|Tuesday, May 23, 2000|
I'm sure some of you wonder what I do during a typical day. In other words why don't I post a diary every day. As you can imagine my days are not normal or typical or definitely not the same. I'd like to relate this day May 23, 2000.
It has been hot. We had high 90s on Saturday, 103 Sunday, 103 Yesterday and 106 today. At 9 pm tonight it has finally started to cool down and is 70. Our temperatures at night have stayed well above 60 which is 15 degrees above normal. I am hoping we will be below 60 tonight.
At 6 this morning I heard Caterino and his gang driving in for a day of work. I was expecting them tomorrow so I had to scatter out of bed and thus forgot my hat (I paid for that later when the low rising sun practically blinded me). I thought about driving the quarter mile out to where they were, but decided the walk would be beneficial to my diet. I rushed out by 6:10 and found that they were performing what I hoped which was to thin at least 2/3's of the crop of new budded over Carignan. We expect to receive at least two barrels or 50 cases from this section this year so I want the quality to be good. Koovy and I conversed with Caterino for awhile and sauntered out to the irrigation pump. I turned on the pump to flush it out and Koovy being a typical retriever rushed to submerge himself in the plentiful water that escaped. I decided to turn on our drip system in the old vines which hadn't seen any water for over two weeks. We rushed back up to the house to say good-bye to Kate an Susie before they went off to school. By that time it was 7 and I took my few fat blockers and prepared for a breakfast of leftover chicken and sausage smothered with salad dressing. Before eating of course I had to sit down to read (do you need to know more?) and then walked out to weigh myself. I have been on the scale every day this year. This morning I weighed 226 a new low. By 8 I had checked out the stock market and was not surprised that Cisco and Oracle were down again. I feel these are great stocks, but have gone up too far.
By mid morning Pat and I had settled down to entering orders in the computer when Steve showed up. Being a good vineyard manager he had to check out his crew. I spent some time with him until Jerry one of my barrel representatives showed up. In the mean time I received a call from one of the owners of a great Bed and Breakfast house informing me that one of our customers wanted to come by. Pat and I have made an effort to keep track of every customer who has bought more than 2 bottles from us in the past. A quick check informed us that we had no record of these people. I try to treat everyone equally. I have made it a policy never to refuse someone who seeks us out whether they happen to be a customer or not. When this couple of 49 years together came in they acted like my best friends. I recognized that they had been here before and of course accepted the challenge. I figured if they hadn't bought before they probably weren't into futures. That didn't matter to me and I still had a good time with Jerry, Steve and this nice couple. The problem with a day like this is that by the time they had left it was 1 PM. Another group of 6 came in at 1:30 and were fun also. They were young and did buy a few bottles of futures.
By this time it was close to 3pm. Pat and I did have some time to enter a few more orders and then I started an attempt to accomplish something today. I sat down to determine an estimate of the percentages of varietals in our new futures offering for 1999: ZP2C. By 5:30 I needed a break. I am the cook so I went up stairs for 3 hrs to taste wine and prepare a dish of sweet and sour chicken. I prepared rice for the girls and I had a salad with my chicken and very little of the sauce. At 8pm I was rejuvenated enough to come down here and finnish my estimate.
ZP2C is a blend of everything that has been harvested and fermented and bought in bulk for this winery. I have been very happy with the quality of the last two vintages and as a matter of fact we received a silver medal for our 1998 ZP2C one week after it was bottled last September. This year the wine started off with 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc, 10% Syrah and 9% Carignan. When we blended in January we saved 3.5 gals of sediment from each of our 140 barrels of harvest. When we blended in April we added the clear wine from these settled barrels. We will also add clear wine collected off the top of sediment from all our barrels at bottling in July and again in August when we bottle this ZP2C. Two barrels of Petite Sirah purchased from Lambert Bridge winery will also be added. The final blend will consist of the following: 29% Petite Sirah, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 14% Zinfandel, 8% Carignan, 5% Syrah and 2% other varietals. On May 30 we will start offering this wine at $12 a bottle on futures. The wine will be bottled just before harvest. We will produce about 225 cases and will sell some of the wine to a few retailers including Wine Exchange in Orange County for a suggested price at that time of $15.
We have sold over 1500 cases of our 2000 pre harvest futures offer. The final day to purchase will be May 29.
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