David Coffaro Vineyard
          and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow August 4 - August 10, 2013

Tuesday August 6, 2013

Duff Bevill is one of those people who knows he is in control of what he does. He manages many vineyards in Dry Creek Valley. He is not one of the people I am close to but I do respect him because he knows how to grow grapes. I once identified mites in a vineyard he controlled. I suggested he should eradicate them soon because they were going to cause him some problems. He confronted me and made a big problem for me with people that respected me. I know I should not have questioned him in a vineyard he was responsible for. We have never been friends since. Duff Bevill knows how to make farmers and wineries money by producing great fruit...........BUT.............he does not know how to take chances AS far as I know. I like experimenting in wine. I do not think Duff Bevill would take chances with wine. After this confrontation about mites back in about 1985 I asked Duff to advise me and paid him what he asked, a small amount at that time. He was cordial but not real friendly. Maybe that is his demeanor and I was hoping for more...........Remember I do not hold grudges toward anyone if we have a chance to talk. We have talked many times since then with respect but not much else...........

Last time i talked to Duff was after a heat spell in 2010 at 115 degrees that turned half of the fruit in our vineyards into raisins. Zinfandel bunches always have raisins, that is what I think can create complexity in wine.  But most of the fruit turned half or more to raisins AND all varieties including Cabernet had raisins in the bunches. Very few varieties are normally harvested with raisins. Wineries will take out all the raisin berries on sorting tables. These wineries are doing the right thing for them. They are trying to make consistent wines year after year. I want to make wine different year after year depending on the weather. No wine here will be the same from vintage to vintage.

Duff back in September 2010 implied i was crazy to harvest Zinfandel Raisins. I asked him nicely if he knew where zinfandel bunches still existed. He informed me he had dropped all Zinfandel bunches with raisins to the ground. He was right to advise me to not look for Zinfandel raisin fruit, but I am not afraid to take chances............


The weather was hot earlier this year and that has caused a big population of mites to invade our vineyard. The mites will suck out the green in the leaves and thus slow ripening and produce less color and quality. Tomorrow we have set up to spray a mild solution to the vines which should take care of the problem. It is mild enough so that only a few hours is needed to reenter the vineyard. Also Harvest is OK in less than a week. Zinfandel will probably not be ready for 4 weeks so we should be fine.

The weather has cooled dramatically so we probably won't be harvesting Pinot for our sparkling wine on Thursday. There are no mites in the Pinot so we won't be spraying anyway.

I have been tasting some of the 2012 wines bottled a few weeks ago and I am really impressed. I still think this could be one of the greatest vintages we have produced. 2010 wines will live longer though.........

Saturday August 10, 2013

The spraying for mites was very successful and we will spray a small area for mildew next week.

My eye sight is the most important thing to me right now. I notice specks that get me upset on my face and eye glasses. I am talking about I can notice things on my face while I am looking forward and not in a mirror. My peripheral vision is real good. But maybe it distracts me too much. Yes i am obsessed with seeing as much as I can but this is the first sense I would give up if I had to........

I think my hearing would be the hardest to give up. In the night I try to walk around without light and do a good job so eyesight would be something I could give up. I would miss the NFL and tennis but I could listen to them and I would be fine with audio books. My sense of smell would be hard to lose also because tasting wine and food are my favorite things to do. Gee, I don't want to do without any of these senses but if I live to 100 I may have to.

I had lasik done back over 10 years ago. My sight was 20-400 and was corrected to 20-30. A year ago I noticed my left eye was not seeing as well and I had an eye exam and found out it was 20-40 or 20-50. I am so sensitive to seeing like I said that the difference in the right eye compared to the left was bothering me when driving or computer work so I have glasses I use for driving and all the time for the computer.............otherwise I rarely use them for movies or even sports events. I assume my sight will continue to deteriorate but I hear cataract surgery could be an option in the future..........old age.........

Our Harvest for sparkling pinot has been delayed until next week, maybe.........

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


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