David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow April 29 - May 5, 2012

Monday April 30, 2012  

This will be a big event in my life: I am scheduled for a partial knee surgery on May 9 when someone will put a metal plate in my left knee on the inside. I need to know whether I have to have a walker.....not. I have a great cane made from a vine in our vineyard which should suffice. The only problem is my right knee is bad also and the doctors say I am a candidate for it to be replaced in 6 weeks. Well that will not happen. I can rehabilitate my left knee for 6 weeks but I have way too many things to do after that in this summer. As I said before....I can stand pain more than most and I will not take drugs, except for wine.

I will sulfur again on this Saturday and then Catarino will finish the season by driving through the vineyard and displacing a fine sulfur dust early in the morning. I will miss the experience but I am logical and smart enough to know I should not be bounced around on a tractor until next year.

As you all know I love what I do. I am also learning everyday. As I have said in the past some of the 2010 wines are going to last for over 10 years. After the event on Saturday night we got together. Most of the great people who helped during the day on Saturday stayed for an interesting tasting. Cindi was so wonderful because she gathered all our wines to decide what we liked (Remember she runs the tasting room). Most of the 10 or so friends who are in to wine had two glasses and compared two wines side by side. It was so much fun. Most of the participants liked the 10 month old 2010 wines. I am too close to it and Matt was not around. I prefer the 16 month aged wines. We all liked the Chalk Hill Zin and Cindi's favorite Neighbors' Zin.  Like I said we were not in unanimous opinion......the 10 month versus the 16 month.

My point here is that I am too close to this 2010 vintage and maybe have too much of an opinion. I am amazed that we are getting positive responses on our 2010 wines. The intensity of the 2010 wines is something I can not explain. These wines will live longer than I and I plan on living another 40 years. BUT they are starting to be interesting. 

Wednesday May 2, 2012

Here it is May 2 again. Like I probably said before, my birth certificate says I was born on May 3, but my Mother says it may have been May 2 since she gave birth around midnight. I saw both my children born and I can say the time of delivery was probably put down several minutes past the actual time. Well anyway sometimes I decide to celebrate both days. Pat just laughed at me last night when I told her for tonight's dinner I wanted 2 chicken backs BBQ'd with vegetables. Pat will have wings. Tomorrow night we will be off to San Francisco and will have dinner at a French restaurant.

I found out more yesterday about cataracts.

I was on the phone yesterday most of the time. Arizona is not a state I like. As I might have said before, when we were down there a few weeks ago, a restaurant would not even let me bring in one of my own wines....the law I was told. Now the state sent me a bill for $2. I know I should have just paid it but I am so righteous I called their non toll phone number and stayed on the phone for 30 minutes before I heard a human voice. The nice person, told me as a winery I did not have to pay sales tax. OK......I have to go back in time.

I applied through an organization that helped me produced a permit to ship wine directly to my customers in Arizona, but I had to pay sales tax. I assume this organization did not know I had to have a special permit to ship to the city of Snow Flake, Arizona. I am not kidding.....so I received a bill for 2 dollars for the registration fee. The nice lady said I did not have to pay sales tax since I did not have a physical presence in Arizona. She is wrong but I did not tell her. For some reason wineries are discriminated by almost all state legislatures....we have to pay sales tax and if we want to, we can charge our customers from those states. I choose not to. The lady said the customer is responsible for a USE tax and most of us know individuals including me do not pay our use tax. I told the nice lady I would cancel my permit, but will I....time will tell. I have phone calls into Ship Compliant, the company who charged me a lot of money to set up the permit. This story will continue.

Like I said I was on the phone a lot yesterday. Another letter I addressed was from my new supplemental insurance carrier, United Health Care. It seems I have been denied a payment for a pre-excising condition. It wasn't a lot of money but you know me: I had to find out why and what the condition was?? After 4 hours I put the pieces to the puzzle together.....long story. It seems the doctor did not tell me everything....I will never see this doctor again! Back last year I met Dr. Anderson. I waited a long time in a room. And then the next time I saw him, Dec 7, he was really boring and disinterested. Then the third time I waited over 30 minutes with nothing to do, so I started making up games, but an important game came to mind, eyes........like how do I see when I put a hand over one eye. I confirmed what I had thought for months......I could not see as well out of my left eye. Finally on that March 7, Dr. Anderson appeared. Immediately I recognized him because he had the same disinterested face, but more alert so I was happy to see him, mainly because I wanted to get out of there. He said I passed all my tests with flying colors (not his words) but he thought it would be a good idea to put me on Glaucoma drops. It was obvious he was ready to leave but I had to relate my realization that I did not see as well through my left eye. He then came back to reality and told me that was because I had the onset of a cataract. He said very little but I asked him what it meant and he said it just started so it was no concern, at this time. I digress.......

Yes you guessed it. The pre-existing condition was a cataract. Back on December 7 Dr. Anderson documented that I had the onset of a cataract but did not tell me. I understand his mind set, not mine....he knows almost everyone gets cataracts when they get older AND they are easy to fix BUT did I find that out from Dr. Anderson.....no. I got home back in March and did research. Google is wonderful. It is strange, but since that time my left eye is not bothering me anymore. I have learned to deal with it. I sure wish I had been told about cataracts back last year.

Ok, I have a pre-excising condition United Health Care will not pay, but the restriction ended yesterday. Was it because of the new legislation, pre-existing conditions are now covered on my policy as of May one?

I want a doctor who tells me everything. I want a doctor who will tell me all the facts. I want a doctor to tell me what he/or she thinks will happen.

I have a lady internist now who is wonderful and I am now going to seek out a lady ophthalmologist. Maybe a lady will be more open.   

9:00 Pm:    I was not kidding when I said I wanted chicken backs for one of my two birthdays. I actually found one chicken back and 4 small necks. They were wonderful with snow peas from the garden. I am happy.

Ok, No one likes pain but I deal with it. I don't remember one time when pain stopped me from doing something. I am actually looking forward to the pain that I will receive next week after my partial knee replacement. It will keep me focused, because it will be intense. I assume I will have no trouble doing what I want to do. Below is what I wrote on my first diary entry. Pay attention because one person said he thought I started the diary on September 1, 1995, but the diary was posted on September 2, 1998, trivia I know:

September 1, 1995

Just to start out, I thought I'd tell a funny story that happened 3 harvests ago - 

It was a trying day in Dry Creek Valley. After harvesting 20 tons of Sauvignon Blanc for Ferrari-Carano, we started in on 5 tons for our own Zinfandel. Everything went well until my best friend who was driving my tractor could not see where the tractor wheel ended and my toe began. Of course instead of thinking too much about where to go for the next harvest section in the vineyard, I should have been looking at the tractor wheel. Needless to say I had to crush the 5 tons even though I was bleeding away. THE HARVEST MUST GO ON!!

Now, on to this year's notes: 

September 2, 1998        (102 degrees high; 55 low) 

My assistant winemaker, Brendan Eliason, arrived this week so I had to put him to work................

and the diary goes on.....

It will be easy next week. I've had 4 hernia operations. I can stand pain.........

Friday May 4, 2012

9:00Pm: As usual a lot happened in the last two days...of course I am now 69 years old. I used to enjoy my birthdays more, but still I am proud I have lived this long. Many of the men I have admired in my life died before 69.

Last night Pat, Kate and I had an incredible meal, one of the best in years. We will have pictures up on facebook and I will comment more tomorrow.

One of the big things today was that the Market was down....more tomorrow.

The biggest thing here was that we bottled our 2011 Sauv Blanc and our 2011 late harvest Petite Siarh at 25% residual sugar. I will try a little soon.

Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby and we always have it live on our 10 foot wide screen. Come and join us at about 3:20pm.

More tomorrow................   


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