David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

May, 2010 

Monday May 17, 2010

I know this has been the longest time without posting to my diary in years. We have been on a vacation!! We drove over 2,000 miles and spent several days on the Oregon Coast and up in Washington on the San Juan Islands. We also visited Susie in Seattle for three days and headed back down the coast again. I did not look at a paper or turn on a TV for 10 days. Pat had to show me the front page of a paper on May 7th so I could find out about the sudden drop in the stock market on May 6th. I found access to the internet in our Roche Harbor Resort lobby at mid day May 7th and purchased a great deal of stock in hopes for a trade. Last week the Market rebounded and I sold a third of my holdings including the trades. I still think the Market is heading higher but I like being in some cash right now. One of my holdings I have not sold is a stock that represents the Short of the Euro. I've purchased (EUO) many times in April and have a 17% gain right now, I still believe the dollar is undervalued, but who knows I could be wrong.

I've talked to Catarino this morning and he thinks we could have a large crop. The weather has turned to rain again so we need sun to get the crop ripe. I am not worried, it always gets hot in June. The vines we planted and budded at the end of March have slowly started to grow. I thought I would see more growth by now but I have been assured that we need heat for them also. Pat and I are way behind in work so I must get busy. 

Sunday May 23, 2010

I have gotten shy about the Market, just as I have seen, most of us have. The Market has been heading down for over a week. It made it easy for me to make two small trades that were safe. I really don't know where the Market is heading short term, but I am still holding on to most of my core holdings. I buy only when the Market is dropping fast as it did last Friday again. I bought on the offering and sold an hour later. We will see what happens tomorrow. If it is up I will buy no more but if it drops fast again I will buy more. Of course I could get caught as I did in June of 2008 when the market kept going down for over 6 months. I purchased all the way down and tied up a lot of money over that time. It paid off eventually but everyday brings a new beginning.

Matt and I are going to make many exclusive wines for Dave's Wine Club. One possibility was suggested by a close friend. He said what about trying to add some Pinot to Petite Sirah so I think I will try to produce a wine that will consist of 50% Pinot harvested in August and 50% Petite Sirah harvested a little earlier than normal. So both the grapes will be harvested at about 23 brix and produce a wine at about 13.5 alcohol. OR maybe I should pick both at 26 brix and make a wine at 15+ alcohol. Either way I think it will make a fruit driven wine with good structure. Our Wine Club members will be treated to something special. BTW the Pinot Noir is starting to bloom, now we only need some heat.

My new 2011 BMW will be here in a week or so so now I have to decide what to do with my 2007 530i BMW with 37,000 miles on it. If any of you know who might be interested, just let me know.

Gee, I can now see why companies have a credit card fraud department. In the last week I have had to deal with 3 credit card problems. 

1) Four weeks ago I purchased something online and then found out an hour later that the company had a very bad reputation. When I searched the companies name in Google I found all over the internet people complaining and emphatically warning anyone to not deal with this company. I will call this company Gob for now. I immediately called Gob. I was not surprised when they did not answer their phone....that was one of the many complaints. I left a message requesting that they cancel my order. I also sent an e-mail canceling. I then called my credit card company (Let's call them Cass) and asked that they not let the charge go through. To my surprise Cass said that if Gob had my credit card number Cass could do nothing to stop them from charging my card. I watched for two days and saw no charges post by Gob BUT three days later I saw the charge of $200 appear online. I called Gob again to no avail and called Cass and they said they would have to let the order run it's course. I then received an e-mail stating that Gob had sent the product out a week earlier, Two Day Air. That was a week earlier. I hoped they finally had decided to cancel the order and give me a refund.....no way, the day before we left for our vacation my friendly UPS man handed me a box from Gob. I asked if I could refuse it and he said "No problem, Dave". I figured this would be the start to resolving the problem. When I got back from vacation I had a note form Cindi, from a Kelly asking me to call Gob. Last Monday I called Gob and to my surprise they answered their phone. Could they be screening some calls? Kelly answered and acted like she knew nothing, but after giving her an order number she suddenly remembered. She then told me Gob accepts no returns and that no orders can be canceled. On Friday I finally received information from Cass, my credit Card company, asking for proof and more information about the case. I have prepared what they require and it will go out tomorrow. I am still out $200 at this time.

2) Three weeks ago I was notified that someone made two suspicious charges to my credit card. I told them I did not authorize them so Cass issued me a new card. I thought after, could this have been Gob who tried to charge my card?

3) Also last week I received a letter from the Charge back department of my winery processing company stating that they had reversed a charge we made to a customer. Let's call my processing company Kost. Without notifying me Kost reversed a Wine Club charge for $120. It took a month so now I know how Gob will feel in a month. BUT this time I am out the wine and $120 and the shipping expenses because the customer had someone sign and accept the 6 bottles of wine. What is interesting the customer uses the same credit card company as mine, Cass, and the customer is not required to give out his name, but he is required to give the card number, date of transaction, and transaction number. With that information Pat and I tracked the name down to, lets call him Har. Har signed up for the Wine Club here in February and took 6 bottles of wine at the 40% discount available for Dave's Wine Club members. Har states in his complaint that he never authorized the recurring charge (We have his signature) and he has been trying to get a hold of us with no luck to have us send a return authorization at our expense. At least he admits to receiving the wine although we sent proof of delivery from Fed Ex anyway. I assume this will take another month to resolve.

Does anyone want to head my credit card fraud department? This is taking up too much of my time.   

Monday May 24, 2010

I have made the decision for pricing of our Futures. Last year we raised the prices for our 2009 Futures on June First 2009 by $2 a bottle and also raised the prices on our 2008 Futures by the same amount. We were low or sold out of many of our 2008 Futures at that time. This year we have more of our 2009 Futures left because we produced more wine. Our sales are also up so I have decided to only raise the price by $1. That will also include the 2010 Futures. We held the prices on the 2009 wines for the rest of the year but probably after Harvest in October we will raise the price of 2010 Futures by $1 again. We will bottle most of our 2009 Futures in July, but this year we will save some of the wine until next February so the prices of those wines will be raised in August by probably $2 a bottle. For sure one of the wines to be saved is 150 cases of our 2009 Cabernet. Our 2009 The Ultimate Cuvee will go on sale on June First and that will be bottled in February 2011 also. In addition, Matt's Select Petite Sirah will be held until February. Most likely we will hold back some 2009 Zinfandel, 2009 Aca Modot, Estate Cuvee and Block 4. We have never had the possibility to do this before because we did not have enough storage. Back on April 27 I stated we are building a new storage building. We are still in the process of getting the permits but I am confident the building will be finished by Harvest.  


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