David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

September 26 - October 2, 2010 

Sunday September 26, 2010

I still have trouble thinking of Sunday as the first day of the week, especially since it is Football time. Yes, I hope to look at a little NFL football but I also have to get out 300 e-mails to those of you who purchased 2007 Escuro. Brad and I have spent two days preparing the e-mail and a secure spot on our website for these special customers to supply us with the needed information. It will happen.

Last week was good for the grapes still hanging on the vine. We are about a third done with our Harvest. We took grape samples on Friday to determine the sugar and acid content of the fruit left. What we found was not surprising. The samples came in between 21 and 24% sugar. Even the 6th Block young vines of Zinfandel had a section at 21.5 even though most of the fruit is about 24.5 brix. We may harvest that section at the end of the week. We should receive a small amount of fruit from the Wine Guerrilla for custom crush. Last Thursday we received 12 tons of Zinfandel for the Wine Guerrilla and those grapes have started fermenting and thus should be ready to press by Thursday of this week. The weather forecast is for temperatures up to 105 by tomorrow and then a slow cooling trend for the rest of the week, but still in the 90s. We should have plenty to harvest in the first week of October. 

Monday September 27, 2010

I know I did say I am in withdrawal since we have not harvested for now 11 days, but actually we did harvest about 800 pounds of our petite sirah at 23% sugar to combine with about 900 pounds of Mounts vineyard zinfandel which came in at higher sugar but looked great. This lot will probably go into our My Zin or a new wine if not Estate. Maybe Mo/Co or Co/Mo ):-. These Mounts grapes looked incredible, but with fewer raisins!! Really better than ours looked, but beauty is not everything, But still important. I can't believe it !!!! I CaN"T believe IT!!! All the wine makers I have heard and that is many......Have been afraid of Raisins!!@@##../...jggfhj. What is wrong with these people I respect. I love raisins !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! Raisins define Dry Creek. I know I am in a minority, probably the only one that thinks this could be MY best Harvest and Best quality. Matt even is excited. He even hears more than I ...... ...... .... everyone is afraid of raisins. Matt says I am following you for now but no one agrees with you. Believe this!!!~ there are winemakers so afraid of raisins that they are buying sorting automated tables to cull out the raisins. OK every winemaker knows the only varietal that produces grape bunches with so many raisins is ZINFANDEL SOOO if they occur naturally why are they afraid to use them in the wine they make. With the big heat wave we had a month ago, raisins in Zinfandel are much greater than past vintages. I always keep all raisins in my Zinfandel based fermentations.

Nalle hated raisins. Doug Nalle makes perfect wine for many! We disagree about what makes great Zinfandel. I believe raisins are important. Doug makes a more fruit driven and some would agree a more friendly food wine, BECAUSE he had me harvest the grapes he purchased from me with more acid and thus less raisins and low sugar. Acid cleanses your pallet at dinner to expose you to the great food for the next bite. I like a heavier wine with the influence of raisins. 

All right I am excited!!! Tomorrow we are Harvesting a section of grapes THAT last year was the best Zinfandel from 2009. We have kept this wine from last year separate because these vines were only planted 5 years ago and of course we wanted to see if they were any good. Immediately in December Matt and I, and any customers who got to taste out of the barrel, were impressed with the character and and even amount of customers who tasted it thought it was the equal to our Estate wine but really different. Matt and I can't wait to bottle this wine in February. This will be the first wine of many to be exclusive to Dave's Wine Club.

I digress slightly, tomorrow I am out of my withdrawal. We are harvesting raisins tomorrow. Every other winemaker is afraid of raisins.......... 

Tuesday September 28, 2010

7:00Am: Catarino, Salvador, Martha and one other hard worker are out picking our new clone of Zinfandel from the 6th block. I hope to get over one ton. That will make enough wine to save exclusively for our Dave's Wine Club. I will report on the numbers later today. Harvest is here again!! Yesterday the high temperature here was 105.

Thursday September 30, 2010

Things move fast during the Harvest. On Tuesday we decided to pick Barbera after taking a look at the vines and doing a small sample. I expected a sugar reading of 24+ but was amazed when we processed and got 26 brix. The acid as usual in Barbera was very high. We also
started picking our second crop Zinfandel and will finish about two tons today. 

Last Friday we took many samples to check the sugar. Today we checked the same varietals. Wow what a difference!! Sugars are anywhere from 3 brix to 5. We have Petite Sirah at 29, Carignan at 27.2, Petit Verdot at 27.7 and peloursin at 26.1. Our Cab is at 24.5 and all the varietals on the knoll (Souzao, Lagrein, Alvarelhao and Tannat) are at 24.5. We will start with Peloursin and Petit Verdot tomorrow and then on to the Petite Sirah and Carignan. By the end of next week we should have all the others harvested. It will be hectic!!

Friday October 1, 2010

Russian River Zinfandel could be great this year, maybe I may agree hang time is good this year. If what I have seen from Russian River, a cooler climate......THEY MIGHT have stood up better to the onslaught of hot weather we experienced several weeks ago. This year is unique. In most years Russian River grapes produce too much fruit in wine for me. I like the darker flavor from Dry Creek. This is my 32nd year. This year is unique, But every year is unique, all 32 years I have experienced. Yes this will be a challenging year and it will define who can make great wine. From what I am hearing this could be the worst damage from a heat wave we have seen. And I am hearing that from those who have been living in this great Dry Creek Valley longer than I. Some growers have dried out bunches that can not be harvested, a complete loss. Russian River is the new Dry Creek this year. Grapes have started maturing at a later date with less damage. Maybe it is Global Warming, but every year is unique and this year Russian River may produce incredible Zin. We received 1.2 tons of Russian River Zinfandel for the Wine Guerrilla two days ago. He was expecting over three tons. This fruit looks great. I have seen some other samples and I am excited. We are looking for ten tons of grapes in Russian River. This will be a great year................. 


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