Sipping, and learning about, Bordeaux wines

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Wine tasting

Sixty members of the Country Club’s Wine Club took part in a Bordeaux tasting Tuesday night at the club. With a half-dozen wines in front of each participant, Bordeaux expert Jean-Luc Hitta led the tasting with background on the Bordeaux region of France and the wines being sampled. The Wine Club has more than a hundred members. (Click for larger images) Read more » about Sipping, and learning about, Bordeaux wines

Happy to spend time with Santa and Mrs. C.

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Santa Brunch

→ Photo gallery (32 shots of Santa and the brunchers)

Some came running, others needed a little coaxing and a few were content to peek around the corner as Santa and Mrs. Claus presided over their annual holiday brunch Sunday at the Country Club. Multiple generations of families vied for a picture with the merry couple and scores of children used the opportunity to tell Santa exactly what they want. (“A car!” said a surprised Santa in response to one moppet.) Omelets, salmon, roast beef and other delectables made it a feast, but frosted Santa cookies captivated the little ones. Another memory in the books. (Click photo for larger image) Read more » about Happy to spend time with Santa and Mrs. C.

Country Club opens pickleball courts

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Pickleball

Photo gallery: Pickleball social and play (5 photos)

John Vigil, the Country Club's tennis pro, huddles with 16 players who came out midday Saturday for a pickleball social to inaugurate the club's courts. Portable nets have been used to convert a tennis court into two pickleball courts, and Vigil paired up players for some pickleball play. The courts are open for pickleball to club members and their guests except for 7 to 11 a.m. on weekend days or if there's a tournament in progress. Some players chafed a bit at these restrictions and asked Vigil if the pickleball stripes could be painted a color with more contrast. (The stripes are hard to see – blue on a blue court.) Vigil promised to work with club management to see about the change. He also pointed out an advantage to club pickleballers – the court lights that will let them play after dark. Fans of the game have been pushing the Rancho Murieta Association to add pickleball courts beyond the ones at Riverview Park and the courts RMA added last year at Stonehouse Park. (Click for larger image) Read more » about Country Club opens pickleball courts

Holy Father makes a stop at 19th Hole

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Pope

→ Photo gallery from the party (13 photos)

Pope Richard Hottell took first place for the individual costume at Friday night's Halloween party at the Country Club. Hottell said he likes to do costuming with his kids and grandkids, though this was his first time as pope. Click inside to see the prize-winning couple. Read more » Read more » about Holy Father makes a stop at 19th Hole

CSD rebuffs Country Club plea for help

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Should the Community Services District help the Country Club address its financial problems? That question surfaced at Wednesday’s CSD board meeting, when Director John Merchant disclosed a letter from the CSD to the club and the CSD’s answer: No, it can’t help. Read more » Read more » about CSD rebuffs Country Club plea for help

New wine club pulls out all the stops

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Wine Club

PourPhoto gallery (46 shots from the party)

Jane Miller, center left, and Sheryl Bray sample some of the fine wine that’s available at significant discounts only a golf cart ride away. A wine club is the latest perk the Country Club is offering members. To attract participants, the club held a wine tasting on the club’s patio Saturday afternoon. It was open to all club members, and more than 100 showed up. The club was the brainchild of Mike Martel, the club’s board president. Stacy Garza, who organized the event, said there will be quarterly wine tastings open exclusively to wine club members. Members will receive a monthly email with a list of offerings. Membership is $25 a year, and the discounts on wine prices are said to be significant. Garza said the wine club had 150 members before Saturday's gathering and 200 after. Click photos for larger images. Read more » about New wine club pulls out all the stops

Club hires new GM from Bay Area

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Ron SvienThe Country Club on Monday announced the hiring of its new general manager – Ron Svien (photo). He was hired six years ago by Berkeley Country Club, in the Bay Area, where he has been general manager. He starts work Oct. 15, the club said. It reviewed 85 resumes, the club said, involving rank-and-file members in the process. The brief announcement thanked member Bill Armstrong for serving as interim general manager. Read more » about Club hires new GM from Bay Area

Raising money and helping disaster victims

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Red Cross auction

→ Photo gallery (10 photos from the event)

Auctioneer David Sobon got the audience reaching for their checkbooks at Thursday night's seventh annual Country Club fundraiser to benefit the Red Cross. There were silent-auction offerings and a number of live-auction items that sounded pretty enticing – getaways to the wine country, rounds of golf on quality courses and seven nights in Hawaii to name a few. After the bidding, Sobon had the crowd writing checks once again – to the tune of more than $20,000 – as he encouraged donations to buy the Red Cross a new Emergency Response Vehicle, to be based in this area to serve disaster victims. The dinner had its solemn moments too, as Murietan Luke Iverson, on video, told them about his brother, Corey, a firefighter who died fighting one of Southern California's fires last year. (You can see Luke Iverson's speech here.) A tournament and lunch Friday wrap up the event. Click photo for larger image. Read more » about Raising money and helping disaster victims

Club pro Thames qualifies for national event

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Don ThamesDon Thames, the Country Club’s director of golf, has qualified to compete in the PGA Senior Professional National Championship to be played next month in Port St. Lucie, Florida. He was one of eight qualifiers in an event held Aug. 13-14 at San Jose Country Club, finishing sixth with a 4-over-par 144. Read more » Read more » about Club pro Thames qualifies for national event

Tournament and dinner will help Red Cross

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ERVThe American Red Cross is partnered with the Country Club to hold the Drive Fore Disaster Relief dinner and golf tournament Sept. 13-14. The event will raise funds for the good work of the Red Cross, in particular to help buy a new Emergency Response Vehicle for the Red Cross in this area. Read more » Read more » about Tournament and dinner will help Red Cross

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