August 8, 1999
Our last several weekends have been spent entertaining a few new customers, as well as some of you who have come by to pick up the newly bottled '98 wines. We would like to encourage everyone to come by on Saturdays or Sundays for pick up, especially if you would like to do some tasting. Because of the limited amount of wine we have to sell, we are trying to avoid opening these very young wines for tasting during the week.
August 9, 1999
I appreciate the feedback we've received and thus have some further thoughts about our shipping policies. Since we haven't so far had any cases confiscated, I would like to continue the same policy we've had in the past. Even if we did have a case or two detained, it would not be a great cost to us and we are at this time willing to absorb it. But if we do start having some problems, we'll of course have to reconsider. At this time, I would like to encourage any of you who live in any of the "felony" states to arrange to have your wine shipped to an alternate state or have it picked up in California even though I realize this may be an inconvenience. We will be sending out our official 1998 wine release notices this week, so keep a look out for yours in the mail and let us know what you wish to do about getting your wine by following the directions on the form you will receive.
Within the last week, the coloring of the grapes has accelerated and the bunches have swelled up. By next week, I should be able to provide a better estimate of our potential crop. Our high daily temperatures have continued to be below normal, but our nights have stayed relatively warm. Harvest will probably not start until the end of September, so we do have many more weeks of potential warm weather.
August 10, 1999
The weather today has turned from below normal to downright cold. Actually, the temperature today was probably in the 70's and I was still wearing my tank top, shorts and sandals, but the sun never came out. Even I'm getting a little concerned. I'd obviously be more concerned if the crop looked to be heavy, but since the crop is below normal I'm not going to get too worried yet. In my 21 years of growing grapes, we've naturally had a few problem years and I still think the grapes from this vineyard produced good quality wine. The last problem vintage was in 1991 but the crop then was very heavy and we had similar temperatures to this year for at least 5 or 6 weeks from what I remember. In that year, we were saved by having dry weather clear into the end of October. Even the few rainstorms that occurred after that were short and there was even 80 degree weather into November. It wasn't until the middle of November that I harvested my Cabernet that year. This year, the Cabernet crop from the sandy loam which goes into the Estate Cuvee appears to be lighter in quantity than I've ever seen it. So I'm still confident that the grapes from that area will be of good quality and ready to harvest by the end of October. I don't expect that we'll be harvesting Sauvignon Blanc (our first grape variety to harvest) until the third week in September. That leads me into my next topic.
I've been thinking about and I'm sure some of you may have been
wondering about when we will be bottling our '98 ZP2C. I originally planned
on bottling it in August and Brendan did plan on coming back to help me.
But Brendan doesn't finish up schooling until the first few days of September
and so we will probably wait until then to do the bottling. There is a
small amount of sediment in each of the 4 barrels and 12 carboys that I
have filled with this wine. I'm planning on racking the clear wine off
of the sediment next week. This should leave me approximately 115 cases
of finished wine.