David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

June 3 - June 26, 2010 

Thursday June 3, 2010

As most of you know who reads my diary, we are producing a sparkling wine. We will have a notice in Matt's Quip for August with information about purchasing the first lot. In July we are going to disgourge about 1/4 of the 500 bottles we have fermenting now. To some of the bottles we will add sugar. To all the bottles we will seal back up with a crown cap (Beer Cap) and dip in wax, no stinking corks for this Sparklie!! Come to our 2009 Futures Release Party on August 14 & 15 and we might open a few to taste. Those of you who missed the video that was recorded by Matt can find out more about what I thought after tasting two months ago. http://www.coffaro.com/diary/2010_March.html#firstsparkling 

Monday, June 7, 2010

I didn't get much sleep last night because I am a big Nadal fan and I had it recorded. We also had the Belmont Stakes recorded and a fight I had to see, AND the NBA playoffs. So I have tasted a little Tequila and a little wine so i am feeling fine. But since I am feeling fine!! I started thinking about the Future. There is little better, maybe, but Harvest is my favorite time of the year....it is near................

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm feeling better today since I had a decent nights sleep. Our budded vines are growing and the vineyard is in full bloom. The crop looks larger than last year but we will know more after bloom is finished. The high temperatures have moved up into the 80's so everything is growing at a nice pace. We should soon have highs in the 90's most everyday which will bring us closer to Harvest. We may harvest Pinot in the first week of August so that is only two months away. Our bottling of most of our 2009 wines will start on July 9th which is only one month away. I am looking forward to tasting the new wines.

My new BMW is still not here. It arrived in Southern California on June First so we have been expecting it anytime. It will be fun!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I just got a call that the 2011 BMW 535i is here. I will pick it up tomorrow afternoon.

More important!! The two ladies who help around here are gone. Cindi I hope will be back....she is off to the East Coast to see relatives for 9 days. I will not see her when she returns on June 18. Pat and I have plans to see Stravinsky's "Right of Spring" among other productions in San Francisco. Pat is away visiting her sisters and relatives in Modesto. I was supposed to transport her there but the AUTO did not arrive on time........She will be away for 12 days so don't expect to communicate with her. I will meet her on the 18th. Matt, Salvador and of course Catarino will miss the two ladies. They are so much nicer to our customers. I will make a special effort to be cheery while they are away. Come for a visit, it will be an adventure.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Many things happened today and some a continuation of yesterday. Yesterday I found out my Brother in law is in the hospital, he is fine now, long story. Pat has left me as you know. Don't worry she will be back. I picked up my new BMW and I am sure I will come up with many more adventures in my life, like Cats and Dogs, I sense I was a dog in the past. First tonight I would like to tell a little about what is involved at the winery:

I have had two sales people drop by unannounced this week. I usually ignore them, but I am always looking to see if I can save us all money by picking a different distributor for glass. Glass is Expensive. If any of you have read this diary, you know I have had BIG issues with bottle suppliers. I have been happy with our recent supplier who is contracted with Gallo and so I believe I get the best. Gallo wants to make the perfect bottle, they have to.......they produce 10's of millions of bottles. They have to be accurate to save money. I have a simple test to start if someone wants to beat this distributor. Of course first of all they should give me incentives, like lower prices and service!! 

OK back to the test. Obviously I only thing about the cost after the TEST, SIMPLE. It is sad, but I have found that 75% fail the first TEST! OK I know get to the....... I ask to supply a bottle, preferably from two different molds, more accurate, long story, Search, my diary, I might have talked about it in the past.....I have a bottle that costs $200. I was reluctant to purchase it, but like I said I have had issues with others, regarding this first step. With this expensive bottle I can find out if the right amount of wine is going in the bottle. There should only be 750 ml in a bottle, that is by law, but I have found out that a bottle can be off as long as the next bottle gives you more or of course less as long as the average works out. This $200 bottle gives a perfect test!! The container is very accurate in concise lines easily to see. Like I have said most suppliers fail this first test::::::Fill the bottle closely to 750 ml. If I am off by only one milliliter over average after bottling I could be off by 10 cases overall, up or down. 

I give another chance for these brave sales people. If they are off by a few milliliters on the FIRST TEST I usually give them another chance. In the last two days I have had two sales people come in and one failed by over 5 milliliters on two bottles. I still have more tests for the loan survivor.

Friday, June 11, 2010 

I hated being a dog in my past. I don't want to depend from anyone. Koovy is getting old and depends upon us more than ever. I like my food so I am a lot like my dog Koovy. I am always thinking of my next meal. Since Pat is away I am planing three days in advance. I am sure Koovy thinks: Why can't I get food so easily like they do? I understand Koovy and I feel sorry for him, but I do not like to go back to the past. We tolerate each other, but he prefers Pat, Matt and Cindi. He knows me from a past.............you never know...... 

9:00 pm: I know I have past subjects to address, but I have to talk about tomorrow. We had a tall poplar tree fall down recently and put us without power for 2 days, so tomorrow,  We are hiring to have the trees topped. It will be an adventure, they are 40 feet high...... 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

On Thursday I picked up my new 2011 BMW 535i. As you know I have been reluctant to drive my 2007 BMW 530i because I didn't want to put more mileage on it. I wanted to pick up the new one and drive Pat to meet her sisters about 400 miles round-trip. I knew the dealer would cut more off the trade in if I drove the 2007 BMW so she took the bus and train on Wednesday. On Thursday I drove down to Santa Rosa, about 25 miles and stopped at the County to discuss my business taxes. They have not been filed for two years. I guess Steve forgot. I was supposed to be at the dealers at 1:00 pm so when I got out of the County offices early I decided to go over to Harbor Freight a discount hardware store. This place is a trip!! The employees in there are real slow!! I was in line for 10 minutes and I talked to the guy in front of me for awhile. It was 12:55 when I got into my 2007 BMW. I looked over to my left and saw the guy who was in front of me, still in his truck. He said "You go first, I hate this parking lot". I didn't know what he meant until I started backing out of the parking spot. It seems a large truck had started backing out at the same time as I did, YES I stopped when I saw him but he kept coming and smashed into my rear bumper. It happened so quickly who knows which one of us was at fault. He handed me his insurance info and I asked if he wanted mine. He said "No, nothing can hurt this truck". I looked at his truck and saw many scratches on it so I knew what he meant.

What a story!! I arrived at the dealers and found out it would probably cost me $1000 less on the trade in. I was told that was their cost. As you can imagine they were offering me low Blue Book so they had some room to maneuver. I handed them a case of wine, I was going to give to them anyway, and I was happy to hear they would reduce the trade in price by only $250. I had no choice so I accepted the measly $21,750. I was offered $23,000 in April before my 2,200 mile trip to Washington and back. It's only money!!

This new 2011 BMW 535i is incredible. Finally I have the color I have been dreaming about. The color, Dark Graphite Metallic, sparkles in the sun and seems to have a lavender or purple hue in it. It is dazzling. This BMW is much more responsive and handles much better. I now feel I could make any turn. I now have to plan a trip!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My brother in law is still in the hospital. I am concerned and I let my Mother, Vivien know. I am sure she passed on my message. I know she wants me to call my Sister, I guess because Lynda, my sister would feel better. I do not like talking to my sister on the phone, long story. I like communicating on this diary and through all e-mails. Everyday we have some who call and that is fine, because usually they have some things to be addressed.

Rich my brother in law has diabetes so he has to keep track of his meter. I am sorry I don't know what is involved but I do know you can get too much sugar. Rich had a reading of 300 or maybe 400 when admitted, I don't know the exact number. He was not feeling well so he consumed too much fruit juice. Rich and I are getting into our late 60's.......................good music! and we have to be careful. I hope Rich is well soon........................

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rich is home and doing well so that is great news for our family.

As some of you know I am still learning about making wine after 33 years. Winemaking is a challenge almost everyday. We are holding back some of our wines and aging for an extra 6 months. As I have said in the past, I like young wines. The 2008 Zinfandel we aged for an extra 6 months was bottled in January and by March it was one of my favorite wines. Now in June the same wine bottled 6 months earlier in July, 2009 is starting to show the same great character. I tried these two 2008 zins over the last few nights and I enjoyed them both equally. I will try them again tonight for the 4th day. 

We start bottling most of our 2009 wines on July 9, 3500 cases in all. We will start setting up on the 8th. We will age 2 to 4 barrels of many of the wines in oak until January. Including the 2009 The Ultimate Cuvee. We will have about 1,000 cases to bottle in January. We still haven't started building our new storage building, the County is slow with permits, but when we do have the building finished we will have all the room needed to store these extra barrels.

The next two weeks are one of my favorite times of the year. First of all Kate's 25th birthday is on June 23. I also enjoy the longest two weeks of sunlight starting today. We may even travel up to see Susie again in Seattle soon where there will be 16 hours of daylight for the next two weeks. Of course the opposite happens on December 21 when Seattle will only have 8 Hrs and 25 Minutes of daylight.

9:30 Am: I just found out a friend of mine drove off the road near Reno and broke her neck. She is doing well now and after 12 weeks will hopefully fully recover. Hearing this reminded me of my accident:

When I was 27 I almost died. I had a Corvette then. I drove in December 1970 in the evening from San Francisco to the top of California to visit a girl friend in a town called Happy Camp. It was about 11pm and the road was slippery from some light rain. I don't know what happened but the next thing I knew I was off the road and into a tree. I did not feel a thing and I was not hurt, fiberglass collapses gracefully, but my Corvette was a mess. While I was waiting for help, I looked to the right and left of the tree and saw nothing but open space. If I had missed the tree, I would have gone off and down a steep hill into the Klamath River. I soon got rid of the Corvette and the girl friend, not for that reason. Have fun reading books and watching old movies, Marcy. It sounds like my favorite vacation.


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