This afternoon, Vinomaker and I attended the 27th annual Home Winemakers Classic, hosted at St. Supery Winery. It's a fun event and we have probably gone the past 7 or 8 years in a row. It is a great opportunity to see what local home winemakers are up to and taste some good, some not so good, non-commercial wines. There are varietals that you recognise and some you don't. Some home winemakers take it all quite seriously and a lot of care and effort is taken in procuring the fruit, fermenting the wine, and producing very professional looking labels (I may post a couple of my favourites in the future). To others it is very definitely a hobby and they take a more light hearted approach to the whole thing, like the wine with the label that was nothing more than a piece of gaffer tape and a marker!
For the price of admission there is great food, live music, approximately 60 home wine makers, a raffle (one prize is a BBQ at the firehouse, cooked by the fire chief), a free engraved wine glass, and a silent auction. Vinomaker picked up a couple of really good wines at bargain basement prices. Locals know such events around the valley are often a goldmine of hard to come by, collectible wines.
All the proceeds of the event go to maintaining and replacing the fire departments aging equipment, training the volunteer firefighters, covering costs (such as uniforms and fuel), and the general operating expenses of a much needed service in a rather rural part of the valley.
All in all, it's good wholesome fun, a chance to taste and definitely spit, catch up with friends and, last but not least, support a good cause.