About Me ~ Joel Sommer ~ History, Growth, Grapes & Wine

For more than 11 years, I worked in the Internet industry selling high speed Internet connections, network topology assistance, data center construction, network security services, and everything Internet & Information Technology.  Year after Year, I really looked forward to giving some of my most loyal, and most liked customers and clients cheese and sausage baskets chock-FULL of my own home made deer sausage, nestled within other unique holiday goodies and gifts. It was later on along this11 year 'all things technology' journey and home-made gift-giving ~ that making my OWN wines, at home, really began to appeal to me. It was an almost 'nagging' desire that I gave into - just  wanting to make wine at home, and to be able to share it with others.  This was just the beginning of a true inner passion of mine that has grown to levels I hadn't planned on, let alone one that led me to plan, build, reinvent and GROW an intense and in-depth website that is now the LARGEST on the web for wine lovers and wine makers!

At about this time I spent two weeks solid in EVERY effort to research making wine at home and leaving NO stone unturned - how to make a really great home-made wine. I discovered  web sites that sold this or that, promoted that and this, though NONE of them truly explained precisely WHAT to do - to make wine - once you got home. This led me to further delve into various online winemaking groups, but I just did not care for the format that AOL, Google or Yahoo had to offer since I had to click through WHOLE PAGE ads ~ just to read a single post, or reply to one.  It was unbelievably cumbersome, time consuming, and I knew there had to be a better way..

I had a resource - in fact, I WAS a resource. I then relied on the 11 years spent working in all things IT, I applied the experiential knowledge I had gained during my career path along the cyber-information-highways, and decided to document my journey of making one's OWN wine - mistakes, masterpieces and EVERYthing in between ~ through my own website. I chose to 'fill in the online gap.' 

WinePress.US is not only my 'brainchild' ~ born of all of the above.  It truly is a part of who I am ~ a 'blending' of my inner passions, my career paths, my insatiable desire to find or CREATE something I personally discovered to be lacking. And I knew that in creating WinePress.US - I would be able to provide and to share just what it was I had so doggedly searched for myself.

I later added the discussion forum to create a more user friendly environment for like-minded wine lovers where they can share, trade tips, recipe's, real-life journeys - good AND bad - in making wines, growing grapes, and so much more. Soon after, WinePress.US was featured in industry and mainstream magazines, online radio pod-casts, and both print and online newspapers. 

I guess you could say that WinePress.US has grown, like my grape vineyards, like a fine wine, itself. And this personal endeavor of mine has been both an excitingly tasteful and bitter-sweetly challenging journey that I savor, and I cherish ~ just as I would ~ a glass of home-made wine.

Why make a homemade wine?

I have to say that making a wine of your own, at home brings a very unique level of personal satisfaction, and for me ~ as well as many other home-made wine makers ~ a 'calmness' that seems to 'still the waters' of life, or a rocky day. Making a wine from home can be whatever it is YOU want it to be. It is an EXPERIENCE. It could begin as an interesting hobby shared with a spouse, with family, with friends - or all on your own.  There truly is a very special satisfaction you will feel and even share in ~ when someone tastes one of YOUR home-made wines, and that feeling inside just glows when you behold another's enjoyment of something that you made. 

WinePress.US in the News.....

Below are some newsworthy articles and links to stories of, about, or related to WinePress.US. We have been featured in numerous industry magazines, garnered both radio and TV news attention, as well as a great deal of articles and 'Shout Out's' all over the internet. Stay tuned here, there is ALWAYS more to come!

June 2008 ~ WinePress.US and its members are instrumental in bringing out of date CA law to light, and getting SB 607 passed into law.  

In an initial inquest for a permit for the 2008 WinePress.US Winefest to the ABC (Alcohol & Beverage Control), the ABC notified WinePress.US that our wine competition and wine swap would be illegal.  After dozens of emails to the ABC to find a way to host the Winefest legally.   Each email received in reply, continually stated  that what I wanted to do was illegal.  
The law in place at that time prohibited home winemakers from not only transporting wines from the place where it was made, but giving giving it as a gift, as well.  I sent out more emails to nearly twenty (20) winemaking clubs in California, notifying them of this antiquated and senseless law.   Many of our own WinePress.US members, especially Andy Coradeschi, sent emails to local congressmen and congresswomen, wine clubs and more.    Andy has been profoundly instrumental as our point of contact with both Senator Wiggins' and Senator Boyd's offices in California. 

Both the Assembly and the Senate quickly approved the bill, and has now received signature by  Governor Schwarzenegger, changing this law.  Great work by all the legislators in CA, all who wrote letters to their senators, Andy Coradeschi and all the WP members.   Cheers to a job well done!!!
   Read SB 607 and review here or the initial article by the Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, CA

August 2010 ~ WinePress.US offers free advertising to all tourism and convention bureaus affected by the oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.  

Joel Sommer, of WinePress.US has chosen to offer whatever help he can to help those affected by the Horizon oil spill.  "When I discover an opportunity to help, I want to use my forum here at WinePress.US to assist wherever I can.  Far too many people have been affected by this horrendous and far-reaching oil spill in the gulf - many of which rely on tourism dollars."  WinePress.US is helping by offering all tourism bureaus free advertising in our sincere efforts to draw more tourists to their regions, thereby helping to reinvigorate their local industries and the economy.


WinePress.US was recently interviewed by WineMaking Radio and a downloadable mp3 file or streaming audio can be found here in Episode #8 & #9.

WinePress.US was again recently interviewed by WineMakingRadio.com in episode #12.


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  Sommer Breeze Vineyard, St. Libory, IL, USA                                    Sommer Consulting, Web Site Design & Hosting