|Sunday August 16, 2015
Well it happened: TODAY We got up to 110 or more in the official box in the first row so I know we are in a Harvest mode because Catarino said, we need to go!!! and he also reported by the creek was well over 110............We will be harvesting on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and beyond!! depending on what we find in the fermenter after each day of harvest............it is complicated and will be fun..........
Tomorrow, Catarino and crew will pull leaves in the white grapes, mostly Sauvignon Blanc. The sugar will be high so we have to decide to rehydrate with water. Rose is coming, Pat wants one and some old vine Zinfandel is showing a great amount of raisins. Catarino and I will take a walk, tomorrow. So tomorrow is a transition day which is needed after our big weekend event.
So we had about 350 people to try out our 2014 wines and everyone seemed very happy, so that makes me happy. I always think it is an honor to have all these nice people come by and say HI
Tomorrow is another day and the next few days are very important so I will be locust and ready to report tomorrow night............
Monday August 17, 2015
We did several grape sample tests today and we will be harvesting Block One on Wednesday. We got a sugar of 27.2 on the Zinfandel sample today, far higher than I expected. Block One also has some Carignan, Peloursin, Petite Sirah and Syrah, about 10% of the total. A small sample of those grapes came in at 23.5 so we will harvest the whole block, probably no more than 2.5 tons in all. Last week we took a sample of Barbera and that sample came in at 27+ also So we will harvest those grapes tomorrow. First thing in the morning we will pick all the white grapes. I will have more to report tomorrow........
8:30 Pm: Brad says I give out too much information, like tonight.........So this is what I am sending to a new accountant in the hope of hiring her.............::::
>>>"I want to set up an appointment with you here. If it works for the other person, I am sorry I can't remember her name, the person who can document my equipment. For you both to come out together, it would be great. The CPA in Healdsburg, nice guy and a friend is not going to work out and my other accountant who I think has been hiding income, maybe, Is Not going to work out so I need you two. So the guy who did my taxes for 10 years or more is out of the question and HOW does he justify saying I sold 78 tons of grapes to my Winery Corporation for $50,000 AT $641 a ton when the going price for even any Zinfandel in Dry Creek Valley IS $2500 a ton. I need help to account for my equipment here also, like I said and I think the county is documenting way too much equipment. I am harvesting every day for awhile but if you can stop by it would be great........Thanks.............Dave>>>>>>>>
The biggest problem to day was the chiller which should have been working by now. There are still leaks so I am very upset, but like a Sicilian I may get over it if they have it together by Friday. I may get a refund of $16,000. Pat asked: Do I really need a a chiller???????????
Seriously, I love what I do because I have many more problems to solve every day........... I have no time to relate, mainly because I am a horrible typist............Tomorrow will be fun..........old vine Zin!!!!
Tuesday August 18, 2015
9:00 Pm: Today was another interesting day. I love what I do...............
So my day started about the same time as Catarino. I did not choose to wake up at 3:30 Am. OK maybe Catarino gets up a little later than that, but he and 5 other warriors came here at 5:45 Am. I heard them come in because I was not sleeping from 3:30 Am. I was worried about several things. It is complicated around here just like many of you but of course I am making wine.
Wine is complicated, just like anything I do now. This is the fun time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously, here at this winery, we have little idea what will happen for the rest of the Harvest. We are bringing in grapes, way too early. I know I have said it is good for Zinfandel in an early harvest,,,,long story
OK, we brought in Sauvignon Blanc and as many of the old vine odd white grapes in the vineyard.......I digress......these old vine whites are interesting. I was very surprised we may have harvested 1000 pounds. These vines can vary and usually are low in acid because they were editable for the pickers in the past who would rest and take a break. That is what I have heard form several older people who are gone. I never have seen a picker take a break.......I digress. So I know most of these grapes are usually low in acid for better tasting? But today the Sauvignon Blanc along with these old vines came in at 27 sugar and perfect acid. We have adjusted the juice to be at a potential of 13.5 alcohol.
Today was a good day. It was very hard though because I had to end a business relationship with two
I just went out for the last time to taste from our Block One. I went to my favorite vine and stuffed berries in my mouth, half fell to the ground. I was tasting only one bunch of maybe 30 on this near vine to the parking lot. I will not be able to taste that flavor again. Sure next year this vine will produce great bunches again, but every year is different. I know, by living hear now in my 37th year of Harvest. As I am typing, my hands are sticky so I have to take a break.............OK, I am back...We are picking the first block tomorrow morning and all the grapes will be gone in that section. The time has come but I will have to wait another year to taste again...................
I do not like to let anyone,........... any one, down. Today I had to let one friend down and a business which I have purchased most of my equipment for the winery.
The first friend was possibly going to be my new accountant but he is not responsive enough. I like someone getting back to me within a day, whether it is a phone call message I have left or an email. So I had to let my friend down but I am happy, I have a new accountant coming out to meet me later in the month.
The other business involves the Chiller, I have mentioned in the past. Everyone here agreed, I finally made the right decision, I cancelled the chiller.
This is not easy, it has been 5 months and again yesterday the chiller hoses leaked glycol. That was it!! Sure today they were back and showed this time the glycol did not leak out, but that was it, even for me.........do not give them another chance. Yes, what if it leaks again.................
We also brought in Barbera at 29 sugar that was way too high in acid so we will have to deal with it tomorrow.........
So many things more happened, like our refinance and Sonoma County taxes........
Wednesday August 19, 2015
OK........How could I get Barbera at 29+ sugar and a PH at 2.55. This is scary!! Sugar should be 25 and acid should be much lower......like Ph, lower equals high acid. Like, water is a PH of 7, neutral. We have perception of of balance, like acid or smoothness. I digress.............A PH in wine should be 3.5 and the acid with lemon, again a PH lower is much more tart so do you want an acid in wine at 2.55 like citrus or do we lower by Potassium Carbonate, so we did it this afternoon. we lowered the acid and lowered the sugar to make a wine at 14 alcohol and much lower acid, less tart............................I was not thinking until now but maybe we should have kept a small fermentation of 29+ sugar and acid to stand up to it, sweet and acid but with no sugar left. Maybe it may have gotten up to 18 Alcohol. I am not worried, we may get another chance next year with this Barbera
I did not hear back from either the Refinance Bank or the County. I should pay my taxes but the County of Sonoma has got me upset, but of course my past accountant may be the reason. I have contacted, the said person and I said we could talk, but assume he has no answers, I have not heard back.
Today was a real eye opening. I harvested my documented 110 year plus vines and even when we put in young carignan vines we had 27+ sugar. We only got 1.2 tons on 1.252 acres so it is scary only about global temperatures going up everywhere. I had here documented, 111 degrees Sunday, sure I have seen 116 degrees here a few times in the past, but overall since I have been tracking temperatures here at my site, this is the 37th year............on average I see a high up near 95 during these months. When in the 1980's I saw 90 on average. The nights are still low which is OK, but I am concerned. ...........more zin at 27+ tomorrow..........what is going on?......... We started Harvest on July 27 and then again on the next day with sparkling Pinot Noir at 23+ sugar.
Thursday August 20, 2015
9:00 Pm: We harvested 3.6 tons of young grapes which usually go into RaiZin or My Zin. Catarino figured the total sugar may be lower in some sections and he was as usual right. We still got c lose to 24 which may go up to 26 tomorrow, enough to make 15% alcohol so we will monitor.Catarino wants to get me the best fruit so sometimes i think he is hard on these great warriors. I have picked grapes, sure it looks great in a movie, but it is a messy job. You are touching fruit which is over 25% sugar. I t sticks to everywhere around you. I do the sugar tests by the destemmer and take one every few seconds and i remember when I picked grapes, but I only got a little juice on me at the destemmer compared when I picked grapes.. Seriously, all workers are great. They look happy also since I pay a good salary compared to many owners around me but still I think they deserve more in any way..............
I digress, so Catarino wants to leave fruit left for Dave's Cuvee. Dave's Cuvee is nice because it is made from left over grapes, of course that means more mature and complicated. Second crop which is encouraged by Catarino and I makes a more mellow wine, more mature............I digress
I had gotten a better sleep than usual, This time of year I never have a peaceful night. All my dreams, if I sleep are struggles. Like, I am looking for my class I missed, but lately it is....: I can't find my car, usually the BMW for some reason. But when I am a wake, even in night, I relax and think about the next day..........BUT
So this morning I was relaxed, after an OK sleep and I mentioned I thought the Barbera tasted flat. An hour later I was confirmed the PH on the Barbera had gone up from a very sharp 2.55 TOOO 4.3 PH, more like the great critic Parker likes, I am only kidding..........
SSSSSSSOOOOOOO the PH is now too high, flat I was extremely nice to Josh and Jose. They thought they let me down, but we all make mistakes and Jose was the first to say add acid. I said no and said we should blend some new wine in. I said I do not want to manipulate it anymore, by chemicals. Josh got the wrong instructions but I should have looked at it also so we put too much Potassium Carbonate in the wine. I rethought and added some tartaric acid, very tart in taste but we now have a wine that will be 4 Ph for now, fermentation can do strange things, so we will be in here everyday to monitor.
The stock market plunged today so I may have to also buy stocks. I have plenty of cash................. Fun time
Friday August 21, 2015
We did not harvest today so it was different.....I even thought about paying bills but I thought I could wait until tomorrow. Josh and I had arranged analysis so he left at one. Jose had the day off. Jose will be here tomorrow and Josh said he would stop by. They both have similar names and sometimes I even call them by their wrong name. I am horrible about names, I focus on the face.
The acid in the Old Vine First Block dropped off so we are confused. Our old vines have in the past had perfect PH, about 3.5 to 3.8 at finish. It is strange, this year Josh said he is getting 4.0 after a first Ph of 3.3, sure we have finished ML already, that big a drop in acid?. This could be the Harvest from Hell.........it happens every year. It is fun..............
I am in the middle that is why I like Obama more than Any other president. I know some think he did not do what they wanted BUT he did what I expected so I invested in the stock market.........I have made a lot of money in the stock market, but I have sold too soon........Amazon and Google and Apple. The market is down today but no where near where I sold most of my Apple, Google and Amazon. I have 25% in cash so maybe I will sell some Tesla, a third of my holdings to accumulate more cash, especially if Amazon, Google and Apple go down some more. I bought some Apple and KNDI to day. Maybe it is time to buy some of these two past favorites.........
Saturday August 22, 2015
I have played the stock market for 53 years so I know I have seen more than anyone I know. The stock market never goes straight up or straight down so all of us into the market know what will happen on this Monday. The shorts love this kind of Market because they can dictate the trend for awhile. I have seen it maybe 50 times. This will happen Monday, the Market will go down violently so I will buy a few shares, I have $64,000 in cash. I like Apple and maybe now Microsoft. There could be some bargains Monday, but the blood bath will be Tuesday early, we have to be up at 6 am here on the West Coast......... to get into some great possibilities. Buy Low, Sell High.
I always liked the stock market more than anyone I have known, I have an intense love for the stock market. I love it, but the vineyard and wine making is much more............
Amazon!! I receive at least 4 packages from Amazon every week. I love Amazon........long story
If I had held my 500 hundred shares of Amazon in December of 2008, I could be up over $200,000..........I bought Amazon at 80 for the first time in 2008, bad time to buy Amazon, it went all the way down to 35.37 when I bought my last 100 shares. I had $21,000 in Amazon at an average of $42. Now it is worth $495 a share. Sure I sold at times and missed some of the run but I still have 200 shares. I love Amazon, the profits helped me buy my Tesla.............Oh, I have most of my money in Tesla so I may buy more. Some of us hope the Market goes down..........Tuesday morning...........
8:45 Pm: It is hard for me to say this because I know a lot of you love dogs but my neighbors dogs are let loose in the evening and went into everything they could find around here last weekend on Saturday night. When My daughter and friends went over in the evening dogs were barking. Bryan yelled and they went away. That is nice they run away after yelling? Am I happy now? ...............and tonight I yelled as they approached me, but they still barked loud before they headed out and my Cats were nowhere near me anymore. So yelling helped tonight BUT tomorrow I will be looking for my bee bee gun
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