David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Weeks 47 - 48
December 2, 2006 to December 16, 2006 

Tuesday December 5, 2006

Yesterday and today we are setting up to bottle. Bruce who has his Wine Guerrilla label has hired us to bottle some bulk wine from two different wineries. The label will read: Cellared and Bottled by David Coffaro Winery. It would have read Produced and Bottled if I had purchased the grapes and fermented and bottled it here. We will be bottling about 500 cases of a Sonoma County Zinfandel and 275 cases of a Dry Creek Zinfandel. This will be the first time we have transferred wine into a tank the day before bottling. We received 11 barrels of the Dry Creek Zin this morning and we will put that wine in the tank tomorrow morning. In the next hour (3pm) we should receive 1200 gallons of the Sonoma County zin delivered in a tanker. That wine we will transfer today into our tank. Since this will be the first time we will put wine in a tank overnight, I am concerned about oxidation so we will apply a layer of Argon gas on top of the wine in the tank. I don't like to use gas because I don't think it works well enough to protect wine for any period of time. All wineries I have talked to use either nitrogen or Argon (more expensive but heavier) because gases are heavier than oxygen and thus will lay on top of the wine and keep the air out. Since Bruce wants his wine as fresh as possible we will gas the tank.

The tank arrived and the wine has been transferred. We will start bottling tomorrow. 

Wednesday December 6, 2006

We still had problems with our bottling line, but we did get all the wine bottled for The Wine Guerrilla. I look forward to tasting the wines tonight. The next thing I will be doing is trying to balance my checkbook for the last few months. Of course I know about how much money is in the bank because I check their website everyday. The internet is wonderful. I try to keep track of big checks I write and deduct those amounts from the balance. The bank account has not been under $20,000 for several years, but I do get behind in balancing it. I hope to finish in two days.

Tuesday December 12, 2006

Many things have come up so I have not finished balancing my check book, but I should be done today. Then I can see how we did this year. I purchased a great amount of grapes and made another 7000 cases of wine. We will have a lot of bottled wine to sell in the next few years. This next year we will produce less than 4000 cases and the grapes will come almost entirely from our vineyard.

We have made another big decision that will affect many of you out of state buyers. I have decided to hire a company to help us become compliant in most of the states in the nation. You could check out the Wine Institute website to see some of the new laws regarding direct shipping of wine . Most states now charge fees (Excise Taxes and sales tax) for direct shipping. This can amount to as much as 10%. We could absorb these fees which could amount to $20,000 or more to us, but I want to stay in business, so unfortunately some of you may see fees for sales tax on future sales out of state. Also the cost of labels, barrels and wine bottles have jumped up dramatically, but I am hoping to hold our prices at present values since I have so much to sell. We may even offer some specials in the Spring time. Cash flow is everything!! Since I will be producing less wine, I will have less expenses and may make a little money for a change by 2008. My expenses in 2007 will still be high since I have to spend upwards of $80,000 just for wine bottles. We actually have paid very little income taxes in the last few years, but cashflow has been good so I have been able to spend money on all my toys, which includes hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment for the winery. I love spending money! I love making great wine and this new equipment gives me the chance to increase my quality to an even greater amount. 


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