David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

October 24 - October 30, 2010 

Friday October 29, 2010

We are through harvesting. Today we are pressing wine from our last fermenters. This year has been the most interesting year of my 32 seasons harvesting from my vineyard. We even processed fruit from other areas of Sonoma County where raisins were plentiful just like here in Dry Creek Valley. Here is what I wrote for our local organization:

"This was my 32nd year of growing grapes and producing wine from David Coffaro Vineyard. I made amateur wine until the 1994 vintage and then started David Coffaro Winery. By far this has been the most interesting year of the 32 harvests. Being 7.5 miles from Healdsburg on Dry Creek Road, we see more sun than most of the Sonoma County. I have seen cool weather like this many times in the 32 years so that was no surprise. This was only the third time that I dropped fruit in August on our old vines because the crop looked large at the time. We even pulled some leaves so like everyone else we were not prepared for the 113 high temperature on August 25th. I must admit I love raisins and never cull them out at the crusher. To me a great bunch of Zinfandel from David Coffaro Vineyard should have many raisins. We actually started harvesting our old vine Zinfandel on September 8 which was right on time. The brix was only 23.5 but there were so many raisins I knew the sugar would go up after the fermentation started. I was not prepared for what happened. We ferment very hot and make sure we obtain a spike in temperature in the low 90's so after only one week we press at about 2% sugar and let the fermentation complete in the barrel. What I was not prepared for was that the raisins still left in the press would supply more sugar to the barrels. We ended up with all our Zinfandel with a potential of over 16% alcohol. I decided to pick some Mourvedre with low sugar from our vineyard and re-ferment all 28 barrels. We now have 31 barrels of Zinfandel with 5% Mourvedre and a wonderful wine at 15.4 alcohol. We even purchased some Dry Creek Zinfandel that had over 75% raisins in the bunches and have that wine in 9 barrels. The wine has no cooked flavor or port character. Like I said this was the most interesting Harvest in my 32 years and I enjoyed the challenge immensely..... Dave Coffaro" 


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