David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow January 8 - January 14, 2012

Tuesday January 10, 2012

Congratulation's Kristin!!!!

I am back home from Milbrae. My mother Vivien had open heart surgery yesterday and is doing well. They actually did two bypasses and replaced her aorta valve with a pig valve. She says she is already feeling better than anytime in the last few months, but she is very tired because the nurses keep waking her up to do more tests. The next two days are critical for her recovery. The doctors and nurses are amazed at how well she is doing.

8:15 Pm: Why am I awake? I agree it is a reasonable time to be awake. But I can't think of anyone but Kate who I have seen in my family in the last few days could be still awake tonight at this time. I am trying to stay awake as usual but the last few days have been an interesting experience so I should rest fine later tonight. I have had a few sips tonight, but not too many.

The question is......Why do some of us stay up later than others? I know why I do....as I hope I have said before........I want to experience all I can while I am alive and the more time I put in, the better I have a chance.

Sigrid called and we have an appointment here this Friday. I called my local Supervisor, Mike McGuire to check out his opinion about why our new storage building has been delayed.  Sigrid and I go back many years. She has some control over permits...I need to find out how much. More about this tomorrow.

The reason I am home tonight instead of visiting my Mother over the next few days is...................Pat is sick!! The nurses say I should stay out. That is fine with me since I hate hospitals and I got the opinion of Vivien: She said if I came to her door she would lock it on me. My Mother's mind is fine!!! Pat rarely gets sick and then rarely goes to bed, like maybe 4 times in our almost 40 years together. So I am here. Pat says I have never been sick from a bug. I told her I think I had too much to drink 2 times and she agreed but not because of a bug. We both consume alcohol most every night so maybe that helps.

I'll talk more about the permit situations in my life tomorrow.

I need to stay up until at least 10:30.....................More espresso.................

9:30 Pm: I was wrong, my sister called at 8:50, she was awake. My Mother, Vivien, is cranky because they are keeping her awake, that is my interpolation. Tomorrow will be a big day..............I just found out, my Mother's surgery was on a full moon.....7:31Am just before the surgery.

Thursday January 12, 2012

Kristin is Pat's sister, Sharon's daughter. Her baby girl Mikayla was born a little after Midnight on January 10. She is doing well.

Matt is out setting up for our blending starting Monday.

My Mother is out of ICU and is doing great!!

Two years ago I started thinking about a new storage building. Bruce, the Wine Guerrilla, at the time had been talking about a separate building to store his custom crush wine. That changed, but I went ahead with plans. Most everyone said I should not go through the permit process with Sonoma County. I disagreed. The proposed building is hidden away under the deck off our guest house and main storage building on the left side of our entry way across from our residence and winery.

The use permit took months to get approved. At first we drew up plans for an agricultural building which requires few requirements. That was denied because it was to be connected to the main storage building. We then drew up plans for a commercial building and connect the existing rest room for a new handicap area. That was denied because the existing storage building and area up above is considered a residence not a commercial structure. The title of the use permit for the structure built in the years 2000-2003 is a permit for: Promotional/marketing accommodations and winery equipment storage building. That sure sounds like commercial to me but I have been told it is a residence of some sort. SO the new building has to be called a residence garage.

We went along with the County and drew up new plans which did not mention the existing rest room converted to a handicap one. All inspections went well until the Fall of 2010. We called for an inspection to start closing in the insulation and sheetrock and connect the electrical.

The inspector came out and we had an adventure!! First I have to go back 15 years.

Originally in 1995 I obtained a use permit for our main steel structure Winery which most of you have seen. All the winemaking and most of the barrels with wine are stored there. That use permit took over a year to be approved also....long story. At that time there was an existing older 30x24 foot building and in 1995 we started storing wine there. That building is along side the main storage building/guest house finished in 2003. Thus wine has been stored in this smaller building for 15 years.

Back in the Fall of 2010 the inspector arrived and saw Cindi packing up wine in this smaller storage building and was visibly upset. He told us we could not store wine in the building because we did not have a permit. He would not sign off on the new storage building under the deck so it has not been touched since then. I was told later informally that if we wanted to store wine in any of these storage buildings we needed to install sprinklers or more sheetrock to create a two hour separation from the guest area on the second floor where only occasionally some one stays when we need help at events. Why this requirement was not asked for 10 years ago is a good question.

I then applied for a new use permit to store wine. It was approved quickly but I was sent a list of 25 requirements to sign off on. These are the same requirements which were signed off on, back in 2000 before the main building was started. I am guessing one will require the 2 hour fire break, but it is not clear.

After over a year now I thought of contacting my new supervisor, Mike McGuire for advice. Mike came out on December 28 and was very impressed with our operation. I told him I have not hidden anything....I thought I had the right to store wine. Mike has called a meeting with the Board of Supervisors for January 26 with Sigrid the head of use permits. Sigrid and I go back to the problems in 1995 with the original permit. Sigrid called and she is coming here tomorrow with an inspector to find out what the problem is. Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

Saturday January 14, 2012

My Friday the 13th went well. First I drove to Santa Rosa to have some kind of jell injected into both my knees. This is the last chance to see if I need surgery. I have already had cortisone injections which did not help, maybe made the pain worse. I am hobbling around so much I went to the DMV to pick up a handicap placard.

Yesterday after noon Sigrid and a head inspector came out and the meeting went well. I was told by Sigrid I did not have to sign off on the 20+ requirements that I already did before AND most important the inspector said I may already qualify for the fire separation from the storage area downstairs and the upstairs guest area. I have to have an architect or engineer check it out and get back to him. After that I have to install a new handicap area which I wanted to do before and put a layer of sheetrock on the wall separating the new storage building from the two story guesthouse of wine storage building. I already have been approved to store wine......I just have to take care of the last few things.


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