David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 18
April 28, 2002 to May 4, 2002 

  Tuesday April 30, 2002

The order form on our website will reflect a change in pricing tomorrow. Some of you have contacted me regarding the deadline on our 2002 offer. We will honor the old prices for a few more weeks. Thus as I said last week, just make a copy of the form tonight with the present prices and just mail or fax it to us with your check or credit card number. 

Later tonight I hope to tell of a new problem that has developed at the border of our property and our neighbor to the south. There is a lot of water developing and draining on their property. I believe it is coming from up the hill. They believe it is coming from our pond. MORE LATER. It's time for dinner. 

10:15 PM I want to get back to the ground water problem, but first I have to talk about wines I tasted this weekend at the Passport event. I went out for a short time on both Saturday and Sunday. I was impressed as usual with the Amphora wines and especially enjoyed the 2001 syrah and cabernet from Everett Ridge. Rick at Amphora and Alex at Everett are great winemakers. Maybe the most enjoyable wine I had was the 99 Merlot from Diane Wilson (Wilson Winery). I am not a fan of Merlot usually, but Diane has made me a believer. 

I did also taste my wines. I even tasted three of these new 2001 wines blind. I was happy with the jammy complex flavors of our Terre Milange and the spicy character of our Zin, but I was most impressed with our 2001 Estate Cuvee. The spicy balance of the wine is neat. 

NOW, back to the groundwater problem. It seems that every week we have a new problem to deal with. Most of these annoyances I deal with and don't report to you, but this water seepage is interesting enough to relate. I first heard about this problem last week when my two neighbors showed up at my house unannounced. I was so happy to see them, because I had wanted to talk to them about another matter that would involve some income to them. As usual I talked first and related my great news, but soon I realized they were not here to socialize. Actually I should have remembered that every time they have appeared, there has been a concerning matter on their minds. 

They stated that there was a flood of water onto their property and that they wanted to run a pipe down our common property lines to the Dry Creek water basin. With them, I thudded slowly in my loose sandals (I had a real bad corn) out to this site which was about a quarter a mile away. I kept up pretty well since for anyone it was an adventure to traverse through the new green growth along our pond. They pointed to this water standing on there vineyard and asked whether it was all right if they could dig down with their back hoe several feet onto my property to see if they could figure out where the water was coming from. I immediately caught the impression that they though that my pond was causing the problem. Our pond was built under my supervision, 3.5 years ago to keep water in one place. Before the pond water from springs and from off the road, from the hill up above, would flood my property and sometime theirs. I agreed that if I was causing the problem that I would help pay for the cost of the installation of the pipe. 

That very day we put a nail in a stake and drove into the pond at water level. Last week the temperature was warm and the water level in our pond did go down one inch over four days. In the last three days as the temperature has gone down into the 70's, the pond level has not changed. My neighbors were still convinced that the pond was leaking onto their property. 

I decided to hire a geologist. I figured he could check the two  water samples to determine if they were the same. As I called around, I found out that they thought the seepage was most likely coming from a property up on the hill. I did get one geologist to come out yesterday and take away the two samples to be tested. The results were that the pond had less than half the solids of the groundwater which was 100 feet away. The bottom line is that my neighbors are still putting in the pipe and I am not paying for it.


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