|Sunday August 14, 2016
So this time I am political!! I think the party of Lincoln left after he died...............I want to learn more and I am starting to read more about Lincoln. He definitely was an interesting guy...........
I really think at times I do not want to act, and thus admit, to it.........but almost all women I have been involved and respected have been far in the middle than I or others. I think they are smarter than I.
So maybe I was fortunate to be close to many great ladies in my life so even though I have voted some times for republicans I will not be voting for Trump. Let's give a girl a chance................
Monday August 15, 2016
Today we harvested many varieties and also a winemaker came in to pick up some Pinot Noir from us. We have way too many new grape varieties starting to produce so I am selling grapes. We brought in 1.8 tons of Pinot for us at about 24 sugar. We also mixed in some Pinotage at 25 sugar and some Pinot Meunier at close 26 sugar, a total of 700 pounds. Tomorrow we will check the final sugar of the whole blend.
Earlier in the day we brought in some Chardonnay, Muscat and Gewurztraminer a total of 1000 pounds. Those grapes were added to 1.1 tons of Sauvignon Blanc. The sugar looks to be about 23%.
On Wednesday we will check the sugar on several varieties and make an estimate for our next harvest day.
8:00: Pm: as you can see from above it was an interesting day so I will mellow out.
I actually tasted 20 wines tonight, obviously in small amounts. We had an event this last weekend and had nearly 300 people here. It was so much fun seeing some of our past customers and many new ones. So tonight I decided to taste what others had tasted this last weekend.
We served all our 2015 10 month wines just bottled in January SO tonight was the first time for me to try all these 2015 wines again. I tasted all these wines in January after they were bottled the same day, in shock the first day? So would I perceive a difference since then......NO since I only remember back then what I liked?
First of all I was disappointing with the Grenache. It just did not have as much fruit when I remembered from last vintages. The Carignan was nice along with the Terre Melange. I still can't get into Barbera, too much acid for me. Aca was nice along with Escuro. The Zinfandel, 100 percent was great and compared to Block 4, of course not as complex. I liked the My Zin also along with all the others so I think 2015 will be good also. You can go online and purchase futures for our 2015 16 month aged wines.
OK, Brad and I have been doing a new opening page for our website. Many of our employees and daughters, much younger than I wanted to do something different AND it will hopefully evolve, especially this old guy who needs to lose some weight. Yes as you know I like eating only carbos so the next picture up on our website will be a more slim Dave? http://www.coffaro.com/
Tuesday August 16, 2016
So tomorrow Pat leaves again to see her sister and Kate so I get to cook gizzards tomorrow night and go on a no carbo diet............
I tasted some of the 2015 wines again and liked the Block 4 and zinfandel again. Our 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel was a problem last year so it has a small amount of sugar in it SO it is soft up front and is balanced, but of course with a little bit of sugar makes the wine go down ( A play on Marry Poppins, one of my top 10 movies). We are calibrating our Foss analyzer again so we can make sure if our wine ferments to dryness. I am guessing our 2015 Zinfandel could have 2 carbohydrates in the whole bottle so I believe it is OK.
Surprise!! We checked our 2016 Pinot destemmed yesterday and it looks like there may have been some raisins in the bunch............so we have 25% Sugar now.........I am real happy.
We pressed off the DC Fusion today and we may have 14% or more alcohol. We should have harvested last week? Time will tell...........Tomorrow is more sugar tests
Thursday August 18, 2016
I have to be in more control now that the Harvest has started. I have several people who are asking me for some grapes so I have to be professional. Do I ask for money up front when they are taking my great fruit away (to them only $3.00 a bottle). Of course for them it will be more work, probably $5 total cost to barrel, rack and top to prepare for bottling. I know my cost is about $8 after bottling. I could custom crush and sell bulk or try to market and sell more wine.
So do I sell bulk at $4 or $5 a bottle? If I process the grapes and make more wine though I could make a lot more money. But like I have said I would have to sell this great wine. Pat has said we should not be selling our wine at low prices because other wineries sell for higher prices AND these other wineries are charging a large fee to taste. I will take a break and think more about what I am saying.........
Yesterday we did more sugar tests. Grenache was about 21 sugar and we will drop a lot more crop. Barbera was at 23.2% but we need 26+ to drop some of the acid. Lagrein was 21.4. We will check the old vine Zinfandel next week. It is still early.
Saturday August 20, 2016
Pat is away watching Giants games so I have more time to put in my diary entry. Diary is for me.
I have tried some 2015 wines last night and I like them, especially with ice. My house is hot in my kitchen, especially since I am the cook. I make a mess and thus heat up the room............even though I try to keep the room at 72 degrees. I really think red wine should be consumed at 68 degrees so Kate's kitchen in San Francisco is the perfect temperature. It is always cold......I digress as usual
So last night it was a cool night but still outside at 85 degrees where I like to mellow out while BBQing so I popped a small piece of ice in my 2015 Block 4 and it was wonderful. At 68 degrees by cooling it down I was happy. I assume the alcohol may have been down to 15% by the addition of the small piece of ice but I am fine with the results.............
My Neighbors are obviously not nice people. What can I say. Sonoma County animal control have advised them they should not let their dogs loose on our property. Sonoma County Sheriffs have put a cage to trap these dogs and we found out the dog was trapped and the neighbor released the dog. They obviously do not care about this dog. I could go on with more info, but the bottom line is they do not care about this poor dog who is let loose on our property to drop her dinner................
Hey, every night my cats and I go out to take a look at the vines about sundown. These cats are looking all around more cautious than usual so I assume they have seen the dogs.
I want to resolve this problem with my neighbors..............
Chase is another matter. I have had my business Chase card for 15 years but I am now having problems dealing with them. I tried a new POS system through Quickbooks. I thought it was with Quickbooks but I found out the company representing Quickbooks was actually a separate company. Quickbooks always gives a customer 60 days to try out a new product. That is not the case with Revel. The bottom line after 3 months is Revel is saying I signed a contract with a digital signature and they have the right to charge me a 35% restocking fee. I signed this contract (I have still not seen a copy) back in May. I tried to work with the software for two weeks while I was waiting for the equipment which would help doing sales in the tasting room and integrate with my Quickbooks desktop in my office. I found out soon it would not integrate with Quickbooks and it also would not send the products list and customer information over to Revel. I was told by Revel: "You don't really need the customer information to use Revel in the tasting room". I said so you want me to input 5,000 customers by hand? I received the two boxes from Revel a few days later after I asked to cancel and get my $1399.79 back. It is now August. I disputed the charge with Chase and they are denying my claim. They say I signed the contract with my digital signature (haven't seen it) and I have to accept Revel's check for $882.96.
I asked the lady in the dispute department at Chase about a restocking fee as much as 35% when I didn't even open the boxes. BTW, it took Revel two months to authorize the return. She said if I signed a contract and it said no returns, it would still be valid. I told her she should not be doing business with such a company and she said their policy is to do business with anyone. It is my responsibility to read the terms. As I have said this is a company named "Revel by Quickbooks" and Quickbooks recently sent me a refund for their online POS system so Revel is not associated with Quickbooks or Intuit with the same terms.
So now my plan is to cancel my Chase card. They still have a hold on the $1399.87 so if I pay off the card and set the amount owed at zero as of today, they will have to go after me for the held money. I think I have a case for several reasons including some I have not mentioned so I plan to fight this. Tomorrow is another day............
7:30 Pm: I want to document two people I will miss. Ben at Bottle Barn has passed away. He was younger than I when I went in to sell my wine in 1995. He was so nice. Some of us called him Gentle Ben because he towered over us and told us the truth. He asked me what I wanted to sell my wine for and I had to think about my Futures customers so I told him to sell my wine at a low cost, just above what I sold to my customers so I think we sold our wine at $16? We all in the industry will miss Ben.
One person I saw almost every week on PBS passed away, John McLaughlin. As my wife has known since the show, McLaughlin Group started in 1982, she has had to endure, my repeating "Bye Bye" right after every show. My life will suffer without John.................
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