David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

April, 2010 

Saturday April 3, 2010

I am determined to lose a few more pounds. I am two pounds under when I got married in 1979. I have not gained pounds in 10 years when in 2000 I lost 50 pounds in 6 months. I am proud of that. BUT most of what I had up top has settled to my waist. That weight in my waist coupled with my weak legs has made me determined to lose at least 10 more pounds this year. It will be hard, but I can do it. Last year at harvest time I watched what I ate. That is the first time I counted calories during this most stressful time of the year. In the past even though I ate what I wanted during Harvest I did not gain weight. I guess it was because I am more active during the months of August, September and October. This year that meant I was the lowest weight I have been on Thanksgiving day. Of course I splurged during December but I have lost that weight at this time. Today and tomorrow will be tough since I will be with Family and will probably eat too much. I will be determined next week to lose more pounds. Happy Easter. 

Monday April 12, 2010

We are finishing up our racking of the 2009 wine. It is going well and we will be through today.

Since we are on facebook I guess I am supposed to reveal more of my life. I will start with a time in my past that was 1969. I got all through the crazies time in the 60's without getting into drugs and very little alcohol, except Coors. I was more concerned about getting out of the draft than smoking grass as we called it then. I went in the Army ( I am proud I stood up  for my country, but did not like the way I was treated there...another subject....). I got out of the Army at a great time for me. The 70's were more docile. I went to work for a Brokerage Firm on Montgomery Street. I was excited and I moved on to the the Bank Of America later in 1969. Wow....I was up on the 42 Second Floor of the brand new Bank of America building as a credit analyst, and they had only, from what I remember, 10 or so more floors in place. A few of us I had most of the building all to ourselves. The elevator was a blast, even the vice presidents were impressed. It would rise to the 42nd floor in what seemed like one minute. I refer back to the vice presidents. They were a challenge for me. I could never remember their names. We occupied the building weeks before them. That made us more familiar with the surroundings and we had to supply them with reports....long story.............

I want to mention Marijuana because of the initiative to be on the California ballot, supposedly legalizing some possession and growing of the plant. Ok, finally at the age of 27 I went back to the 60's in 1970. I did smoke grass, as we called it then. Most of us tried it back then, it was accepted, but I did not try any of the other drugs of the time. I remember an acquaintance who tried Mescaline and said he now wanted to leave the country. I loved our country and I certainly did not want to be influenced by a drug to leave. I can attest back then grass was more mellow than wine in a different way, and I never remember anyone becoming violent or abusive. It made us happy. Everyone experiences grass and alcohol somewhat differently. Grass scared me to drive. That is the problem, it is a learning experience. It can alter your conception of time so it can be scary to drive under the influence. I have not made up my mind but I am leaning toward voting in favor of the proposition. One of the reasons in favor is because our State can use the tax money.

Wednesday April 14, 2010

64 bounces!!

What a lot of work. I can see now why a winery would hire a person exclusively to run the Wine Club. Wow, in a year since starting Dave's Wine Club we have had about 615 join us. We have only had 5 or so drop out. This has surprised us and we have not been prepared for all the work involved. For the first year we sent out 3 packs 4 times for the required amount of one case per year. That was especially a lot of work during Harvest when we had to pack up twice, once in October and once in November. By that time we had about 350 sign ups but now we have over 600. We thus have decided to ship out only twice a year. That means we pack up 6 wines. Since our last shipment in November a lot has changed.

Wow!! I authorized credit cards on Monday and found out that 64 did not go through. Even though we sent out an e-mail requesting updated credit cards and special considerations, like holding shipment, we still had all these bounces a week later. In 24 hours we have corrected 25 and I see we have a few more in our box this morning responding to our personal e-mail requiring an update. In the last few months we have been charging a $60 fee to be applied to the second shipment so in the future anyone who does not supply us with a credit card in a timely matter will be dropped from the Club and lose that fee. 

I have to calm down and remember that anyone who signed up for our Club wants to continue to purchase our wine. OR could it be the $120 cost for 6 bottles that includes no shipping charges or sales tax that lures them in? Could it be the big 40% discount on bottled wine? Could it be the $3 discount on Futures amounting to over a 50% discount from the retail price at release after bottling? Are we charging too little? OR is this what happens to all wineries who have Wine Clubs? Those are questions I am asking myself. 

It is sad that someone is not organized enough to update a credit card. In a way it is similar to the fact that 2 to 3 percent of the customers who buy Futures from us do not claim their wine, even though they have paid in full for it. I have to end this now because I need to go back to handling these updated credit cards. Tomorrow we have to pack up the 550 plus 6 packs. Those who do not respond today will not receive their shipment. 


We have had a hard decision. We wanted to offer the 2008 Zin that was bottled in January exclusively to Dave's Wine Club members but we are too short. This wine was created by Matt on the spur of the moment because we ran out of bottles in July when bottling the 2008 Zinfandel and he took over right away as Matt can do at times. He said let's keep a barrel for our Wine Club, but we do not have enough wine...... We need 50 cases now after 6 months. We only bottled 23 cases and most of that has already been allocated.  Recently Pat and Matt had this great idea, according to them. They wanted to offer these last 6 cases to our Wine Club members with a 3 bottle limit.  That was a good idea but I have always been against a limit of any kind so we have decided to offer this wine to all that is interested. First come first served. 

Like I said in my last entry we have enough wine Club members now to supply 50 cases of wine per shipment. That is a dilemma. It will be exciting!! Matt and I are brainstorming about Future wines exclusively for Dave's Wine Club members. It will be another great year.

I am tasting this 2008 Special Bottling of Zinfandel right now and as I have said many times before I am not good at describing flavors I depict in wine, but this wine is very interesting. It has a unique spicy character on the finish, this week it reminds me of cloves, last week it was ginger. I have said many times before I like oak and oak is cheating. That is because oak can create a complexity that is not necessarily in the grape. Complexity with oak is what I am talking about and Carignan is another one of the grapes. Oak mixed with Carignan can make an interesting combination that is unique. If you have any of my 2007 Carignan, check it out. It won a gold medal because the judges liked it even though I know it is manipulating the grape. I know I am rambling but I wanted to get this across. 

First of all I want to make a wine that I like. I taste my wine every night. Most of the time it is in comparison to other producers. I like my wine so most of the time when tasting blind I prefer my wines.  I am so impressed with the complexity of this 2007 Special bottling of 2008 Zinfandel that I have decided to construct a new building for more storage. That will give us the capacity to age some barrels for 15 months like most wineries do. Don't get me wrong I am still convinced my wine aged for 10 months and bottled in July will age a longer time. Time will tell......................... 

Tuesday April 27, 2010

We are constructing a new storage building, in order to have more room for the barrels we want to store longer and for the new wine The Wine Guerrilla wants to store AND to have room for some grape bins full of fruit at Harvest AND to store our bottling line in a better place. The County of Sonoma is requiring many more things now that they need more fees and of course to better accommodate the public. Even though this will be a building for storage and will have no windows and the public will not be allowed to enter, we have to have wheel chair access for our employees. It is a long story, but I am willing to conform. This building will be an addition to our existing guest house and storage across the parking lot. We have had a handicap capable rest room over in the building for 10 years but few customers use it or know about it. We will also make a new handicap parking space near the rest room. I am encouraged because I like the idea that more customers will notice the rest room and be able to use it. I am also happy this will require more concrete which is always a good thing because it will be easier to navigate on the forklift. We should have the building finished by July in order to run our bottling line in the new space. I love spending money so I am excited. 


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