SDAWS Meeting June 8, 2024

It was a beautiful day today for our meeting at Chuperosa Vineyards! Andy and Carolyn were wonderful hosts and we learned about when to harvest. Andy showed us his wine cave, which was immaculate and what was more impressive was the wine he had inside of an 80 year old, 1000 gallon barrel. It was one of the best wines I personally ever had! It was multiple vintages of his Sangiovese. I definitely think everyone needs to buy a bottle come next March!! Wow!!!

SDAWS Meeting March 16, 2024

San Diego Amateur Winemaking Society (SDAWS) gathered at member Steve Clark’s House in Rancho Bernardo with about 36 people in attendance. President Dane Marolt introduced and welcomed new officers, Dan Matheson and Patty Torres. SDAWS goals were discussed including a trip to Valle Guadalupe in Mexico. Outgoing Secretary Gi Claassen gave a presentation on wine kits, several members of the group shared their experiences and there was a general discussion of winemaking. The meeting was adjourned, and the members relocated to the upper patio, for wine tasting and sharing, snacks, fun conversation, and a wine raffle. Steve Clark took groups on tours of his property. Good times were had by all.

SDAWS January 13, 2024 Meeting at Ramona Ranch Winery

We started off the new year with a meeting at beautiful Ramona Ranch Winery ( ) with just under 30 people in attendance.  Following a welcome by our wonderful hosts, Club President Dane Marolt gave a presentation on “Raising, Rearing or Breeding?  How do you elevate your wine?” including stability and clarification as well as different long term aging vessels and their attributes. 

Club member Gary Correia recently published an article in Winemaker Magazine about his experiment using mahogany to add flavor and depth to wine ( and gave a short presentation about his findings.

SDAWS will be holding elections soon!  If you are interested in running for office next year, we are looking for nominations or self-nominations for:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary/Treasurer (now a single office instead of 2 separate ones)

Please contact club Secretary Gi with any nominations – email for contact was sent to SDAWS mailing list. If you are on the mailing list and did not receive the minutes please check your junk/spam folders.

Following club business our amazing hosts Teri Kerns and Micole Moore gave tours of the vineyard and tastings in the winery with special pricing.  A huge thank you to Teri and Micole for hosting us and supporting SDAWS!

July 2023 Meeting Summary

We had another terrific meeting on Saturday July 15th at member Dan Mathson’s Monarch Hill Vineyards – he and his wife were very generous to let us meet at their property, BIG THANKS to them! Just under 40 people attended the meeting, it was sunny and hot but there was plenty of shade and seating for everyone. The meeting opened with acknowledgment of the many members that recently won awards at various home winemaking competitions.

Dan gave a very comprehensive, knowledgeable presentation on “Growing Grapes.” Following the presentation there was a short tour of his winery, lab and vineyard, then a Wine Swap raffle and social time with members sharing their homemade wines, including many recent award winners. Good times were had by all.

The next meeting will be in August as we plan to skip September and October for harvest. The meeting will be SUNDAY August 20th at 10 am at Ramona Ranch Winery, the topic will be “Fermentation.” If you would like to be on our mailing list please go to the Contact page and send us your email, more details for the next meeting will be sent out to the mailing list soon!

Congratulations San Diego County Fair Home Wine Competition Winners

Congratulations to all San Diego Amateur Winemaking Society (SDAWS) members and all entrants that won awards at the San Diego County Fair Home Wine Competition – including Michelle Walker, who won Best of Class AND the Russ St. Jean Most Unique Wine award for her Marselan wine (from a kit!)!

We are planning to have a future meeting focused on preparing and selecting wines to enter in competitions and have a mock judging – join us to learn more about wine appreciation, winemaking and grape growing!

Please share this post and let your wine-loving friends know about San Diego Amateur Winemaking Society (SDAWS), you don’t have to be a wine maker to join.

If you’ve had problems logging in

Due to past issues of getting overrun with spam accounts and posts, we’ve recently added a number of systems to combat this nuisance. One of these seems to have been overly aggressive and blocked many of you from logging in.

This should now be fixed, but if you are still having problems, please email us at notspam AT sdaws DOT org with details about what you are being told when log in fails.

May 2023 Meeting Summary

We had a terrific meeting on Saturday May 13th at Bastian’s Vineyards in Escondido. About 40 people attended, it was sunny and warm, and the vines looked great. Attendees introduced themselves and their winemaking backgrounds as well as their favorite wine or wine experience, then there was a summary of how the club is moving forward as a chapter of the American Wine Society. Future meeting topics and group wine trips were discussed. Ron Bas, owner of Bastian’s Vineyards and alumnus SDAWS Treasurer, then introduced himself and gave the history of his vineyard and winery. At the conclusion there was a tour of the winery equipment and a social hour with tastings of Bastian’s Vineyard wines and snacks brought by members.

The next SDAWS meeting will be Saturday July 15th at 1 pm at a member’s home with a presentation on grape growing – if you would like to be on our mailing list please go to the Contact page and send us your email.

May 2023 Meeting at Bastian’s Vineyards

The next San Diego Amateur Winemaking Society (SDAWS) meeting will be Saturday May 13th at 1 pm at Bastian’s Vineyards. The proprietor Ron Bas, an alumnus member and officer of SDAWS, will introduce himself and his vineyard and talk a little about winery equipment.

Please RSVP at if you plan to attend, a reminder email will be sent the week of the meeting with more details. It is important that we get a count of people expected to attend.

If you have not already joined American Wine Society (AWS) and chosen SDAWS as your chapter, please do so soon – we could be the largest chapter in Southern California! Please go to to sign up.

If you are already a member and have a household account, 2nd members should also update their AWS chapter to “CA-San Diego Amateur Winemakers Society” so we have a full roster of paid members. You will have to do this separately from the primary account. After you log in go to the top drop-down menu and select “Account+Settings”. Then on the left side click on “Information & Settings” – in that menu there are tabs at the top, choose “Sub-accounts” Then you can click on the pencil icon to edit the information for the sub-account to choose “CA-San Diego Amateur Winemakers Society” as the chapter.

San Diego Amateur Winemaking Society Membership Update – Join Now!

We are officially a chapter under the American Wine Society! As we discussed at the kickoff meeting, this gives us many benefits and access to a much larger group of wine aficionados to network with as well as chapter insurance for meetings. Joining is easy, just go to: and pick what type of membership you would like to do (Individual, household and length of time). Once you click join now, the page will have you enter all of your information in and please select “San Diego Amateur Winemakers Society” in the primary chapter dropdown. You can also choose a secondary chapter to affilliate with locally, then you can attend their meetings as members.

If you are an existing American Wine Society member you can add or change your home chapter to San Diego Amateur Winemaking Society by logging in and clicking on your account at the top. Choose “Account + Settings” to go to the page to edit your home chapter and/or add a 2nd chapter.

Once you have done that, you can fill out your profile and start connecting with other members. Thank you again to everyone who has shown interest in getting involved and restarting this great group and looking forward to learning with all of you as we move forward!

2023 San Diego County Fair Homemade Wine Competition

The Homemade Wine Competition is back at the San Diego County Fair!

Entries must be registered by FRIDAY APRIL 21st
Entry Drop off – Sunday, April 30, 11am – 4:00pm
CLOSED Judging – Saturday, May 13
Award Ceremony – Sunday, May 14 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, at the Fairgrounds. The location will be sent via email after the online registration deadline.

Entry fee is now only $10 per entry (currently the entry home page has the incorrect fee), and only one bottle per entry is required. Enter online at:

There is no limit to the number of entries, but wines cannot be entered in more than one class. You get TWO tickets to the awards ceremony per person entering (previously it was four), and you can only go to the awards ceremony if you have a ticket.

If you need a copy of the entry materials please contact us at

Good luck everyone! We hope to see lots of new SDAWS members winning awards!