David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow September 11 - September 17, 2011

Sunday September 11, 2011

Yesterday Matt and I wandered around the third block of Old Vine Zinfandel. We decided to take a few bunches from the heaviest area. The results of the sugar samples were surprising. Out of the 4 bunches, there were no readings above 24 brix and the acid was still high. This morning I will check to see if the juice sitting on grape skins in the buckets have swelled up. In any case we will take a large sample from three areas tomorrow and still plan on picking at least a ton of Zinfandel Tuesday. It will be fun.
Monday September 12, 2011

I have a tooth acting up. This is a tooth that one dentist said 5 years ago had to come out. I got rid of that dentist and have had three since. All the last three said the tooth is OK. It is on the outside of two implants so I don't want to have it pulled. I am hoping the irritation will subside. I have no time to go to a dentist right now. The Harvest must go on!!

We took 4 bunch samples from different areas in our Old Vine Zinfandel. All sugars came in over 24 brix and will certainly swell up to higher numbers. There is a little active noble rot that should dry up in a few days and the acids have not dropped so we have decided to wait until Friday to pick our first load. The water has been turned off. The quality looks excellent.

Tomorrow we will press our Pinot Noir so we will have our first barrels filled for the 2011 Harvest.

Wednesday September 14, 2011

Our pressing went well and we now have 5 barrels full of Pinot Noir. We should be able to bottle about 110 cases.

We are definitely planning to harvest Zinfandel Friday. We will probably start with 2 tons and Monday continue until the old vine Zinfandel is finished. If things go as planned, we could be starting Sauv Blanc later next week. Right after that we should be able to start on our Block 4. Depending on the weather we may have the winery full in two weeks. It will be stressful but fun. 

Thursday September 15, 2011

Happy birthday Karen.

I am getting less stable. I noticed it a few years ago when Koovy was a little younger. I used to cuss at Koovy because he would come at me all of a sudden and knock me back. Pat used to say I was just acting. Koovy our dog is gone now but I still remember walking around him because he was stronger in ways more than I. I miss him even though I am not a fan of dogs. He kept me in line.

I don't know if I mentioned: I am taking care of Kate's 6 month old two kitties, male and female, siblings. It has been an adventure. When Kate asked me to take care of her most precious possessions I was honored. I knew they were inside cats living in San Francisco. We live in the country and have lost many cats as I have documented in this diary. I love cats. I have decided I may not have another cat here to see her or him perish, by the road, or, to stronger animals who are out every night in our vineyard. Again I was happy Kate and especially Paul gave me the responsibility to take care of their most important. We are keeping them inside!!

I had to pick the kitties up on Monday September 5, after I made sure my Mother Vivien was secure at home. I am happy to say she is excited to be home and doing better than ever. Next week her doctors will do another test to see how she is doing.

So Kate and Paul were off in Europe on an adventure and Pat was off in San Francisco attending Giants games. After seeing my Mother was doing fine, Pat and I ventured off to the Condo in San Francisco to corral the kitties. It went well, after a few tricks we used and we were off for a drive, 100 miles to Geyserville Ca. During the drive and after we arrived home they did not make a sound for three days. We brought them in to windows all over the place and many rooms to explore. We expected this: cats what ever age have a lot of trouble getting used to a new environment but they are exploring more now. We have 4 more days. It is getting exciting to be with them.

Friday September 16, 2011

We harvested 2 tons today. It has been an intense day. I will report on it tomorrow. We are excited.

Saturday September 17, 2011

Karen is my first niece. My sister Lynda married Richard in 1962 at the age of 18. Karen her first child was born on September 15, 1963. On September 15, 1979 we harvested our first Zinfandel. Karen was sweet 16 that day and helped pick some fruit. We picked about 6 tons of Zinfandel and I say that loosely. I know Pat was there, some of my friends were there and several of our family. I was smart enough to hire two Mexican helpers. I think the two of them picked half the fruit. It took many hours and we were exhausted. After that I never encouraged family or friends to help again.

The initial test of our first Zinfandel harvest yesterday saw a sugar of 24 Brix. I was expecting closer to 25. This area is South in our vineyard toward Healdsburg. The soil there is very rocky and the yield there is very poor. This year as usual there was a lot of shatter and thus inconsistency. Some bunches were very plump with lower sugar while some bunches were shriveled up with more raisins than usual. All Zinfandel bunches have raisins so we know the sugar will go up today after soaking on the juice. Last night about 9pm I did a quick test and got 25%. The pH was 3.4.

10:00Am: Matt just arrived and we took another sugar sample and got over 26% (Brix). He will add the ML starter now and the yeast later in the day. I am setting up to check the acid.

2:00Pm: Matt added the ML started and yeast so I let him get out of here to rest for the big week ahead. I checked the acid and got a reading of 3.30 Ph. The acid is down a little from last week and we will monitor it during the fermentation. We may have to drop it by raising the Ph to 3.6 or 3.7.


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