Sonoma Home Winemakers meet the second Thursday of each month except August and December (see below). We meet at the Vintage House, 264 First St E, Sonoma, CA 95476. Meetings begin at 7:30 PM and last until around 9:00 PM. We encourage members to bring wines they are particularly proud of or for which they want member assessments and advice. Most meeting have a guest speaker who offers insights into viticulture and oenology as practiced in the Sonoma Valley, with lively discussion following.

The August meeting is given over to our annual pot luck picnic (where we taste more home made wines) and the December meeting is replaced by our Christmas party.

The meeting schedule for 2018 follows.

April 12 – Canopy Management discussion presented and led by Jacob Terrell

  • Jake is the Vineyard Manager for St. Francis Vineyards and Winery (Kenwood) responsible for over 400 acres of vines at three locations. Previously he was with the renowned Monte Rosso Vineyard on the western slopes of the Mayacamas mountains. He holds a B.S in Agriculture Business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  This will be an extremely informative meeting for all members and especially so for those who are actively involved in viticulture.

May 10

This has certainly been a very unusual weather month.  A couple of 80º days, near freezing nights and a healthy amount of April rain.  At our last meeting we had an excellent discussion with Jake Terrell, Vineyard Manager for St. Francis Winery and we will follow that up with an equallly timely presentation in May.

At our regular May meeting (Thursday May 10th at 7:30 PM) we are pleased to have David CookFounder & President of Cook Vineyard Management, discuss viticulture and vineyard development.  David has developed 120 vineyards throughout Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties and currently manages over 450 acres of vineyards and olive orchards in Sonoma County.  David also has a weekly radio show “In the Vine Country” on KSVY 91.3 FM and runs a vineyard and fermentation supply store here in Sonoma.  David’s experience in vineyard development will be particularly helpful this time of year as we transition from bud-break to cluster set and deal with this unpredictable spring weather in Sonoma Valley.

June 14

This month we will be discussing bottling (all aspects including glass selection, corks, sanitation etc). Time permitting we will also have a wine quiz to test our collective knowledge viticulture and oenology.

July 12

On Thursday July 12th the Sonoma Home Winemakers will conduct their first annual Wine Critique & Tasting (7:30 at Vintage House).  Members are invited to bring a bottle of their finest varietal along with specifics about the production and fermentation process to present to the group.

While we always enjoy tasting wine at our meetings, this month we will formalize the tasting process and allow members to talk about their wine before it is poured and receive structured feedback. We would like you to provide as much information as possible including vintage, volume, fermentation specifics–whatever you might have.  In addition to our (somewhat) distinguished panel of experts from the SHW Board, we are also planning to have a few professionals in attendance to provide commentary and constructive support for the art of wine making.  We hope to see you there on Thursday.

August 9 (our annual picnic, at JW Nickel’s – see the August Newsletter for details)

This is our annual pot luck picnic where we schmooze among ourselves, eat great picnic fare and sample one another’s wines.

September 13

Structured/proctored tasting and evaluation of home winemaker products.

Planned topic will be fermentation (yeasts, SO2, cold soaking, extended maceration).

October 11

Structured/proctored tasting and evaluation of home winemaker products.

Harvest tips and issues

November 8

Structured/proctored tasting and evaluation of home winemaker products.


December 13  – Holiday Party (See December Newsletter for details)

January 10, 2019

Structured/proctored tasting and evaluation of home winemaker products.

Farming Planning

February 14, 2019

Structured/proctored tasting and evaluation of home winemaker products.

(Currently proposed: Making rose

March 14, 2019

Structured/proctored tasting and evaluation of home winemaker products.

(Currently proposed: Distilling)