President's Blog - Mike Little

  • May 04, 2021 12:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi Purple Footers.  It’s spring!  Finally!  Hopefully you have been able to venture outside and get a little bit of the sunshine, vitamin D and something resembling outside warmth. 

    This is the final newsletter of our current club year and it has been quite a year for our wine club.  We have had to be innovative in order to stay in touch and I am extremely happy to say that it has worked.  Participation on all fronts has been great, we have had no reports of Covid being passed around any of our events and we have managed to stay moderately sane during the club year.  (I said moderately).

    We have one final regular meeting and this one is live at the Croatian Hall.  This is our Nouveau Competition and hopefully you’re all getting your wines ready to submit.  The Rhubarb competition is part of this as well and we do hope that we get lots of entries. 

    Current protocol requires indoor masks while not consuming, and vaccines are also necessary.  Since I am sure that most of us have been through all of that, I am looking forward to a good representation.  Bring wines!  Have them evaluated and we’ll also be going back to our normal group judging format so there will be wines to taste and judge.  Finally!

    We will continue to do fun things this summer.  Our normal picnic spot has been reserved, so look forward to an announcement regarding that.  Also, we’ll be doing a winery tour in the beginning of August.  It will be local and we look forward to having a fun gathering.  Look for dates and meeting times on the website and you will also get an email before each event.

    Probably the best news of all is that we have reserved Peter O’Neill Hall once again for our Holiday party.  The committee is in full swing and planning and if anyone would like to participate on that committee, please contact me.  We’ll probably continue to Zoom a lot of our meetings but it’s never too early to get things going.

    Next year marks our club’s 50th Anniversary.  I am honored to be president for the coming year and look forward to a lot of fun activities and winemaking.  We will also be reviewing our club’s history and from what I have seen so far, this should fascinate everyone and will bring back a whole lot of fun memories for some of our longer-term members.  Our newer members (including me) will gain a wonderful perspective of both winemaking history and the members in general.  Hopefully we will have a commemorative activity or two.  Actually, wouldn’t it be fun if we were able to get a little bit of publicity as well?  If anyone has any contacts among news folks, we would love to talk with them.  Good news is in short supply these days and what better good news than the making of wonderful wine?

    Speaking of good things, one of the results of our pandemic has actually been an advantage.  We are able, with present technology, to reach a whole lot more people via Zoom these days.  We can include more of our members from farther away or otherwise unable to attend meetings in person.  We also have the ability to schedule committee meetings that otherwise might not happen.  This means that we can accomplish a lot more.  Yes, Zoom is a pain.  It is also a huge step forward in communication. 

    Also, please don’t ignore our fabulous new website.  It needs using.  You can get recipes, winemaking help, past newsletters, and a lot of good commentary right on the site.  We also have forums where a lot of communication can happen. 

    I’m looking forward to seeing you at the May meeting and perhaps at one or two events this summer.  Until then, Cheers!


  • April 07, 2021 1:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy April, Purple Footers!

    Our NEW website is now live!  www.purplefoot.org is now officially switched to our new platform and I am anxious to get everyone’s feedback.  Our Communications Committee has spent an enormous amount of time collaborating on a brand new site based on a platform designed specifically for non-profit organizations and we are extremely proud of the result. 

    First, a huge thanks to the Communications Committee, including Doug Hudson, Steve Kroll, Gordon Rouse and Larry Janke.  When we started meeting back in September of last year, it was hard to believe that the result would be a complete, well-built website that will serve the club for many years to come.

    Doug identified our platform and set up the site structure.  He went through an enormous learning curve to do this and I am absolutely amazed at the result.  Steve has been working on keeping things consistent, providing a huge amount of technical background and simplification, keeping our design working properly.  Gordon has worked hard on Library research and review, along with Larry, which keeps us on track and correcting any issues that we might come across.  You all deserve a round of applause.  The result is stunning. 

    The site will be our primary means of group communications in the future.  We are now able to post comments, information and continuing education at any time and everyone’s participation is encouraged.  The new site offers a huge amount of new content and information.

    Members can renew and new members can join online via credit card now with just a few clicks.  No more having to send checks or wait for information to be compiled into our membership directory.  Now you can control your own details and profile quickly and easily.  You can upload a picture (Avatar) and even create a photo album if you like.

    We have a forum where you can post general questions, answer others and have a conversation about wine topics.  Please feel free to try it out and post something.  Communication is the key. 

    Club Services offers a whole range of the types of information that we are always looking to share.  This is a growing section that will provide a ton of information regarding making wine, solving issues and helping you to move your winemaking skills to a whole new level.  The Mentoring Committee is working on filling out a solid, easily followed help area.  We have FAQs that will continue to grow with your help and input.  We will also post videos and workshops that will give you some additional help.  I’ll post more information on the Mentoring Committee in a future letter. 

    The members’ section contains contact information along with club documents along with a complete newsletter archive.  It is great fun reading some of our back issues, starting with the 1982 club year.  Our history is right there to see and, in some cases, remember. 

    I’ve just touched the surface here.  I urge you to visit and explore the site.  It is worth a bit of time and is just plain fun.  Feel free to post comments in the Forum section, just to let us know you’re here.  Please let us know if you have any issues or find any glitches.  You can contact Doug, Steve or Mike to let us know. 

    Oh, and we’ll see you at the April tasting.  It will be a fun review of some good, inexpensive wines, led by Doug Hudson.  If you’re able, join a group.  The club is paying for wines based on group size.  I am looking forward to seeing you!


  • March 22, 2021 11:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Spring sprang on Saturday.  We're now a year and a month into the Pandemic.  We have most likely consumed more wine by at least fifty percent than we did for the entire previous decade.  Did you know that 95% of all statistics are made up?

    There.  An introduction.

    Have you been vaccinated yet?  I know that the numbers are steadily rising and as a result, so is our confidence that we can start getting back together again.  That is the exciting news for this month!  

    April's meeting, scheduled for the 14th, is a cautious step toward getting back to full meetings.  As you probably know, we've been planning the majority of our club meetings based on latest data and at this point, it would appear that people are able to gather safely after being vaccinated.  As a result, we're offering a small-group tasting event for April.  It will feature some wines that have been carefully selected by Doug Hudson, from the cellars of Trader Joe's.  The good news is that the club will pay for the wines based on the following criteria:

    IF you would like to participate, a group of three people will be reimbursed for one wine.  Four people in a group get paid for two of the wines.  Five people get three wines and six or more people will have all four wines paid for.  

    We haven't tried to identify gathering groups as yet.  We can have as many as people would like to join and we'll gladly help work out details and set up locations.  The requirements are that we follow CDC guidelines.  At present, it is possible for vaccinated individuals to get together indoors in small groups, without masks.  That means smaller group tastings are possible and the club wants to provide some incentive for doing so.  

    Please contact me or Larry Janke if you're interested in participating in one of the groups.  We'll start getting suggestions as soon as possible.  

    And, the current plan is to do a live meeting for May, which is our Nouveau competition.  It will be the anniversary of our first Zoom competition and we look forward to being at the Croatian Hall for this particular meeting.  We will partially Zoom as well, for those who are unable to attend, but it would be great to have multiple judges at all of our tables once more!  

    That's the news as I see it.  And I'm looking forward to seeing you soon!


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