|Sunday March 11, 2001
I had nothing but trouble reasoning with Schwab Friday. They have put my account on restriction. I spent all of my morning trying to convince them that I had sent in my check a week before. Their explanation of why they had sold my stock was full proof. You see it is my obligation to have the money on hand before I can make a trade. Now when I was highly involved in the Market in the 70's, we had 5 trading days to show them the money. But now I am confused. I can't remember if we have 3 or 4 days only. And with a Sep-Ira you must have the money in the account before the trade is even made. And what gets me, is that even though I had $70,000 in a different cash account in Schwab I could not transfer to my separate Sep-Ira account through Schwab on the internet. I had to either send in a check through snail mail or call Schwab on the phone to have them personally transfer the money from one account to the other. I don't get it. What I do know is the check showed up at Schwab later in the day. I now believe that the Post Office is not to blame, but probably Schwab has a lot of paper work to sort through. I did then buy back the 70 shares and saved $100. You see Cisco was down big on Friday so in effect Schwab saved me money by making a short sale in my account at a profit.
I must apologize for all this stock market talk and I promise that I will talk about my winery tomorrow. Today I worked on our form for the upcoming 2001 pre-harvest futures offer.
Thursday March 15, 2001
32 days till taxes are due.
I've started tasting 1999 Zins. As I said about the 1997 vintage: They are all good!! I prefer 1999 because it is more like cab--dark! 1997 is too fruit driven for me (even my wine). I prefer darker fruit flavors, more like blackberry than strawberry. I called up my friends at Wine Exchange in Orange County to send me a sample pack of 1999 zins from other producers. Kyle sent me a case of great wine. None of you will go wrong with any of these wines. My favorite is the Mayo Ricci vineyards. Fabulous fruit. Not much oak, but it comes across as purity of Zinfandel. My 1999 Zin may have a longer finish, but I prefer the Mayo because of the straight forward fruit. Pat and I have enjoyed 5 other wines from this case of Zins and they were good also. What I am trying to say is do not buy 1998 Zins if you have a choice of 1999.
I love the Market so I have been engrossed by what is happening. I believe that this is the greatest opportunity to buy into technology not seen for several years. Sure many of you were smart enough to know that Csco and Sunw would be a great company, invested and hopefully did cash in before this drop. Some of these great companies have gone down enough that they are now finally under valued. I grew up in the 60's and 70's This was a trying time for investing. Sure there were stocks to speculation in(computer stocks were just starting), but price earnings multiples prevailed. If we could not see a multiple of 20 times in the next two years, the stock was priced down. From what I can see now, we may finally be coming back to this time period. When I see companies like csco and sunw selling for 20 times future earnings (or even another scale of valuation, price times sales, of under 3 to one), I as an old timer get excited.
I know I have mentioned that we will soon be offering our 2001 wines. I have decided on the pricing, but we are still working on the formatting of the order form. I of course would like to have the new form ready now, but as I have done in the past, I want to make sure the vines are at least growing. We are having a late spring. We have had a lot of rain recently and have had freezing weather up until three weeks ago. We now have had two weeks of warm weather, so I am expecting the buds on the vines to be swelling soon. We are planning to send out a hard copy of our offering on April 2nd. We will post on our website the same form in .pdf format on April 13th. Also on April 13th those of you who wish to use a credit card may order over the internet. There will be a 3% discount for check. The Sauv Blanc will be $8.50 , the Block 4 and Aca Modot will be $17 and all other wines will be $13.
I have had several e-mails from those concerned that I will be using too much oak in my Aca Modot. You must remember that I bottle that wine after aging only 9 months. It would be hard for that wine to soak up too much European oak in that short a time. Remember most producers age these type of wines for at least 18 months. Don't worry, there will plenty of fruit left in my Aca Modot.
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