David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Weeks 33 - 34
August 27, 2006 to September 9, 2006 

Monday August 28, 2006

We will be sending out an e-mail in the next two days with a direct link to our 2005 Futures shipping form. I will also be announcing that we will be producing a Pinot Noir from the same Russian River vineyard as last year. The 2005 Pinot turned out very good and I am excited with the possibilities from the vineyard considering it will be one year older. Also I am looking into the possibility of buying some petite sirah fruit from Lower Lake in Lake County. This area has been recognized as possibly the best place to grow petite sirah because they have slightly high highs and slightly lower lows than we do with little fog. Petite sirah needs heat to ripen and I am looking for harvesting at higher sugar levels than the last two years. Both in 2000 and 2003 I produced a petite sirah that was 14.7 alcohol. All my other years have been lower. 

The zinfandel and pinot harvest should commence in about two to three weeks. 

Thursday August 31, 2006

I has finally started to heat up in the past two days and 100 degree plus is forecasted for many of the days in the next week. We cut off the water a few days ago and may drip some more now that the days will be over 100 degrees. In the past two years we have watered all the way up to harvest and have found that our wines are more intense. Tomorrow we will do our first zinfandel sugar test.

Yesterday I took a look at the Price family Vineyard. I have decided to purchase their fruit again. I was extremely impressed with the quality this year. There are virtually no red berries compared to last year when I saw numerous bunches that had red berries and very uneven ripening. I am very encouraged by what I have seen. I will either blend it into My Zin or keep it separate.

Friday September 1, 2006

Catarino, Matt and I took a look at the Zinfandel in Block 3 this morning. The bunches are pretty much all colored up and are showing a few red berries on some vines. We have had a great deal of fog recently and thus we found two bunches with a little rot which wasn't too surprising. We turned off the drip earlier this week and probably won't water again for atleast a week or two, maybe not until after harvesting this section. Within a few days the rot will be dried up and will have no harmful affect on the wine. We picked 5 of the ripest bunches we could find and got readings from 20 to 24 brix. Overall the 5 bunches came in at 22.7 % sugar. It looks like we will be harvesting within two weeks.

Sunday September 3, 2006

Who said we couldn't grow Pinot Noir in Northern Dry Creek Valley. Yesterday Matt picked 63 lbs of Pinot Noir that we planted in our vineyard two years ago. I have about 50 vines. The sugar came in at 25% (Brix) and the PH was 3.49, perfect balance. Everything I have ever read has informed me that Pinot Noir could not be grown successfully in Dry Creek Valley because it is too warm. As I have said in the past Dry Creek Valley, especially Northern Dry Creek Valley is blessed with higher daytime temperatures and lower nighttime temperatures than most of Sonoma County. Our typical highs in the summer are about 90 to 95 and lows are from 50 to 55. On average we have atleast a 40 point range  most days from June until the end of October. Premium wine is created from high acid grape varietals. High acid is retained in two different ways. First and most important is low nighttime temperatures. Second, acids are retained with lower daytime temperatures. Some grape varietals need long hangtime in order to get ripe. Syrah ripens well after Pinot Noir while Zinfandel ripens inbetween. In Russian River and Bennett Valley where I have bought Pinot and Syrah, Pinot ripens in Late September and Syrah in October. Longer hangtime creates lower acid. Here in Dry Creek Syrah comes in mid to late September. Pinot would be harvested in late August to the first week in September like this year retaining good acid. Syrah usually has less acid than Pinot or zinfandel so the longer hangtime required for syrah in Northern Dry Creek can produce lower acid than I prefer. We will be harvesting zinfandel within two weeks while Russian River probably won't harvest until October. Zinfandel in Northern Dry Creek has a short hangtime thus acids remain high. My point is with the hotter weather and colder nights we in Dry Creek Valley can grow many varietals with good acid. I may plant more Pinot Noir.......you never know.

Here are some pictures of Matt stomping grapes yesterday with his bare feet.

Tuesday September 5, 2006

I am never ready for "The Harvest". The Harvest is eminent. I can't wait for the excitement, but there is so much unpredictability involved. The first day is an adventure. ALL days are an adventure. I will be ready in a few days. Yes we will PROBABLY be HARVESTING  within one week. Of course the high temperatures in the next several days will determine when we start harvesting zinfandel. Pinot is IN. 

Have you ever thought maybe your doctor is wrong? I know if you are over 50 that is a yes. I am talking specifically about exercising. My Mother is 84 years old and I know she has never been on any thing that resembles an exercise machine. AND I know she has taken few walks in her life unless she has been forced to. Seriously look at these Football players or any one in sports. We keep hearing how poor they are doing later in their life. Hey, every time I try to exercise I hurt myself. I keep hoping my doctor is right and I will build up my heart and it will pre long my life. Maybe they are wrong?? 

Wednesday September 6, 2006

I took a real good test of our Zinfandel vines in our 3rd and 4th block. Numbers came in anywhere from 18% to 24%. It still looks like we will  be harvesting within one week.


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