David Coffaro Vineyard and

arrow September 29 - October 5, 2019

Sunday September 29, 2019

Pat and I got married on September 29, 1973. We headed off to Hawaii and had a wonderful honeymoon. Since buying this vineyard in 1979, we have not been able to get away to celebrate our anniversary. Obviously that is because we are always in the middle of Harvest.

Tomorrow we will start picking again. I am somewhat concerned about the sugars right now after lows the last two days in the low 40's and a forecast high of only 68 today. There is a prediction of a warming trend into the 80's later this week. If we find our sugars down tomorrow we will wait a few days.

Tuesday October 01, 2019

I am fixed on politics as some of you know. I leave CNN on on mute to see if anything is interesting and sometimes I look at Fox, so I am a junky.

That said,

8:00:pm:  Tangerine Express, nice.........OK, it is going to be crazy here in the next few weeks.

I added water to every fermenter because I do not want too high on alcohol on our wines.............I know Our our best seller: Block 4. At sometimes That great wine has been 16% Alcohol. Should I keep it at that? Could I make a better wine with less alcohol? ,..........I would like 15% no more on all of our wines so it is complicate but easy for me ............It is going to get more interesting now!! Catarino says we will be done by the twenty first. AND we have less than half in NOW.................

Wednesday October 02, 2019

I love this Diary because it helps ME to think about the Next Day

Wow, too much on politics, I will be glued later ......but I need to think about the Harvest!!

It has been cold in the morning down to 39. Catarino and all our great harvesters want to start early so I have to stop them!! Please Catarino?....... in my way....Start at 8 am

So we did harvest 4.5 tons today. It was an adventure with a spill of wine. So a valve was hit by mistake. So with 180 gallons of wine in the fermenter..........there was a force of wine............ unless you were here......we could not stop it so we put a pump in and salvaged some. We will press what we have in this container with maybe a half barrel left................Oh and it was Block 4............

At first I heard some yelling from workers, trying to get as much back as possible........and Catarino was trying to stop me from going in........I pushed him away and said I need to see this. Yes, I saw the wine down the drain. I was saying: no problem.........we have to make sure no one is hurt!

The bad news we have less Block 4 but the good news I have insurance..........tomorrow is another day

Thursday October 03, 2019

We have a lot of fermentations going on today and will have one tomorrow...........I would love to have more harvesting tomorrow but there is a guy who has a winery and wants our fruit........it is complicated

This guy has purchased our fruit for several years and I told him My two daughters and new Son want to do a new label and I did not want to sell him fruit anymore. He begged: I have barrels purchased SO I said this is the last time.

So tomorrow we have to stop picking for our self.............We have Petite Sirah, Carignan and much other varieties out there, but we will acknowledge an agreement. We have not set a price. So in the past I have received about 3$ bottle, that is the price I will receive

My daughters and new Son have got together a new label, actually two new possibilities. I will have Brad and I get them up tomorrow.

So this nice guy will be here tomorrow at 11 and pick up Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan............

Tomorrow is another day

Friday October 04, 2019

We have a problem!!!!! We have Zinfandel that is slowly fermenting. By slowly fermenting it could create VA which means more acid, like vinegar. I like acid in my wines but not too much like VA.

We have a lot of our fruit in barrels now which were started fermenting two weeks ago. I do something different, usually. I like to finish fermenting in 6 days. I do not know any other winery who ferments so fast. That means adding a fast yeast and making the winery is warm enough to keep the fermentation going. So most wineries keep their fermentations at low temperatures, it works for them. I don't have that capability anymore or do I want to............

SSSSOOOOOOO we have 18 barrels which are slowing down! After two weeks there is still 2% sugar in alllllllllll. It took me only a few days............. I already knew what I had to do like before with DC Fusion but how this time?

As most of you know I make four wines with Zinfandel, blended. Block 4, My Zin, Estate Cuvee and Block 6 (RaiZin in the past). I was thinking about making Block 6 Zin with only younger Zinfandel. SO

8:00: PM:  This is a long story so maybe I will finish tomorrow with more detail

On Monday we will start 6..........350 gallon fermenters. Of course that is just juice, not skins and we usually only ferment Red Wine with skins. So we will pick Cabernet, Carignan and Petite Sirah which go into My Zin and Estate Cuvee. The percentages will be interesting. We will start with 700 pounds of fresh fruit and add a lot of yeast and then add the Stuck Zin...........more tomorrow

Saturday October 5, 2019

See Brad's new recipe below!

I want to go into more detail about what we will start doing on Monday. I want all my wines to go dry, thus no sugar left. We do make a Late Harvest wine once in a while though, which has over 20% sugar left. So like I said last night we have 18 barrels with at least 2% sugar left. The wine in the barrels are all our Old Vine Zinfandel, planted about 120 years ago. We will use 6 picking bins to harvest about 700 pounds of fresh grapes into each. The grapes will go into 6 stainless fermenters. Since the fermenters are large we can add three barrels of stuck Zinfandel. The 700 pounds of fresh grapes should produce about one new barrel thus a total of about 4 barrels when pressed in 7 days or so. The trick will be: What  fresh fruit will be harvested.

We have some newer Cabernet Sauvignon still on the vines and Catarino thinks there will be about 1400 pounds enough for two barrels. I don't know what the sugar will be but that is not too important. I will ferment it with the stuck Zinfandel with the right alcohol to produce the final wine at about 15% alcohol. We also have Petite Sirah and Carignan which we know the sugar to be perfect. We will harvest another 1400 pounds of each.

So we will take 6 picking bins out in the vineyard and harvest 700 pounds into each. Then we will destem the 700 pounds into 6 fermenters. Then we will add twice the amount of yeast that would go into a whole ton of grapes, overkill for sure but we want this fermentation to go fast. The amount of extra yeast will eventually settle to the bottom of the final barrels and then we will rack the clear wine off in December.

We want the new fermentation with the 700 pounds to be actively fermenting, hopefully at over 80 degrees. It should take about two days. Then over a few hours we will slowly add the stuck Zinfandel. After fermentation we will have 24 new barrels. The puzzle will be to decide which barrels go into our three Zinfandel blends: My Zin, Estate Cuvee and maybe our new Block 6. I will have more info Monday and start solving the puzzle..........Now look at Brad's new recipe!!

8:00: Pm: Today::: Brad and I had some great discussions about making Pizza dough. Bryan is off in Paso so maybe he will give us more about what he does. I will relate all I have heard and WE, Brad and I are still trying to make the ultimate pizza dough.

Bryan and I like to use our sour dough starter in all of our recipes for pizza. Brad is a traditionalist and uses yeast. As most of you know regular yeast is used in bread and also I use it all the time in wine. We have learned looking up on the Great Internet, Sour dough starter has been used also.

Bryan my new son has been starting to experiment in only using a sour dough starter and not adding commercial yeast. I have been using a sour dough for 50 years..........long story

Back in Fairfax in 1969, I suppose I could be one of the first to use veggies on pizza. Then when Pat and I were at a restaurant in San Rafael, in 1978 we did have some pizza with some veggies

I digress as usual at this time of night.

It is better I finish tomorrow, but I have so many articles, most from Brad to show you all info on using a sour starter...........only

Here's another "Dinner Last Night"  - Sautéed Cod With Potatoes in Chorizo-Mussel Broth

Cod and

If you have any questions, hints, requests or anything else, let us know at foodnotes@coffaro.com



For any comments or questions I encourage any of you to e-mail.....david@coffaro.com

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