Where Wine Makers and Grape Growers Share Their Knowledge


WineFest 2008 Santa Rosa, California               July 10, 11, 12th,  2008

The 2008 WinePress.US Winefest will be held in the center of wine country, in Santa Rosa, California, July 10-12th.  We'll be hosting all events at the Flamingo Resort & Spa.    Register early online below to ensure your spot.


Let me just say, this resort is truly beautiful, and they have all that you need for a relaxing visit.   I was very impressed by what all they have to offer, and they're great people to work with too.   On top of that, they've got an amazing chef.           


Scroll on down to learn more about Flamingo Resort & Spa.  You can print out their registration form, and fax it in to them.   You can also register for the winefest events (not hotel reservations) online by using the form below, or printing it out and emailing, or faxing it in to me.    



 Room rates are $155/night (plus tax) for Thurs, Fri and Sat nights.  For those wanting to stay longer to take advantage of all the beauty that Santa Rosa has to offer, the Flamingo Resort & Spa is offering a discounted rate of $119/ night (plus tax) for the three days prior and after this event.

All Seminar Times / Events subject to change until schedule is complete. Check back often.

Thursday July 10th Events:
9:30 - 7PM - Lake County Wine Country Tour:
Full and half day bus tour of the mountainous Lake County Wine Region - ALL FREE
2 - 7 PM - half day bus - Confirm with Lake County Winegrape Commission in forum via email

7:00 -11:00 Cocktail party & get together with cash bar at the Flamingo Resort and Spa with cheese, crackers and my home made deer sausage.

Friday July 11th Events: All day at Flamingo Resort & Spa in Santa Rosa, CA    
Registration begins at 9:00 AM
10:00 - 10:50 Bryan Rahn - Coastal Viticultural Consultants - Vineyard soils, layout & design, Irrigation
11:00 - 11:50 Michelle Bowen - Vinquiry - Setting up a Home Lab & How to Use it - Sulfide issues
12:00 - 12:50 Steve Kemiji - ReCoop Barrels - Barrel choices - to oak or not to oak
1:00 - 2:00 Buffet Lunch -  Sponsor needed
2:00 - 2:50 Shea Comfort - MoreWine - Yeast / Bacteria pairings and Structuring Wines 
3:00 - 3:50 Bob Peak - The Beverage People - The Road Less Travelled: Making Rose, Nouveau, and Port Style Wines
4:00 - 6:00 Local California Wine Tasting - Philo Ridge, Brutocao, Shannon Ridge, Kendall-Jackson, more....
6:00 - 7:00 Buffet Dinner -   Sponsored by the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission - Talking about Sonoma County and how to source grapes from Sonoma County online, with some local small growers to talk to who sell their grapes to home winemakers.

Saturday  July 12th Events: All Day at the Flamingo Resort & Spa in Santa Rosa, CA
Registration begins at 8:30 AM
9:00 - 10:00 Rick Gunier - Lake County Wine Grape Commission - How highest elevation affects California Wine
10:00 - 11:00 Rick Theiner - Logic - Proper Sanitation in Winemaking procedures
11:00 - 12:00 Mike Orton - The Valley Vintner -  Vacuum transfer procedure
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Deli Buffet - Sponsored by WinePod
1:00 - 2:00 Peterangelo Vallis - Blending Techniques, When, Sample Sizes, Flavor Profiles & Percentages
2:00 - 3:00 Tristan Johnson - MoreWine - Aeration / Oxidation - Testing SO2
3:00 - 4:00 Andy Coradeschi - Introduction to Wine Tasting - Educate your palate
4:00 - 6:00 Tasting of wines submitted for Amateur Wine Competition
6:00 - 6:02 WinePress.US - Joel Sommer - What it is, and where it's going.
6:02 - 7:00 Dinner Buffet - Sponsored by the Mendocino Winegrape & Wine Commission, an opportunity to discover the wine and grapes from America's Greenest Wine Region
7:00 - 9:00 Steve Comella - Wine Making Award announcements, Wine Exchange,  - Discussion on 2009 WineFest - Acknowledgements - Auction (cash bar)

Sunday July 13th Events:    Winery tour offer by Mendocino Winegrape & Wine Commission.   This would be a great day to see the local sights and wineries if you haven't already done so. 

Supporting companies with meal sponsorships:
-  Friday Lunch -
-  Friday Dinner - Sonoma County Winegrape Commission

- Saturday Lunch - WinePod by Provina
- Saturday Dinner - Mendocino Winegrape & Wine Commission

Donated Door Prizes & Auction Items:
"Curt" - many packages of various types of oak - staves, cubes, dust, etc. Always a hit.
Cellar Craft - free kit of choice gift certificate
Noontime Labels - Two (2) certificates for one free label order each
The Wine Appreciation Guild - Three (3) books - Winery Technology and Operations
Vinquiry, Inc.  - Two (2) coupons for harvest analysis

REGISTER BEFORE JULY 1st to save money and help me with ordering the correct catering.   Cheers, and I hope to see you there.    Seating is limited to the first 150 people.

Categories Per Person Pricing  
Full Event Package - Thursday evening Cocktail Party, Friday & Saturday Seminars, Buffet Lunches, Buffet Dinners, Wine Tastings $275 Per Person Prepaid

$325 after July 1st

Friday Events Only - Thursday evening Cocktail Party, Friday Seminars, Buffet Lunch, Buffet Dinner, Wine Tasting $150 Per Person Prepaid

$195 after July 1st

Friday Dinner and Full Saturday Events - Thursday evening Cocktail Party, Friday Wine Tasting, Dinner, Wine Tasting, Saturday Seminars, Lunch, Dinner and Awards.    Starts at 4:00 pm Friday  $200 Per Person Prepaid

$265 after July 1st

Friday Afternoon / Evening Events Only - Thursday evening Cocktail Party, Friday Wine Tasting, Buffet Dinner - starting at 4:00 pm  $125 Per Person Prepaid

$175 after July 1st

Saturday Events Only - Thursday evening Cocktail Party, Saturday Seminars, Buffet Lunch, Buffet Dinner, Awards $150 Per Person Prepaid

$195 after July 1st

Saturday Afternoon / Evening Events Only - Wine Tasting Seminar, Dinner and Awards starts at 3:00 pm $125 Per Person Prepaid

$175 after July 1st

Amateur Wine Making Competition   Please fill out form and email, mail or fax $15 per bottle entry PPD
$15 after July 1st
Make a Donation to WinePress.US $10 each unit.  Your support is greatly appreciated in helping keep WinePress.US FREE for all to use.
  Check Out:

Register early.



Hotel Info: 

The Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, in the Sonoma County Wine Country, is a Santa Rosa historic landmark. With the classic charm of the resort hotels of the 1950s and all the contemporary amenities important to today’s guests, it is the perfect location for exploring Northern California’s premier Wine Country in Sonoma and Napa. The hotel is centrally located to the towns of Healdsburg, Sonoma, Calistoga and St. Helena. The Pacific Ocean, the Russian River and Armstrong Redwood Grove are both just a short drive away.

Set among the artfully-maintained gardens is the resort’s world-class health club and spa. The Santa Rosa resort is central to twelve distinct wine appellations including the Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and Sonoma Valley. Recreation attractions are abundant both at the resort and in the surrounding Sonoma County countryside.


bulletMontecito Heights Health Club and Spa
bulletTwo Olympic Size Pools, Five Tennis Courts
bulletSunday Brunch, Poolside Dining
bulletNightly Entertainment, The Lounge
bulletCorporate Travel Club
bulletGolf/Spa/Winery Packages
bulletHigh-Speed Internet, WiFi
bulletMeeting Space: 13,000 sq. ft, 2 Board Rooms, Ballroom 400pp


Montecito Heights Health & Racket Club

The World-class 20,000 square-foot Montecito Heights Health Club with five tennis courts, 25 meter heated lap pool, and 1,200 square-foot group exercise room is adjacent to the resort. The full-service club features: Cybex equipment, free weights, a cardio theatre, a beverage lounge and a daily child care room.

The Spa at Montecito Heights

Enter a private world of relaxation and rejuvenation at the Spa at Montecito Heights. Wrapped in a spa robe guests luxuriate in the cozy indoor lounge or recline on a spa chair under the gentle Sonoma sun on the secluded outdoor patio. Enjoy innovative treatments and packages or indulge yourself in one of the spa's specialty treatments including:


bulletSoothing Vichy rain water treatments
bulletWarming ginger body scrubs
bulletEuropean and clinical style facials utilizing the finest and ecologically balanced products available
bulletNatural Spa Manicures and Pedicures
bulletSwedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Shiatsu, Thai, Prenatal and Reflexology massage
bulletMyofascial and Reiki Therapy


Flamingo Resort

Recommended info to put on wine competition entry shipments:

Food Samples for Evaluation

Not taxable per 27 CFR 24.75

Not perishable – No Commercial Value

Conforms to applicable IRS and FDA requirements

Possible topics discussed previously in the WinePress.US discussion forum: 

·         How to taste wine and educate your palate – what to look for when tasting wine

·         2007 Accuvin Presentation on testing was very well received

·         Aeration Oxidation how to set up, how to normalize the solutions and how to do the math

·         have a guest winemaker come in and give an entire presentation on working with one or two specific varietals. For example, they might cover an entire hour on just Cabernet, or just Syrah, etc.

·         I'd like to see some "panel discussions" on specific topics which invites interactive discussion.

·         Degassing seems to be an issue that comes up repeatedly on the forum, seems like that would be a good thing to learn about.....

·         I also wouldn't mind learning about how to properly prune my grapevines. I'm still pretty lost on that one.

·         I like demonstrations, too. Some folks may have never used an acid kit, or titrated to measure SO2, or used a MityVac. Having a demo station or a few of them, say during a poster session, where people can get hands-on experience might work.

·         I agree, vendor demos are really valuable, and I enjoy them when their given.

·         I *really* would like to hear from different successful professional winemakers on their various techniques used. A roundtable discussion or solo presentation would be invaluable to me. I'd pay dearly to hear Jeff Cohn discuss his various wine making techniques or Heidi Peterson Barrett on her techniques in a small venue.

·         A presentation on how kit ingredients are selected, how far in advance grapes are contracted for, how the grapes or juice concentrate gets to factory/winery, especially from foreign sources. You know, that stuff. How it is held for processing, etc. Is it frozen? Is this all a secret?

·         A sparkling wine how-to-demonstration would be excellent. Especially if the person had the wine at different stages, a la a cooking show: demonstrated how to add the yeast, how to de-gorge, and different methods for that process. We've been having a lively thread on this in general winemaking, but many of us would benefit from seeing the process in action. Plus it would be fun!

·         I would sure like to learn a bit about blending techniques. Might seem obvious but I am sure those that are really good at it have a sound approach to their blending of varietals.    When to blend.    Sample sizes.   How long to wait after blending to confirm blends.    Flavor profiles and percentages.

·         I'd love to see one on biodynamic winemaking.









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Local Photos
Take a look at some recent photos I took on a quick visit to the Santa Rosa region. 

Keep in mind that four meals will be included for this event.  Recently, I was at a winery expo and had to pay $225 for 6 hours of seminars and all they included was coffee.  


I truly hope you see the value and wealth of knowledge you'll receive, not to mention the great friendships you'll make.

A downloadable wine competition form will be made available shortly if you want to pay by check or money order.


Phone Credit Card transactions available soon: Call Joel at 618-768-4900


Download a Winefest registration form here and mail, or email it to get registered.



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