David Coffaro Vineyard
          and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow December 15  - December 31, 2013

Tuesday December 17, 2013

As I have said before this diary is about other things besides wine making. It is to document things that happen in my life. Also, I could separate some of the diary into sections that are different. As some of you know I have had problems with companies regarding their products or service and I could call that section..."Dave's Rants". I have a new rant.....

I have been very happy with Chase over the last 15 years. All our personal and winery corporation charges go through Chase credit cards. They have handled the few problems without any problem. I have not been happy with our local West America bank that clears our winery credit card inputs from sales because they charge $8 a month to look at my checking account.


Last Friday the 13th, I tried to open a Chase personal checking account because my accountant wants us to use a personal account account for all our personal matters. I went to the Chase website and tried to do this online. Everything seemed to be going fine until I was told that I did not answer one of the questions correctly. These were silly questions and I have no idea what the problem was because I thought I answered all correctly. Soon, there was a hold put on the checking account and I was told to call a phone number. More about that soon.....

Before the hold was put on the checking account I tried to transfer some money from my West America account to the new Chase checking account. I was advised that I had to deposit $1000 to open the account. Instead I made it $75,000. I knew it would take a few days to take effect. Later that morning I went back on the site to see what was going on where I saw the hold on my new checking account. Then awhile later I could not get into the account at all......even to see my credit card activity.

I called the number I was given and argued for an hour to release the hold on my account to at least see my credit card transactions. I was told repeatedly, even by a supervisor in several departments, that I had to travel into Healdsburg to show two forms of ID. I arrived in Healdsburg, a 15 minute drive, and was there for 2 hours. The manager and business accountant were extremely nice but they had trouble with all the Chase people they dealt with on the phone. I had to even call Pat twice for personal proof of who I was from utility bills even though I had my Social Security card and drivers license.

While I was there I opened two checking accounts and two savings accounts. I was assured the previous personal checking account that I tried to open online was closed. In all I wrote checks for $30,000 from West America to deposit in these new accounts at Chase. When I arrived back home, I noticed the old account was still there but was on hold. I called back and was assured it would be removed soon. I also could not see my new checking accounts. That was corrected within the hour.

Yesterday I noticed the first checking account was still there and it was restricted so I called to find out what was going on. I was told it would be cleared up soon.

Today I went into the account and all the checking accounts and credit card accounts were active. Even the first checking account that I tried to open was there and had $1,000 in it. I decided to check out my West America account and found out I had only $6,000 in it. I had transferred $100,000 from Schwab so I should have well over $6,000. I scrolled down to see transfers of $10,000, $20,000, $1,000 and $75,000 totaling $101,000, all to Chase. I called up the Healdsburg branch again and they were nice again but the $75,000 is on hold and I can not touch it until tomorrow. I was told I could go into the branch today and grab a check for $30,000 and drive over to West America to deposit it BUT they could not deposit it for me. I had to personally do it.

I told them I would wait until tomorrow to come into the Chase branch and close all the checking accounts and transfer the $101,000 dollars out of Chase. I was very nice and they said that would be OK but of course, this would all be straitened out soon. I said I understand but I will still be in tomorrow to transfer all the money. 

Thursday December 19, 2013

Yesterday I went into Healdsburg and had no trouble receiving my money from Chase. Actually the manager convinced me to leave $10,000 in a savings account so I could receive a bonus of $150 soon. In my post the other day I mentioned $101,000 but if totaled correctly it was $106,000, so I got a check for $96,000 and deposited it back in West America. Because of the mix up, my West America account had only $1400 in it so I will be charged some fees. I was told they could be removed later next month. With some of this money, Pat and I eventually want to pay off the mortgage in Seattle where Susie lives. Three years ago when we purchased the house the previous owner was willing to take back the First at 6% interest because it would have been hard for us to get a loan from a bank.......even though we have money in banks, unless we had a large income, we would not qualify.

I have another Rant!!

As some of you have heard Detroit, Michigan filed for bankruptcy. I assume the whole state is not doing real well. The other day I found a form from the state of Michigan to renew my direct shipping license. It was due at the end of April. I had misplaced it. I called the state and was told I had to refile all the paper work. I mentioned to them, I had the renew form right here and was will to pay the $100 now and also again at the end of April next year. The state of Michigan has accepted my checks for sales tax and excise tax over all these months with no reminder that I did not have a license. I still think it is illegal to require wineries to pay sales tax and even excise tax since the excise tax is already require by the Federal Government. We have no distributor or other presence in Michigan.

I finally wrote a letter to the governor of Michigan. The letter I sent to New Hampshire a year ago helped me get my renewal there with the same problem. Well Michigan is different........they want me to apply all the paper work again. I have asked for a refund of fees I have paid, but I have not heard back. We ship only a few cases a year directly to our customers and pay less than $100 in excise and sales tax fees but I guess these fees and the renewal of $100 is not important to the State of Michigan.

Friday December 20, 2013 The last few days of short days.........12-25-13 will be more light.

8:00 Pm: I got a touch of the flu two days ago. I did not know what that meant then but I do now.

So I looked up "Flu" today after experiencing something different in Health matters, I don't get sick

and the symptoms were not what I endured in the last few days. I should have a fever and cold symptoms. This looks more like food poisoning of minor effect. It has not been easy, but I am still in control.

Pat is away in San Francisco meeting up with Susie and Kate. They are going out to dinner and in 100 hundred years I am sure I could be beamed there for a short visit, but we are 1.5 hours away so I will pick them up on Sunday.....that way I will be able to drive my Model S.........

I was in control today, who else was? I had another eventful night, trying to decide if I should get up often, I think I made the right decision by staying in bed for a good 9 hours, up only a few times SO when Catalina came in, I had not even been over to the winery. I had seen Pillor, another project he is doing, and Catarino, hassled with two local banks for two hours and decided to move some money to Chase again, the local banks have not trained their help.......

SO when I went into the winery and discovered wine all in the middle of the winery, I was in action, of course where was it coming from. I looked high and low but some of the barrels were up against each other..........(how many times have I asked to make sure we can move easily in between barrels)......Eventually I found a barrel that was ruptured. In all my years I had not seen the side of a barrel busted open........

We had ordered these new bungs, Matt suggested. I am always interested in new technology so we received 300, after a few months, this company is small but doing well with plenty of demand. These bungs seal real tight, but if lifted up a little can also let a fermentation continue. Matt had trouble with two barrels of Grenache......they still had a few percent to go with sugar left. He tried  get all the sugar out and had given up because we have to blend in less than two weeks SO he added SO2 which should clear up bacteria if present and slow down fermentation..........

Some times SO2 cleans up certain things and the fermentation gets active again. Matt put the bung in tight.......these bungs work well to be tight.........the fermentation started and the barrel staves sprung out at the side of the barrel.......we only lost 10-15 of 60 gallons.......

9:00 Pm: I like Starbucks Dark French Roast. I achieve to that result and have failed. I might of mentioned in past diaries that I have purchased Green Beans. There are many ways to roast green coffee beans, just look it up.

SO I have invested for many years in the past, 2002-2009 into home coffee roasters. There are a lot of us interested in saving money and also making a better roasted coffee bean. With these roasters I had good luck at first......for the intensity, I liked these beans more. But all the investment of several thousand dollars did not pay for the 50% discount to buy green, roasted beans. They kept breaking down and I lost all the money I spent for the roasters.

So now I found a great way to roast coffee beans to better or at least close to Starbucks French Roast.......It is a popper, you put 8 ounces in a small pot, but it is not automatic........oh darn, I remembered when I had noooooo choice at 10 years old, stand and stir.....I digress

So this almost perfect popper is a stove pot with a great propeller in it......You can stir as much as you want, it will not break down,,,,but you have to turn it every minute for at least 15 minutes......long. I found good results stirring, less, every few minutes, especially at the beginning.

But I am lazy at times and as most of you I am looking to do as many things as possible at all times of the day. So I found a new way to roast at home, a possible replacement for the great, labor intensive, time consuming, perfect stove top roaster. I am now trying to perfect, roasting.......a round cylinder basket filled with green coffee beans (with a screen for air, but small enough to not let green coffee beans thru). I set the BBQ on the rotisserie and it took awhile with trials. I love a challenge and so I am making variable coffee beans with good intensity, but not as good as Starbucks......I should buy some stock.......it keeps going up

toe, shoes..................more pains..........

Saturday December 20, 2013

I have found out now that maybe I need to do this diary every so often to think out loud.............to myself

9:00 Pm: The ladies are coming home tomorrow. It will be an adventure........3 against 1

I am feeling a little better, but this is the 4th day of not feeling normal, what ever that is,.......I still have a pain in my belly, every hour or so, sharp enough to get your attention, but I have had some great meals, and today........ with a burger and good wine.................

Yes I have pains every day. I do fine, with the distractions, like most of us, but I have heard some of you complain of no physical pains?

So yesterday I had many pains including two new ones. I know I will have to stay up for another hour for this one, but maybe not.

One.....the easy one, I have documented my pain in the belly+


Have you ever had a toe you wanted to cut off?

10:00 Pm:

I have thought many times I wanted to cut off both of my last toes on both feet.......They have been annoying all my life. They are small wedges, curled over. Is that normal? The next toe over is twice as long. I know some of you think I have toes like that, but maybe not in the same place, but do you want to cut the toe off?

These toes have caused me much pain for my whole life. My mother told me a few times, that she had no money to pay for shoes so she thinks my growth was cut off in my feet. I think the feet did fine but my toes were crimped in shoes that were too small. For some reason I have irritations around them, even though I only wear sandals now.

Yesterday I was still fooling around with my right toe and I put some Freeze Off on my callous spot. I admit I did it three times, that toe needs to be smaller.............So Freeze Off is good, I have used it for many years and will continue to use it. My toe is much better today but last night the pain was there........

I could have been a better athlete if I had longer outside toes.........??????? 

I have to get ready to drive down in my Model S tomorrow to pick the ladies up at 9am. It will be a fun time with all of us together.......to all a happy holiday..........

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


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