David Coffaro Vineyard
          and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow May 26 - June 1, 2013

Monday May 27, 2013 

10:00 Pm: It is raining a lot here tonight but I still have no shoes on while getting my espresso. My most important espresso machine is down so I have a small espresso maker i bought from Macy's in Portland, long story you do not need to hear about in case you ask by responding to my diary.

Lou Preston is a great person, especially now before he gets too deep into his mind.

Lou Preston is one person I owe a lot. Here is what I would like to send to Lou, but I suspect he will not see it. I am reluctant to go see him in person.

As I suspect Lou will probably not know about it. BB showed me that what ever i write on this diary is captured by Google just like every thing else we all are interested in. Just check out what I write tonight on Google and you can find it in the next few days. I have confidence to say what I want about Lou because he will probably not search this entry.

I thought about driving over to Preston Vineyards. Look at what their website says on first opening. It is strong...


So I am in a crossroads. I love Lou, what he is and what he has done for me and Dry Creek Valley but I can't agree with some of what he has done.

Tuesday May 28, 2013

9:30 Pm: I am having a sip of beer in order to finish this entry. Matt and everyone else says YOU can't keep beer for more than a few minutes when drinking and........I disagree. I am tasting for the 5th time, over two weeks, Hop Czar. It still has hops and it is nice SO why do I hear you can't even keep this beer in the bottle unopened because there will be no hops flavor left. I know Matt is into beer and I would like him to explain. The pliney the elder after one year still had kick........

When I first got to Dry Creek Valley I was so excited to be a part of this great area AND then one of the first things I did was go to Garrett's Hardware. They had everything I needed because in 1979 I had no money to spare. The lady at Garrett's Hardware, gave me a real big smile and looked at my address on my check, (I used few credit cards then), and said "Wow you are in God's Country". I am not into God but I knew what she had implied......This is a nice area and maybe I will do OK.

Lou was already selling wine in Lake Tahoe. I could not believe it. I went to Lake Tahoe in 1996 three years before I lived in Dry Creek Valley and Preston Sauvignon Blanc was on this high end restaurant. It was so good!! It was the best Sauvignon Blanc I had ever appreciated. When I got here, I was told to plant Sauvignon Blanc up where I was, Preston is doing well I was told.

I was across from Lou Preston. We own part of the creek together. I knew he only knew of me because his vineyard manager let his dogs travel across the creek and come on my side. Clendenen is a very nice guy, another story.

Preston is on West Dry Creek Road and I am on Dry Creek Road. I always thought and saw West Dry Creek area is on a very small road and and maybe they wanted to be away from people.

The first time I met Lou was about 1980. I went to Junior College and learned how to grow gapes and met a nice guy who had worked for Lou. He asked if I wanted to meet Lou and of course I was excited when Lou greeted us. He was very subdued. I tried to get him into the conversation and then I made a mistake by saying I thought his Sauvignon Blanc was mellow compared to some I had tasted then in the early 80's.

I love Lou's devotion to Dry Creek Valley but I see he does not see the Future and is fighting the development of this area. He wants no interference in his life style and wants to protect the environment and feels we need less wineries.  

I was not surprised the other day when I saw Lou quoted in the Healdsburg Tribune. I have stayed out of politics of the Valley because I have got myself in trouble in the past. I have been reluctant to say something different from what Preston believes but it has been very hard for 34 years. He was one of the most important people here that got me started. Preston purchased my grapes in the mid 80's, and because of Preston's reputation I sold my Sauvignon Blanc grapes to other wineries after that and that helped me survive and ultimately start a winery of my own. I owe Lou a great deal! I remember especially when he came over soon after I opened my tasting room and gave me some sound advice: "Stay Small" in so many words.

Now I have to ask a few questions: Why is Preston the only Dry Creek Valley winery who sells food? Why is the Dry Creek Valley association against anyone selling food besides Preston. I wanted to start a pizza and sandwich place on my property and I decided against it because I knew I didn't need the wrath of the Dry Creek Valley association. They want status in control. Some are democrats but are really republicans protecting their............no change agenda. I am into change and want to see the future. I do not want to go into retirement and have what I had in the past.......

Lou I have a lot of people come into my winery in the afternoon and I can see they need something to eat. Just today I asked a customer why he had a wrapped up sandwich and he said he had no time recently to take a bite. Lou why do you offer bread and we can't offer anything else for food? Why do you have the only commercial kitchen allowed in Dry Creek Valley. I tried to get one ten years ago and was denied even though yours already excised. Of course Lou will probably not see this but if he does I would love to hear his response.........The Dry Creek Valley association is against all development in this valley. We are the only area in Sonoma County I know of that is not allowed to provide food by a restaurant or inside our winery, Even Coppola 4 miles away out of Dry Creek Valley provides food.

Armida has put forth a proposal to have a few events. Look it up. Lou Preston is against it and has been very outspoken at a recent meeting. I respect Lou, but we have to leave room for all who come after us. That is where we disagree. I want to preserve the environment but I still think we can do it by having a few events and keep our future customers enjoying our Valley.

Friday, May 31, 2013

I wanted to make a little clearer what I said about food in The Dry Creek Valley. There actually is food available at the Dry Creek Store about 4 miles down the road from us. It is owned by the Gallo principals and also I am hearing there are wineries that serve food but I don't think valid permits are active. I still think there should be food available where we are in the valley which is over 7 miles from Healdsburg. Occasionally we do put out packaged food and we do participate in events that require a permit So Lou Preston is not the only one who serves food, but as far as I know he is the only one who has a commercial kitchen. Who knows someone may decide to start a restaurant. I am sure the County of Sonoma would like that because they encourage food with wine but the Dry Creek Valley Association would be against it.

Here's a short video of Matt disgorging the 2010 sparkling wine back in November.

For any comments or questions I encourage any of you to e-mail.....david@coffaro.com


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