|Sunday August 12, 2001
Well we have two more days before we bottle our last 2000 vintage wine (ZP2C). As I have said before, I believe we are the only winery that bottles so many wines (14) so fast. Most wineries would bottle some of these wines after aging them longer in oak. I want to preserve the fruit even in the Aca Modot so I bottle all our wine within 10 months. The ZP2C is mostly all the sediment settled out so I need another month to be able to rack off the final clear wine from our bottling in July.
I would like to direct you to our new order form. As you will see, we are offering a discount off of higher prices. We have decided to do this mostly because of new people who come in to taste in our winery. I need to make the form read the same on our web-site as it does at the winery. If someone comes in to taste at our winery in the middle of the week, I have to open at least 6 wines (2000 Sauv Blanc, Neighbors' Zin, Mourvedre, Cab Franc, Syrah and now the ZP2C). I have over 100 cases left of the Neighbors' Zin and Sauv Blanc and less than 50 of the other 3 except for the ZP2C which we have only sold 75 cases. By opening all those wines and usually more, if someone asks, I am out the price of all those wines. Sure I top off the bottles and re-cork them and will use them for next years topping, but I am still out the potential sale of those wines at this time. Tasting rooms do cost the owners money to run and that is why you will see higher prices than you could buy in some retailers. In the past I did not want someone to walk into a retailer and find my wine at a lower cost. But with my costs going up, I have been forced to rethink my sales price.
The three main retailers we sell to are discounters. We want to sell to discounters because I want to keep my prices down. These three retailers (Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, Wine Club in San Francisco and Wine Exchange in Orange County), do not offer discounts for multiple bottle purchases. We have been selling our 1999 wines for $15 to them and they have been charging about $19. So in order to encourage new buyers to purchase multiple bottles we are offering a discount from $22 and thus if someone wants to buy only one to 5 bottles we will be able to pay for the additional costs of running the tasting room. When we do release the 2000 wines (most likely the Neighbors' Zin and ZP2C) to retailers later this year our price will go to $22.50 and thus will equate to $19.13 if someone bought a case and took the 15% discount. I hope I have made this somewhat clear.
Pat and I just got back from Santa Cruz where we stayed at the same place as Hilary Clinton. When her Husband was off in Europe a few years ago, she evidently stayed at The Casablanca Motel. We stayed in the same cottage as she did. This was definitely the biggest place I have ever rented for just the two of us: 800 square feet. Very nice. I do have a report on three restaurants that we attended. Stagnaro Bros. had the best deep fried calamari and the most reasonable wine list. They had BV Napa Cab for $23 and three good Sauv blancs for $16 as well as 9 chardonnays from $14 to $26. Carniglia's had the most creative food and a better wine list, but at higher prices. Casablanca had a great WineSpectaor rated wine list, but the food wasn't as good as the other restaurants we ate at.
Pat and I have continued to taste the 2000 wines and we both agree they have more apparent fruit than the 1999s. Pat actually enjoys the 2000s already more than the 1999s, but because I enjoy Cabernet more than she, I prefer the 1999s because of their darker more cab like flavors.
Tomorrow I will be sending Brendan out to do the first sugar test on our Sauv Blanc grapes. I will report on that tomorrow.
Tuesday August 14, 2001
Brendan came in with sugar on our Sauv Blanc in all areas at 17.8%. That means that we are atleast two weeks until harvest and behind last year. Sure some winemakers and growers were saying that we would be harvesting early this year, but if you remember my prediction on June 22 and at other times that the winemakers and growers have to have something to use inorder to keep the prices up. I have heard that we are definitely seeing the price of bulk wine from last year and the price of this years grapes eroding substantially in the last several weeks. Hopefully that could mean that the price of some wine could be coming down in the next several months.
Yes we did finish bottling 362 cases of 2000 ZP2C today. In honor of
this occasion, I opened up all my last efforts of ZP2C including the 2000
bottled today. I must clarify that the 1997 version (37 cases) was titled
ZPC Cuvee. Pat liked the 97 the best and it was my least favorite. It is
a good wine, but I preferred the newer wines. I was very happy to see blind
that the 2000 newly bottled today stood up to the other wines. The 97 and
2000 had the most fruit and the 1999 had the most tannin with the 1998
showing the most balance.
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