Welcome to Cellarmasters of Los Angeles Home Winemaking Club

42nd Annual Competition was a big success!

CM Photo 3Our BEST OF SHOW WINNERS for the 42nd Annual Cellarmasters of Los Angeles Winemaking Competition.

BEST OF SHOW RED : Mark Jurgens, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Calaveras County, CA

BEST OF SHOW WHITE: Joe Laws, 2015 Piesporter, MO

BEST OF SHOW SWEET: Janice Hayhurst, 2014 Strawberry, RI

BEST OF SHOW MEAD: Louis Piacentini, 2014 Mead. MA

Congratulations to all our medal winners. Thank you to everyone who made the competition a success. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into a well organized wine competition. I would like to thank everyone who volunteered including judges, stewards, Cellarmaster members, spouses, friends and family.

It takes a lot of committed individuals to help organize this event and I truly appreciate everyone who helped.  Special thanks to Julie Wasserman for being head steward, Gregg Orgorzelec for setting up the judging panels, Jeff Canter, John Umhey, Al Gottlieb and Gregg Smith for getting tables, chairs and helping set up at Camarillo Custom crush. Thanks also to Jill Crudup for helping me log in all the wines and Juanita for setting up lunch and everyone who brought in breakfast items  I also want to thank Matt Lester and Elissa Rosenberg for putting on a wonderful sensory evaluation clinic.  Dave Lustig and Nancy Scott also need a shout out for helping all the judges get ready for the competition at the judging seminar they ran prior to the competition.

And all those glasses.  Thanks to Paige Tauscher, Elissa Rosenberg, Robert Crudup, Lynda Lo-Hill, Madeline Smith and Suzy Canter for washing, rinsing, drying and washing again.

 I also want to thank John Daume at Camarillo Custom Crush for once again letting us hold our competition in his winery.

I think fun was had by all and not only did we enjoy judging and tasting some wonderful wines, but we enjoyed some yummy food all day long.  

Thanks also to the Paella chefs, Rich Swank, Gregg Smith and Matt Lester as well as their sous chefs, Elissa Rosenberg, Juanita Schmidt and Dave Lustig .  All three paellas were delicious and they went perfectly with all the wines.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and I look forward to seeing you at the Cellarbration on December 5th at the Topanga Community Center.  Send me an RSVP if you can make it.

There were many delicious wines this year. The medal breakdown is: 36 gold, 74 silver, 52 bronze.


silver 62 Merlot 2013 Matthew & Bevin Abbe
gold 63 Syrah 2013 Matthew & Bevin Abbe
bronze 70 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Matthew & Bevin Abbe
bronze 17 Merlot 2014 George A Anderson IV
bronze 308 Pinot Griogio 2014 George A Anderson IV
bronze 309 Chardonnay 2014 George A Anderson IV
silver 113 Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Steve Bernal
bronze 121 Malbec 2010 Steve Bernal
gold 125 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Steve Bernal
silver 65 Concord -sweet 2013 David Blank
bronze 73 Chambourcin dry 2013 David Blank
silver 318 Gweurztraminer 2013 David Blank
bronze 319 Chardonnay 2013 David Blank
silver 320 Catawaba:Concord 2013 David Blank
gold 408 Blueberry 2013 David Blank
silver 5 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Jim Bond
gold 6 Syrah 2012 Jim Bond
gold 7 Cab Sauvignon, Syrah 2012 Jim Bond
n/a 112 Syrah 2014 Rives Borland
n/a 329 Chardonnay 2014 Rives Borland
hon.men 335 Chardonnay/ML ferment 2014 Rives Borland
silver 77 Carmenere 2013 Larry Buell
gold 323 Riesling 2013 Larry Buell
gold 24 Petite Sirah 2013 Jeff Canter & Suzy Mandel
silver 25 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Jeff Canter & Suzy Mandel
bronze 26 Cabernet Franc 2013 Jeff Canter & Suzy Mandel
bronze 27 Syrah 2013 Jeff Canter & Suzy Mandel
gold 28 Merlot 2013 Jeff Canter & Suzy Mandel
bronze 29 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Jeff Canter & Suzy Mandel
silver 30 Cab Sauv/CF/PS 2013 Jeff Canter & Suzy Mandel
silver 39 Cab Sauv/Syrah/PS 2013 Jeff Canter & Suzy Mandel
silver 34 CabFran:Cab Sauv 20:80 2012 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
silver 35 Merlot:Cab S:CF 60:20:20 2013 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
silver 36 Pinot Noir 2013 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
silver 37 Merlot:Cab S 25:75 2012 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
silver 38 Primativo:Syrah 2012 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
silver 403 Blackcurrant 2014 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
silver 404 Redcurrant 2014 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
gold 405 Wineberry 2014 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
bronze 406 Concord 2014 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
silver 407 Strawberry 2014 Luke Capotosto & Barbara Medeiros
bronze 15 SANGIOVESE 2015 Keisha Card
silver 306 Pear 2013 Chris & Elizabeth Card
hon.men 307 Riesling:Elderflower 2015 Kiersten Card
silver 97 Cab franc 2014 Michael Chizzo
gold 98 Syrah 2013 Michael Chizzo
bronze 100 Cab franc 2013 Michael Chizzo
silver 102 Grenache 2014 Michael Chizzo
silver 103 Syrah 2014 Michael Chizzo
silver 327 Viognier 2014 Michael Chizzo
n/a 330 Chardonnay 2014 Bill Cox
n/a 334 Chardonnay oaked 2014 Bill Cox
bronze 411 nanking cherry melomel 2013 Bill Cox
bronze 422 Mead,hess 2013 Bill Cox
gold 2 Cabernet Savignon 2013 Chris Donnan
bronze 3 Syrah A 2013 Chris Donnan
gold 4 Syrah B 2013 Chris Donnan
silver 301 Chardonnay 2012 Chris Donnan
bronze 80 Zinfandel 2012 Tom DuKet
silver 84 Cabernet Sauvigon 2014 Tom DuKet
silver 86 Blends 1213 Tom DuKet
silver 42 Grenache/Syrah 2013 S.M. Galvin
silver 52 Syrah 2013 S.M. Galvin
silver 313 Grenache Rose S.M. Galvin
bronze 41 Syrah/ Hung oak Al Gottlieb
silver 51 Syrah/French oak Al Gottlieb
silver 64 Merlot 2014 Mira Harges
gold 59 Cabernet Franc 2010 Les Hayden
silver 69 Syrah 2012 Les Hayden
gold-bos 409 Strawberry 2014 Janice Hayhurst
silver 74 Merlot 2013 Carl Hill
bronze 107 Grenache 2014 Dave Hines
silver 110 Syrah 2014 Dave Hines
silver 114 Cab Sauv 2014 Dave Hines
bronze 117 Barbera 2014 Dave Hines
silver 130 Cab Sauv 2013 Dave Hines
bronze 328 Muscat 2015 Dave Hines
gold 44 Amarrone 2013 Kevin Hobba
silver 45 Amaronne 2014 Kevin Hobba
bronze 46 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Caps and Corks Club
silver 47 Barolo 2014 Kevin Hobba
silver 48 Acai Rasp/Cab Sauv 2014 Kevin Hobba
bronze 55 Brunello 2014 Kevin Hobba
gold 314 Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Caps and Corks Club
silver 315 Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Kevin Hobba
bronze 67 Sangiovese 2013 Adrian Hunt
silver 90 Caber. Sauv 2012 Walt Janowski
silver 94 Merlot 2014 Walt Janowski
silver 95 Syrah 2013 Walt Janowski
silver 96 Pinot Noir 2012 Walt Janowski
bronze 104 Pinot Noir 2013 Walt Janowski
silver 105 Caber. Sauv 2013 Walt Janowski
bronze 43 Grenache 2015 Jivco Jetchev
silver 50 Petite Sirah 2014 Jivco Jetchev
bronze 56 Petite Sirah 2015 Jivco Jetchev
bronze 76 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Mike Johnnie and Carol Marinello
hon.men 81 Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Mike Johnnie and Carol Marinello
silver 93 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Mike Johnnie and Carol Marinello
hon.men 321 Chardonnay 2014 Mike Johnnie and Carol Marinello
gold-bos 18 Cabermet Sauvignon 2012 Mark Jurgens
silver 19 Cabermet Sauvignon 2013 Mark Jurgens
silver 20 Malbec 2013 Mark Jurgens
silver 21 Petite Sirah 2012 Mark Jurgens
bronze 22 Syrah 2013 Mark Jurgens
silver 310 Chardonnay 2014 Mark Jurgens
bronze 311 Viognier 2014 Mark Jurgens
hon.men 312 Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Mark Jurgens
bronze 109 Cabernet Sauvigon 2012 Ross Labbe & Mike Connell
gold 115 Syrah 2013 Ross Labbe & Mike Connell
bronze 108 Petite Verdot 2011 Cliff Laidlaw
bronze 87 Amarone 2014 Joe Laws
silver 92 Cab:Merlot:Sangio 2014 Joe Laws
gold 324 Gewurtztraminer 2014 Joe Laws
gold-bos 325 Piesporter 2015 Joe Laws
bronze 410 Strawberry/rhubarb 2015 Joe Laws
gold 423 CabFranc Icewine 2015 Joe Laws
silver 66 Syrah #2 2012 Matt Lester
silver 71 Cab Sauv 2012 Matt Lester
bronze 57 Syrah #1 2012 Matt Lester
hon.men 316 Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Matt Lester
bronze 122 Cabernet Franc 2013 David MacDonald/Steve Block
silver 123 Zinfandel 2013 MacDonald
silver 332 Chardonnay 2014 MacDonald
bronze 16 Cab Sav 2013 Pete & Jean Moore
gold 412 Raspberry Melomel 2014 Sean Morris
silver 417 Cherry Melomel 2014 Sean Morris
silver 420 Coco Nib Mead 2014 Sean Morris
gold 424 Sparkling rose Mead carbonation level- pellitant 2014 Sean Morris
silver 78 Cabernet Franc 2013 Terry Norseworthy
bronze 79 Petite Sirah 2012 Terry Norseworthy
gold 82 Melomel, Pyment. Cyser 2014 Terry Norseworthy
bronze 111 Grenache:Syrah 2013 Gregg Ogorzelec & Michael Werckel
silver 116 Grenache 2013 Gregg Ogorzelec & Michael Werckel
silver 415 Loquot melomel 2015 Gregg Ogorzelec & Michael Werckel
bronze 23 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Krystian Orlinski
bronze 60 CaL Syrah 2014 Ralph Otte & Bill Maher
bronze 68 Beaujolais 2013 Ralph Otte & Bill Maher
hon.men 317 Fume Gold 2012 Ralph Otte & Bill Maher
bronze 322 Piesporter 2015 Ralph Otte & Bill Maher
silver 10 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Brian Pendelton
silver 11 Malbec 2013 Brian Pendelton
silver 12 70 Malbec:30 Cab Sauv 2013 Brian Pendelton
bronze 303 Chardonney 2012 Brian Pendelton
gold 401 Limoncello 2015 Brian Pendelton
hon.men 13 Cabernet Franc 2014 Louis Piacentini
bronze 14 Zinfandel 2014 Louis Piacentini
bronze 304 Chardonnay 2015 Louis Piacentini
bronze 305 White Zinfandel 2014 Louis Piacentini
gold-bos 402 Mead 2014 Louis Piacentini
silver 49 Merlot/50CS/Malbec/CF/PV 2011 Michael Randow
silver 53 Merlot/60CS/Malbec/CF/PV 2011 Michael Randow
gold 54 85Zin/PS/Syrah 2012 Michael Randow
gold 58 50Zin/CS/S/PS 2012 Michael Randow
silver 61 60Merlot/Malbec/PV 2011 Michael Randow
silver 72 80CS/Merlot/CF/PV 2011 Michael Randow
gold 75 Syrah select 2014 Mimi & Paul Roberts
gold 83 Syrah 2014 Mimi & Paul Roberts
bronze 8 Frontenac 2012 Jason Schultz
n/a 9 Petite Verdot 2012 Jason Schultz
silver 85 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Gregg Smith
gold 88 Merlot 2012 Gregg Smith
silver 89 Pinot Noir 2012 Gregg Smith
bronze 91 Primativo 2012 Gregg Smith
gold 99 Syrah 2013 Gregg Smith
hon.men 101 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Gregg Smith
silver 106 Syrah 2012 Gregg Smith
hon.men 326 rhone blend 1 2013 Gregg Smith
bronze 333 rhone blend 2 2013 Gregg Smith
silver 336 rhone blend 3 2013 Gregg Smith
gold 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Jennifer Swank
silver 140 Grenache/Syrah 2013 Jennifer Swank
gold 160 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Jennifer Swank
silver 31 Charbono 2014 Nick Thomsic
gold 32 Zinfandel 2013 Nick Thomsic
silver 33 Barbera 2013 Nick Thomsic
bronze 1 Syrah 2013 Jason Walker
gold 40 Grenache 2014 Peggy and Ric Wiles
bronze 302 Chardonnay 2014 Dennis Woody


Bring in 100mL of your 2015 wines and we will test pH, check to see if your Malo-lactic fermentation is complete and do a sensory evaluation.  We will also help you determine if you need to add tartaric acid to your wine and what levels of potassium meta bisulfite need to bee added to ensure your wines are protected from oxidation and spoilage organisms.  Price is $5 per sample.

2015 Cellarbration is coming up quickly at the Topanga Community Center on December 5th at 5pm

The Magpies will be playing again this year so put your dancing shoes on, bring a side dish, wine, log for the fire and gift for our toys for tots drive.  There will also ba a raffle and wine gift exchange  Price is$ 20 per person.  Please RSVP to Jennifer Swank


42nd Annual Amateur Winemaking Competition

Click HERE for more information.

If you are judging, stewarding or working the competition, here is the rough schedule.

Location: Camarillo Custom Crush, 300 S Lewis Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012

7:30a: set up
8a: Stewards arrive & Breakfast begins
8:30a: Judges arrive
9a: Calibration
9:15a: Judging starts
12p-ish Best Of Show
1p – done
4p or earlier- Swanks post party

Monthly Meeting

December’s meeting on 12/3/15 will be a wine testing meeting, NOT the usual meeting. We will be testing your wine’s pH, TA, MLF and offering a sensory analysis. Cost is $5 per wine sample. 7p start.  Food is always welcome.

First up, if you’re new to wine or home winemaking, don’t feel intimidated. We’re a pretty friendly bunch. Our club meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at The Woodland Hills Home Wine, Beer and Cheesemaking Shop, 22836 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364, (818) 884-8586. ‎ It’s a potluck and we usually have a food theme, so bring a dish to share and a bottle of wine, homemade or commercial. We usually have a speaker and/or a tasting. Either way, if you’ve got some wine that isn’t tasting quite the way you think it should, feel free to bring some along and let our wine gurus help you figure out what’s going on with it.

In the News:

Our own Michael Holland in the LA Times.

Membership Information:

For information on how to join the club or to pay your dues online, please go to our Cellarmasters Membership page.


Our latest newsletter and some of our past ones can be downloaded on our Newsletter page.

9 Responses to 'Welcome to Cellarmasters of Los Angeles Home Winemaking Club'

  1. Chuck Wiseman says:

    Why did did brix fall from 25 to 16 rapidly then sort of plateau?

    • Jennifer Swank says:

      Chuck, did you add any nutrients at the beginning of fermentation or after fermentation was progressing? Lack of nutrients could cause a fermentation to plateau. If you haven’t added Nutrients I would suggest you add some. Another problem could be a yeast with low alcohol tolerance. What yeast did you using and what varietal are you fermenting. Also what temperature where you fermenting at?

    • Tom S says:

      Sounds like a stuck fermentation. Probably got too hot and all the yeast died. At 16 Brix you should be able to restart it pretty easily. It would be much worse if it stuck at 1 Brix. Very difficult to get that going again.

  2. Frank Iurato says:

    when will the results of the amateur competition be posted ?

  3. Rick smith says:

    Hi when will the metals be sent out for 2014, thank you

    • Gregg Ogorzelec says:

      Rick, they are being sent out this week. There was a delay with production of them. We apologize for that and thanks for entering.

  4. Bernadette says:

    This is just a random thought! We have a little over 2/3 acres of pretty steep (35 degrees) terrain in Rancho Palos Verdes that we would like to offer winemakers to plant grapes. We LOVE wine, but do not have the experience of planting the vines and would like to offer it for our landscaping enjoyment and for you to pick and use!

    • Gregg Ogorzelec says:

      Bernadette, thanks for reaching out to us. I would love to put your offer into our next month’s newsletter. Are you fine with me putting your email address in it?

      Let me know.



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