David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 20
May 14, 2000 to May 20, 2000 

Wednesday, May 17, 2000  

I just got finished looking at Dawson's Creek with Kate and Susie. Kate has informed me that she prefers Rosewell (?) I haven't seen that one yet, but I like Dawson's and Felicity. Years ago, I watched Meg Ryan on As the world Turns and I feel I discovered other stars on Bev Hills and then Party of 5 way before my daughters. I enjoy seeing new young actors--and of course it keeps me young. 

Also the vineyard keeps me young and challenges me. Every season is unpredictable. Just as last Spring seemed to be ideal and 1998 seemed to be way too rainy--- this season has gone as normal as unusual. Yes you got that right. No Spring or season is normal or predictable or usual. This is my 22nd year of growing grapes from this vineyard and I can assure you that not one has been remotely the same. That is what keeps me young also. 

Brendan showed up today for his usual Wednesday. He has been so busy with the Wine Brats and Wine X Magazine, I only see him one day a week ( he has been preparing a story to justify a $100 bottle of Napa Cabernet---------don't miss it). While he was here he made the big mistake of volunteering to work this Friday also. I have many things for him to do, but the most important is to thin our young vines. 

Caterino and his great crew of 3 (4 including Caterino--maybe I should consider him two people and make the group 5) went thru our vineyard for 4 days. There are no harder workers. Of course they do need supervision!! I went out a few days ago to set them up, but I was so busy that I did not have time to see the final result. We did have about 1.5 inches of rain in the mean time so I had to go out this morning again to sulfer. As I passed down the rows at 3 miles an hour, (fast on a tractor---I used to walk it at the same pace, 50lbs of sulfer on my back), I did notice a few spots that were not up to my liking. As some of you know, it is hard to please me! I know what I want! I can't expect Caterino as great as he is to know exactly what I want. That brings me back to Brendan. I am sending him out Friday to thin some more vines (We will see how he does and whether I delegate what I think [most everyone I know thinks I don't portray what I really, really think]). We have some Sauvignon Blanc vines that we budded over in 1998 that need further thinning. I have to make this clear. These vines were planted in 1991. We cut off the top of them in 1998 and budded them over to Carignan and Petite Sirah. We had a small crop form these vines last year and hope to have a good high quality crop of Estate Carignan and Petite Sirah for this year. That requires cutting, or as we call it thinning, off grapes or bunches of potential grapes. After some experience it becomes easier to see that if a vine has less growth in the spring time that it probably has too many bunches of grapes. These vines need thinning or better put they need to have these extra bunches cut off. (By the way at some time in the near future we hope to put up pictures describing some of what I mouth off about----Brad and Pat are trying to convince me that it will be worthwhile, but do I have the time to set it up---maybe Brendan can do it). 

We still have 2000 futures orders coming in every day. Pat is trying to convince me to continue the offer into the summer. I have convinced her to end the offer on the 28th. Our closest estimate is that we have sold about 1300 cases. Pat wants to be fair to everyone as I do, but we are both concerned that our pre-harvest offers are confusing in the least. Next year maybe we should hold off our offer until harvest. 

BTW, David Cooper from Yoakim Bridge Winery who has produced a good Dry Creek 1998 Zin, is younger than I and is still sulfering his vineyard by walking with a backpack. A great hard worker---check out his wine. 

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