David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow November 6 - November 12, 2011

Monday November 7, 2011

Just when I thought the Harvest was over, Kate my daughter reminded me that I had mentioned in my diary the possibility of a Late Harvest red wine. I asked Catarino about the possibility and he said there was plenty of Petite Sirah that is forming some botrytis on the bunches (aka bud rot or gray mold, noble rot). Today I asked him to go out and pick me some bunches that had plenty of raisins and some that had rot on them. He came back and informed me there could be two bins left (maybe 1500 pounds). We could produce 25 or 30 cases if we picked all the fruit. He brought back two samples and I tasted the botrytis berries and the raisin berries. I thought they looked similar and tasted fine. They both tested out at 40% sugar.

Matt and I discussed what we wanted to do with the gray mass and decided on Wednesday to press the whole bunches and reload the juice back into the press with the skins and stems to soak for a day. On Thursday we will then press the juice into a barrel or kegs and ferment to about 10 to 12% alcohol. That should leave over 20% residual sugar and a rose like color. It should make an interesting wine.

Tomorrow we will press the last of our Dry Red Wines, Cabernet Franc, Aglianico and Mourvedre. After pressing and reloading the Late Harvest Petite Sirah Wednesday, we are planning a pizza party for all our employees in the evening. Matt and I will make dueling pizza doughs and Catarino is roasting a duck. Yes, he wants a duck pizza so I will fire up my pizza oven and we will have fun.

Friday November 11, 2011


We all think we can do better............all human beings have to strive for that.......whether it is in a small task like walking up the stairs. My Mother Vivien has a lot of trouble making any step, especially up or down.

I got concerned Yesterday when I had to get up at 5Am, because I was in agony. My knee was feeling horrible and my toe hurt. The Harvest is always hard on me. For the last several years I always have a new injury. My Mother offered me one of her pills, I declined.

Matt left a heavy metal rod in front of the winery door so I decided to move it around the building and it fell on my toe. Luckily it is on the same leg as my swelled up knee. The toe will get better, but the knee is getting worse every year. I will have to look into repairing it this coming year.

On Wednesday we harvested 1.17 tons of gray moldy Petite Sirah. We posted a picture on Facebook. We pressed enough whole bunches to make 50 cases. We hopefully will have it bottled by February. The sugar came in at 44% which will give us at least 15% residual sugar. Depending on how it tastes we will probably stop the fermentation at 12% alcohol which could leave over 20% residual sugar. 


Home | Read | Diary | Tell Us What You Think of Our Diary | Last Week | Next Week