David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow January 29 - February 4, 2012

Sunday January 29, 2012

Tomorrow we are setting up to bottle the last of our 2010 wines. It will be fun.

Pat is still away until Monday evening...gee I have to think about what to have for dinner. Of course it is Sunday so it will be pizza from scratch. When Pat is here it is still nice for me because I get to plan the meal and do the cooking. I do not like to consume alcohol for more than 2 hours so that is my time to enjoy a great meal that Pat and I agree on and enjoy wine for two hours until after dinner.

It is strange when I think of times in my past. An incident or games I played can all of a sudden pop in my mind. It may be boring to you but I want to continue to document some. After all this is my diary.

I used to get in trouble when I was a pre-teen......I actually got in trouble even into my College days and beyond.

I remember a time when a friend and I would throw tennis balls against a curb on Chicago Way, San Francisco some time between 1956 and 1958. I was into baseball big time. I loved the Yankees and after that the San Francisco Giants.

So the friend (I can't remember his name or face) and I would have this contest to see who could throw a tennis ball best against the curb across the street from a row of houses. We had to pick a place where no car was parked. My house was on a corner so that was not the right place. We had to pick an area where we had a straight shot to a garage door across the street. The point was to hit the tennis ball past your opponent which would qualify as a hit. If the ball was thrown against the curb perfectly, right on the point, it would pop up high and slam against the house across the street, rarely unfortunately into a window. Sometimes a person was home in the house. I guess I remember these times because the person would open the window and scream at us from inside their house. Some of those ladies would even complain when the ball would roll harmlessly into the garage door. I remember being disrespectful by yelling back. We would then have to move to another location which was some times not possible, too many cars.

At times after that I remember being defiant and often not respectful to many older people, especially when I thought they were wrong. That has carried on even to this day, but now I am older than most people. I still like to fight against injustice. I should have been a lawyer, but I know I would have gotten in trouble with judges.

Wednesday February 1, 2012

My defiant side came out at 7:30 Am yesterday morning after receiving an e-mail from one our good customers. She used "Horrible" and "can't stand" to describe what she thought of our 2010 Sauv Blanc and implied she did not like any of the reds either. She picked up her 2010 wines on August 20 at our open house where she could have tasted all the wines. I told her I would give her a refund, but she and I have resolved the problem and she will substitute with the 16 month versions. It is a long story and I won't go into more detail BUT it is not a surprise to me that some of our customers think, just because we sent out the e-mail offering the exchange, that all our 2010 wines bottled in July are not good.

Yesterday was a very tough day. That discussion back and forth with our customer was only the beginning. I will go into a little detail of the events later, but there is no way I could describe everything that happened. There was good and bad. I will start with the very good:

We had our usual problems with the first day of bottling but in the end (6:00 Pm) we were finished bottling our 16 month versions of 2010 RaiZin, Russian River Zin, Two Vineyard Zin and Chalk Hill Zin. I also opened 4 of the same wines bottled in July. I tasted them blind in the evening. I had no trouble picking out the wines because the 16 month versions had less acid BUT I was pleasantly surprised that the wines bottled in July had smoothed out somewhat and were enjoyable, especially with the rack of lamb and roast potatoes I cooked for dinner. I am looking forward to tasting the wines we bottle today.

There were so many things I had to deal with yesterday it is hard to know what to say. I'll start with more problems with Direct Shipping. One department in Virginia says I have no permit but the other accepted my use tax even though they had my name spelled wrong. Arizona says I have to turn in a report even though I have no permit finalized. These two matters are complicated and took over two hours to finally resolve.

I am having more trouble with DirecTv.....not really all their fault. After all I have 6 DVR's hooked up to my Whole Home system. That way I can record 12 programs at a time but that is complicated because I have these DVR's in many rooms and even in the winery. SO I purchased a new DVR that has 5 tuners in it, but sold by an independent company. It gives me the capability to record 5 programs at one time in the same room. I have heard from DirecTv this company should not have been selling the receiver yet because all the software has not been resolved at DirecTv. DirecTv was nice enough to send an installer to try to figure out how to use the DVR until the official release in a week or so. The tech was here for two hours and I had to deal with him during the bottling and all the other matters. The problem has not been completely taken care of but we are close.

Also during the morning I had to look at a video of the interview with the Raiders new coach, yes another coach...there is always next year.

At 1:00 Pm I hurried back from bottling and went to my computer to watch some stock trades. Amazon.com was to report their earnings and I was hoping for some good news...no way!! They were somewhat disappointing so the stock plunged 8% in after hour trading. I'll have to buy more.

ALSO, I talked to my mother who is home and really looking forward to her 90th birthday this Sunday February 5.....yes the same day as the Super Bowl. I had planned to stay at her house Saturday night for dinner and stay until about 2 or 3 Sunday and drive home and look at the game that I will record. BUT she is not doing well with her arthritis. The doctors have taken her off her pain pills because she has been having internal bleeding from the strong drugs. She is having 24 hour in house care because she can't even hold a phone because of crippling pain in her hands and even more so in her legs. Late yesterday she started taking a new pill and is doing a little better today. We now plan to spend the night with Kate in San Francisco a 30-40 minute drive from my Mother's house in Milbrae. Pat and I will arrive to Vivien's house on Saturday morning and stay until 4 when Kate will pick us up. My mother needs things to be done at her house and also we have things to do at the Condo in San Francisco. I will look at the Super Bowl Sunday evening after setting at least 3 DVR's to record before I take off Saturday morning. There is a 2 hour drive to my Mother's house. It should be a fun two days.

After jumping up and down on the forklift all day yesterday I was tired. My knee was acting up again and I needed three espressos to keep me awake until 10 Pm. At 9 I went to read more of Gone With The Wind, a great novel but at first I jotted down some notes to remember what to write today.

Today will be another interesting time. We already had a nice lady come in to film us for a You Tube show. It was organized by the Wine Road. I just had to talk about our "Futures" program and the lady was happy to film a little of our bottling action.

I have to get back to the forklift.

Friday February 3, 2012

Yesterday I drove over to Saint Helena to see a specialist for my knee. I have decided to have a partial knee replacement on May 9. I expect to be feeling fine after two weeks and should be fully recovered in six weeks. I can stand a lot of pain so I should be up cooking and tasting wine in the evening by the third day. I hate taking pain pills so I hope to only take some for two days. We will see.

If you go on Facebook today you will see a picture of about 40 wines I have open in the kitchen. They are mostly 2010 wines aged 10 months and 16 months. I was pleasantly surprised that the wines bottled in July have smoothed out. Tonight I will taste them for the last time. One sip is not much wine and I toss some most of the time. Obviously I do feel pretty good after an hour or so. It is fun. I hope to post a few notes about the wines next week.    


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