this year’s Crush, contact Lee with your grape
Guest Speakers (Lannie Staniford)
Two of our own took center stage: Rick Hansen and Bill Schwanki. Rick discussed his formula for making rose wines and shared some of his 2016 vintage. Bill demonstrated techniques for corking of large-format (aka double magnum) bottles. Both bottles and corks are available from West Coast Bottle in Sacramento.
Golden Bung Award
To the Club’s fearless leader Mary Jane LaBerge – the Queen of a A Thousand-and-One Questions
Now’s the time to be spraying fungicides, in the cooler early morning hours and not at noontime.
Reminder: you should report this to the appropriate county agency.
Upcoming Speaker: (Lannie & Mary Jane)
Amador Winemakers Association membership is open to anyone interested in making wine, growing wine grapes, or just enjoying great fellowship and tasting wonderful wines. Our program is educational, social and mutually supportive of grape growers and home winemakers. Annual dues are $50.00 per year, per family and we usually meet monthly for fun and knowledge. If interested in the AWA please contact us or join online today.