1979, Dave and Pat decided to give up the city life and move to the
beautiful Dry Creek Valley. They purchased a 20 acre vineyard with a
small house on it and began the life of farmers. For about 15 years,
Dave tended the vineyard by himself and they made a living by selling
their grapes to Ernest and Julio Gallo. As time went on they began to
sell to smaller wineries and all the while Dave experimented with his
fruit by making a small amount of wine for his own personal consumption.
1994, it was time for a change and so the Coffaros applied for a
commercial winemaking permit. Dave gradually extricated himself from
the day-to-day tasks of running a vineyard by hiring a vineyard manager
to take over most of the duties required in the vineyard. The first
year's commercial production was only 400 cases, followed the next year
with 700 cases and the the next with 1300 made mostly by himself. When
he increased production to 2500 cases in 1997, he hired Brendan Eliason
- a CalPoly viticulture student - to help him with the winemaking. Two
vintages later in 1999 after graduating, Brendan came to work full time
for his third year and continued on as assistant winemaker until the
harvest of 2005. Brendan now operates his own winemaking enterprise,
under the name of Periscope Cellars.
In 2003, the decision was
made to do a test run on the bottling line with the screw top closure.
A bold move to say the least, because the test run ended up being half
of the total production. Though a very impressive percent, the move was
due to Dave's trust in the closure for the preservation of the wine's
quality. The decision paid off when in 2004 the winery sold its corking
line and purchased a brand new screw top bottling line for the entire
production of all vintages to come.
Then in 2005, with
production hovering between 5,000 and 7,000 cases Dave hired another
young guy, Matt Wilson, who was fresh from the California Culinary
Academy, to slowly ease into Brendan's position as Brendan started up
his own wine label. The full switch was made in the 2006 harvest when
Brendan went full time to his new winery and Matt continued on with the
assistant winemaking tasks here. Then in 2015, after being with us for
almost ten years, it was Matt's turn to go out on his own and seek
other winemaking options. At that time we hired Josh Price, a 2010
horticulture major out of Texas Tech, to take over the assistant
winemaking duties. Josh came to us after having taken viticulture and
enology classes at Napa Valley College and having worked for two small
family wineries in Napa Valley.
sell approximately 60% of our production every year through our 'crazy'
program. You purchase at a deep discount even before the
grapes of the season appear! You are then able to take
of the wine in August
following the year in which the wine was produced, or for our longer
16-month barrel aged wines, in February of the year after that. Or, if
you choose, if you let us know by our cut-off date, if you do
want to take possession, we'll refund your money.