David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow June 10 - June 30, 2012

Friday June 15, 2012  

Dave asked me to let everybody know that he hasn't posted anything because he's taken a vacation.  He's fine,

Brad, the web guy...

Saturday June 23, 2012   Happy 27 Kate

I am home....thanks Brad. I had some wine and am finally having a drink of ice sparkling water. My ice maker worked perfectly. The last day I had to drink tap water, no ice.

We got home at 2:30 Pm yesterday. Catarino wanted to borrow a few tables and I did not feel so bad to ask him to wash my car. It rained all 330 miles home from Oregon. It was good for Catarino and I to relate and find out a little of what happened while I was gone. We will talk more Monday. Bottling starts July 9.

Sunday June 24, 2012  

I am disappointed in my recovery, but I assume I am expecting too much. I just got back from driving 2000 miles up to Seattle and back, mostly on the Oregon coast and HWY 101 in California. The coast was good for driving because I had to use the new left knee to shift at times. I have a partial knee replacement if you are new to this diary.....of course I had to pass many cars. My stick shift BMW does not like to stay calm....I noticed I am not driving as fast around those big turns on 101 south of Eureka (old age?). I let a few cars pass me....at times I only took some turns at 65 even though it was a 4 lane highway with a posted 65.....as you may know speedometers are off by 3 miles so I can go 73 and actually be going only 70.

I have not done Rehab.....PT....not for me. It is now almost 6 weeks and I was doing so well with progress each day before I left for Seattle. It had been 32 days since the operation. I may be doing a little better since I got home Friday....maybe too much sitting still in the car? I have tried all the exercises and find them easy but I do have some tightness in my muscles and my balance is not what it used to be. I think part is from the arthritis because all my body aches when I get up from the computer.

I am only taking about 5 ibuprofen a day now and only took Tylenol the first few weeks. I had no trouble drinking from day two!!! No drugs for me..... I have not lost weight....gained.........The golden years, NO

Monday June 25, 2012 

Catarino just stopped by at 8:30am and informed me we have a lot of decision to make regarding the vineyard SO I will be taking a walk with him after lunch. I am looking forward to seeing how the vines are looking.

9:00 Pm:

It has been a very big day after our first day of the week back home. Too many things to relate so I will try to make it short. The Sonoma County was out today, a new inspector one which was good. I know it is hard to deal with me so maybe they are trying a new guy....who I liked. He was here for nearly two hours and I learned some of what they require. This is something!!!....that is required and I should go into how this can happen????. This nice guy who was tough and I told him upfront I would not get upset. He was here for the first of many concerns about my permit. He was here to address ease of travel. It is so complicated so I will try to give an example. Lets say Catarino who is vibrant and is the most active person in my employ, has an injury, not necessarily here and wants to come back and work. The main part is he is disabled and has to be in a wheel chair. Obviously he is not on disability for some reason. OK got it? The County of Sonoma wants to make sure If this happens to Catarino that he can traverse in a wheel chair on any place on this property on no more than a percent of grade of 2% in most cases and sometimes 5% in rare instances. As some of you know we have been trying to get approved a small addition way back in our main building and we will have to make sure we conform to requirements. This new addition is way back around over 200 feet away from the winery. Anyone must be able to use a wheel chair on all parts of our property. I hate to say this BUT maybe I should cancel this project and deal with it in another way. For what they want me to do will cost me maybe $50,000 to make sure someone can move all over my property in a wheel chair.

Ok I guess this will go on for while. Pat just came in here and I asked her to hear what I have written so far. Of course she was not interested so I hope some of you will read the rest of what I have to say.

We are all unique. Sometimes I know I do things and no one is doing the same thing at the same time. I am sure most of you have felt the same way. Tonight was easy....I blended a mild Pinot we purchased in Oregon with equal amounts of my intense 2010 Petit Verdot (my favorite 2010 wine)....I was pleasantly surprised. I know I am the master blender but what I found by blending these two wines....a wine that was balanced and tasted like a big Pinot and not what I expected which would be a wine more like Petit Verdot. I am sure no one in this world this evening blended those two wines.

I am off to St. Helena again tomorrow for a review of my leg. I have had pain in a different place in my leg and the swelling has gone down so I will have questions.

10:00 Pm: 

Nadal is not on tonight so I just have to finish the Giant Dodger game in awhile. I wanted to let you know I do work on wine during the day so here is a spreadsheet explaining about what the 2011 bottling plans are. If you have any questions, fire away in an e-mail. I know some of you read my diary but I get few e-mails about it,  especially about questions. My life is an open book so ask away............

Tuesday June 26, 2012

10:00 PM: My sister Lynda does not read my diary so I could say anything, maybe another time...But I wanted to congratulate her for another birthday today.

A lot has happened today and I will go into more detail tomorrow. BUT the most two important things now are Nadal is down two breakers and the Giant Dodger game has started so that is all I care about. Those two results could determine my night.

I am roasting coffee beans so I need to move quickly.

Thursday June 28, 2012

9:00 PM: I like Cats. There is a break through tonight....Foggy our grey cat has just come into the office. That is the cat I mentioned would not let her touch me. So it is good tonight for one reason.

I have gotten the County of Sonoma upset with me...also my wife which may be resolved, politics is vital for me so.......I got a call today and no one could find my Mother. I know like some of you, we are away from our Mother. My Mother is 100 miles away...so I am not close if something happens. I got a call today from the care giver....they could not get into her house. From this distance I had to resolve the situation...Comcast had screwed up so it was resolved at 5pm our time. I know I am rambling, but have you seen Chris Matthews. Pat does not like him. I sure would like to be like him one time...."Hard Ball" msnbc. OK I read the first essay. "I Feel Bad About My Neck" is the best non fiction I have read for awhile. I have a bad neck...........

Friday June 29, 2012

I don't understand some conservatives. Are they greedy and thus want to keep money away from the poor? What is their reasoning regarding the health care bill? Most Conservatives are pro life so they want more babies being born, but they do not want to provide for their medical expenses later in life. I don't get it. I know they say the government is too big and we must cut spending. Well one way to cut spending is to have less people in this world. We should have a choice. I must admit though, abortion is the last thing I would choose. There are ways to avoid pregnancy.

9:00: Pm:

I am bored, I am rarely bored. I have had only 1500 calories today and I do not want more right now, but I will later. I am on a modified Atkins diet again. 30 Carbs yesterday 56 today. I am really waiting for the Giant game to move on so I can fast forward. The Giants have given up no runs for 4 games. And I am really depressed and thus bored.......Nadal lost yesterday so I forgot to record today's matches because I did not care but now I am waiting for the recap. So you can see i am wasting time now. I will go out and get more espresso and be back later.

I am back. I am over tennis and looking at the Giants game....may go up and read. I have been hard on my conservative friends so I will have more to say tomorrow.

Saturday June 30, 2012

I was too hard on conservatives. I hate categorizing people in groups such as that. I am mostly talking about people who want to keep what they have and want no changes. I have always been willing to take chances which brings changes in my life everyday. Obviously some people are concerned about the new Health Bill because it may cost them more and changes may bring them something they do not like. I believe this is the greatest country in the world (Most of us think that) should be able to provide for the medically sick. There is concern about the 16 dollar band aid and such on the hospital bill but I have faith we will find a way to define those costs. My Mother and I have been in and out of hospitals lately and many things I have seen could be changed to save money. I ramble again......

I am watching my weight again, that means counting calories. If I don't count calories I gain weight. I gained 12 pounds since January when I started having problems with my knees. I am down 3 pounds in two days because I have averaged 34 carbohydrates,1500 calories and 500 is from wine. I can't keep this up because eventually calories rule. I must lose 3500 calories to lose one pound. I have this program that says if I consume 2700 calories a day I will not gain weight. If I average 2000 calories a day it would take me 5 days to lose one pound. That means it would take 60 days to lose the 12 pounds. I assume it will take me until after harvest to lose all that weight BUT what is interesting.....what is my real weight after losing some of the water in my body? That is what cutting out carbohydrates does at first. I am assuming I am there now, down 3 pounds. Time will tell, but from here I should be able to lose a pound a week for awhile.

Taking chances. I am causing trouble with the County of Sonoma which will bring changes in my life, I hope for the best. I hope most of you who read this diary know about my addition to the existing structure across from the winery. Pat and I live in the original structure where our office is and the simple steel building to the north 50 feet away holds most of our barrels and tasting room. To the South 100 feet from the office is a large structure of storage areas, about 2400 square feet. There is a 1200 square foot guest house above which is used occasionally for people who help us at events to stay over night. Most of our bottled wine is stored below this guest house. I have openly been storing wine there for 10 years.

Against the wishes of my wife, Pat, and many other people I decided it would be nice to connect another small storage area to the back of the building. This area can not be seen from the road and could have easily been constructed without the County's knowledge. I was advised to construct it this way but felt I should be upfront with the County of Sonoma, big mistake!!!

The plans were presented but not approved because we were told the whole structure over there was residential. Like I said I had been storing wine there for 10 years with the knowledge of many people representing the County. We resubmitted the plans for a residential garage. Obviously I felt I could store wine there after we finished, a compromise I thought on their part. We completed everything just before closing in with insulation and sheetrock when the inspector saw us packing up wine in the main building around in the front right out in the open. This was well over a year ago......He stopped the project. To appease them I obtained a new permit to store wine, no problem, it was approved right away, but until this day we can't find out what has still stopped the project. The building remains the same, no insulation. We have stored empty barrels there for over a year now but some insects have traveled in and are creating problems and of course the heat with no insulation is drying out the barrels. We need to get it closed in.

Finally I started action on my own because my contractor and the County could not explain to me what was the hold up. Some of you may remember I got in contact with my Supervisor back in January. He was very nice and set up a meeting with the principals at the County. I was immediately contacted by the main two people in charge and they came out to see what the problem was. They were extremely nice and did not understand what the hold up was either BUT I was told I had to have an engineer calculate if there was a need for a fire break between the guest house above where no one lives and the storage area down below. You know County rules. My contractor still did not follow through so I hired a new one who called his architect in to inspect and decide what we need. This is where I was when I commented last Monday...see above....NOW the County wants to make sure a wheelchair can be traversed throughout the downstairs storage area. WHY?

So of course I had to step up and take chances. Last Wednesday I took all day to learn about ADA requirements in existing structures and new additions. What follows below is what I learned, copied and sent to the inspector and my architect and contractor. The architect was impressed but he and I have not heard back form the inspector or anyone else from Sonoma County. I assume the inspector is on a power trip and did not want someone telling him how to do his job. I will keep you informed, if anyone is still following this anyway...remember this diary is for me to document what has happened. In the end I may have to contact my Supervisor and set up the meeting again. I hate to bother him though. Why can't we find a compromise......

Sent Wednesday to the inspectors and architect::

Here are a few things I came up with so far today. I think our job requirements, thus description is the most important. It sounds like I can deny any of my employees who need a wheelchair access to the storage areas. Doesn't that make everything moot? Like I said, I want to do the restroom, open to everyone, and that means the public also, but I don't believe I would have to provide access in the locked storage buildings to employees who were disabled because of the work requirements. Let me know what you think.

Quotes from ADA documents follow:

"Employers with 15 or more employees may not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities." We have 5.

"An employer can hold employees with disabilities to the same standards of production/performance as other similarly situated employees without disabilities for performing essential job functions, with or without reasonable accommodation."

"The employer does not have to make changes to provide access in places or facilities that will not be used by that individual for employment-related activities or benefits."

"A qualified individual with a disability is a person who meets legitimate skill, experience, education, or other requirements of an employment position that s/he holds or seeks, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. Requiring the ability to perform "essential" functions assures that an individual with a disability will not be considered unqualified simply because of inability to perform marginal or incidental job functions. If the individual is qualified to perform essential job functions except for limitations caused by a disability, the employer must consider whether the individual could perform these functions with a reasonable accommodation. If a written job description has been prepared in advance of advertising or interviewing applicants for a job, this will be considered as evidence, although not conclusive evidence, of the essential functions of the job."


"In existing buildings,when the enforcing agency determines that compliance with any regulation under this section would create an unreasonable hardship, an exception shall be granted."

"Storage facilities used by employees for purposes other than job-related tasks, such as break room cabinets and shower room lockers, are required to be accessible. Those used only by employees at a work station (janitor closets) or as part of a work area (stockroom shelves) are not required to comply (although work areas must be on an accessible route for approach, entry, and exit as required in 4.1.1(3))"....... I agree we should make the new addition compliant. It should be relatively easy.....Dave

"Areas that are used only as work areas shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the areas. These guidelines do not require that any areas used only as work areas be constructed to permit maneuvering within the work area or be constructed or equipped (i.e., with racks or shelves) to be accessible."


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