Where Wine Makers and Grape Growers Share Their Knowledge


WineFest 2009 Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN               October 15, 16 & 17th, 2009


The 2009 WinePress.US Winefest will be held in the center of Minnesota wine country, in St. Paul, MN October 15, 16 & 17th, 2009.   The Winefest will be held at the Wildwood Lodge in Woodbury, MN. 

Room rates at the Wildwood Lodge are just $99 / night (reduced from $150/night), which includes breakfast, wireless Internet and parking. 

You must reserve your rooms with the Wildwood Lodge via phone and early to ensure the WinePress.US Winefest rate.   Call now: 651-714-8068 or click here to learn more about the Wildwood Lodge  

All Seminar Times / Events subject to change until schedule is complete. Check back often.   We will be changing things up a bit all the way up to Thursday.   We will be doing things a little differently this year as well.   We hope you enjoy your winefest.

Thursday October 15th Events:
7:00 -11:00 Cocktail party & get together with cash bar  with cheese, crackers and my home made deer sausage.

Friday October 16th Events: All day at Wildwood Lodge, Woodbury, MN    
Registration begins at 9:00 AM
10:00 - 10:50 - Steve Kroll - sugar, acid & pH adjustments
11:00 - 11:50 -  - Mike Staggemeyer - Staggemeyer Stave - Staves and Minnesota White Oak
12:00 - 12:50  -  Joel Sommer - Fruit and Country Winemaking - from two perspectives - open discussion
1:00 - 2:00 Buffet Lunch -  no sponsor
2:00 - 2:50 -  Dennis McDonald - Proper Vineyard Basics and Layout
3:00 - 3:50  Beth Mikulay - Midwest Supply - Making wines from Frozen Grape Pails
4:00 - 6:00 Local Minnesota Wine Tasting - Wines from local Minnesota wineries
6:00 - 7:00 Buffet Dinner -  no sponsor

Saturday  October 17th Events: All Day at the Wildwood Lodge, Woodbury, MN  
Registration begins at 8:30 AM
9:00 - 10:00 Bob Parke - Hybrid Winemaking
10:00 - 11:00  -  Joel Sommer - Filtering demonstration
11:00 - 12:00 - Dennis McDonald - Spray programs for grape growing
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Deli Buffet - no sponsor
1:00 - 2:00   - Joel Sommer - Starting a kit wine
2:00 - 3:00 - Beth Mikulay - Midwest Supply - Making Cranberry Wine
3:00 - 4:00 - Joel Sommer - Hands on testing of wines
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 - no sponsor
7:00 - 9:00 Steve Kroll - Wine Making Award announcements, Wine Exchange,  - Discussion on 2010 WineFest - Acknowledgements - Auction (cash bar)

Sunday October 18th   Events:    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 -

- Saturday Lunch -
- Saturday Dinner -

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
Daniel Pambianchi - Two (2) books - autographed "Techniques in Home Winemaking"

REGISTER BEFORE September 10th 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 100 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

$295 after Sept 10th

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

$175 after Sept 10th

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

$235 after Sept 10th

Friday Afternoon / Evening Events Only - Thursday evening Cocktail Party, Friday Wine Tasting, Buffet Dinner - starting at 4:00 pm  $85 Per Person Prepaid

$100 after Sept 10th

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

$175 after Sept 10th

Saturday Afternoon / Evening Events Only - Wine Tasting Seminar, Dinner and Awards starts at 3:00 pm $95 Per Person Prepaid

$110 after Sept 10th

Amateur Wine Making Competition   Please fill out form and email, mail or fax $15 per bottle entry PPD
$15 after
Sept 10th
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.




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





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