Come join The Orange County Wine Meetup Group at a local wine tasting! The OC Wine Meetup Group is for fun, friendly wine loving folks who enjoy exploring new wines, participating in wine dinners/gatherings and of course making new friends. Everyone is welcome - from those who are new to wine to educated wine connoisseurs. Our members vary in age and include singles and couples. We do NOT charge a membership fee but we do require a photo to join the group - otherwise it makes it very difficult for organizers to recognize you at events.
This group was created way back on May 7, 2003, over 20 years ago by me, Steve Grande. It started out with just a dozen members meeting each month at the Table Ten Wine Bar & Restaurant in Fullerton, California, a venue that unfortunately no longer exists. Since then it has grown to over 3,000 members.
For a number of years it was very active with many Assistant Organizers and Event Organizers with multiple events held every month all over Orange County. But as of late there have been very few events. Because of that, I have decided to reboot this organization and start from scratch. I have removed the Co-Organizer, Assistant Organizer and Event Organizer status of almost everyone in those roles since there have been almost no events organized over the last couple of years as of October 2023.
If you would like to volunteer to be an Event Organizer, or even an Assistant Organizer, of the OC Wine Meetup Group, send me a message through Meetup or you can email me directly at steve @ silverrails.com . If you would like to be an Event Organizer, let me know in which part of Orange County you would like to have events. If you have a specific winery, wine bar, or other venue in mind where you would like to organize events, let me know that also. Orange County covers a pretty big area such that people living in one part might not be as likely to travel to events in other parts of the county.
So, a little background on me and my wife, Barbara. We moved to Orange County at the end of 1979 and started a computer software and engineering consulting firm that we named Midcom Corporation (Midcom.com). After growing that company for almost 30 years we sold it, but to this day it is still going strong under new ownership. Around 2006 we purchased 40 acres of land in La Plata, Missouri, and began a project to create a railroad themed resort with educational and amusement aspects. Unfortunately we lost our interested investors during the economic downturn of 2008. But we were still left with the 40 acres of the land and building we had acquired for the project.
With our love for wine, and with our friend Tom Andersion (an Event Organizer of the OC Wine Meetup Group) who was very knowledgeable about wine, we decided to start a vineyard and winery. For those of you who are unaware, it takes 5 to 7 years after you plant a vine before it has grapes ready for harvest. Then it takes another 1 to 3 years for the wine to age where it is ready to be consumed. Thus, even though we planted our first vines a few years ago, we just began producing our own wine. It was just a few months ago that we opened up our own wine tasting room. You can see more about our winery and wine tasting room by clicking this link: SilverRailsWinery.com.
While my wife and I still love wine, we no longer have the time, energy, or focus we once had to own and manage a vineyard and winery. We are in our 70's and our interest has turned more to travel. So, both the vineyard and the winery are up for sale. It would be great is someone who loves wine would take over the vineyards and winery from us. Tom is willing to stay on as vineyard & winery manager if so desired. If you know someone who might be intersted, please send them to this link: SilverRailsProperties.com/winery.
But back to us. In 2011, my wife and I moved to Vancouver, Washington, but we still spend time in Orange County. Our favorite wineries in Orange County are The Twisted Vine in Fullerton, Winery on Main Street in Yorba Linda, and Rancho Capistrano Winery in San Juan Capistrano. We used to be regulars at Vino Nostra in Fullerton operated by Dena David, but she closed up shop a while ago. Over the years we became good friends with Dena and she still has a wine club that you can join at YourWinesByDena.com. I also have to give credit to Versai The Wine Bar in Yorba Linda. My wife and I tend to go more to their affiliated attached restaurant Fitness Grill than to the wine bar, but Fitness Grill is where I had my first "wine flight" ever around 1980 and learned what a wine flight was!
One of the reasons my wife and I moved to Vancouver, Washington, is because there are so many vineyards, wineries and wine bars throughout Southern Washington (see: SouthWestWashington.wine) and Oregon. Many of them feature live music both on weekends and during the week. The new Vancouver Waterfront, just a short drive from our home, features 8 wine tasting rooms alone! So this area is definitely a paradise for wine lovers.
Anyway, I hope some of you will step up to become Event Organizers and arrange some wine events in the area where you live that you can announce and manage on the OC Wine Meetup Page!