|Monday May 30, 2005
|The Vintage Circle club will start on June 17. We are working frantically
to redo our order forms and find a way to show who is In the Circle. To
generate all this requires a great deal of work. Everything won't be working
smoothly for a few weeks. In the mean time we will send out an e-mail to
those of you who have bought 2 cases or more of the 2003 vintage. Some
of those 2003 customers also have purchased 2004 and 2005 wines. Soon we
should have a database on our website which will show your 2004 and 2005
purchases. That way you will be able to see if you have bought 2 cases
or more of those vintages. If this is confusing to you, I am sure you can
imagine how confusing it is to us. We have generated much more work for
all of us involved, but my loyal customers deserve the lowest prices available.
The Plaza Farms is scheduled to open in Healdsburg on June 17 therefore we have delayed our price increase until then. On June First we will stop selling our 2002 Zinfandel since we want to hold a few cases to sell at the Plaza. I may have more to say later today.
Monday June 6, 2005
I have been taking walks out in the vineyard, because we have had to start our drip irrigation. The bloom is almost finished and thus in a week or so I can make another estimate of what tonnage we can expect. By then the bunches will start filling out. In some years the berries in zinfandel bunches do not swell up mainly because of poor weather during bloom. Since the weather has been perfect in the past two weeks I am expecting a good fruit set. For instance, if there is rain or very hot or cold temperatures during bloom the berries can be damaged. Our temperatures have been from the 50's on the low side to 70's and 80's on the high side, perfect. I will have more information next week.
I have still been looking for grapes to buy. I have contracted for an additional 2 tons of cabernet and zinfandel. Our production this year should move up to about 5500 cases. We produced 4500 in 2001, 5000 in 2002 and 2003 and only 3800 for 2004. We have less than 2000 cases of 2003 and 2004 wines to sell and it appears our sales have increased to over 4500 cases a year. We have no idea how much wine we will sell at our new location in Healdsburg at Plaza Farms. We have heard that we may be able to sell 1000 cases or more. If that is the case we need to increase our production. As I have said in the past, once our new vines come into full production we could produce as much as 6000 cases. Right now we can store about 5500 cases here. I believe I could store about 500 cases in the winery from the middle of July until Harvest in September. By then enough of the cases will be gone, because we allow pickup for our Futures customers any time after bottling. If we do eventually go to 6000 cases I have confidence the quality of our wine will remain excellent.
9:30 pm I wait. I wait for the wind to stop. Once the wind stops I can sulfur my vines. I have to wait until the wind is non existent, calm. Most of you I am sure do not pay attention to the wind unless it is too high. Those of us into maintaining grape vines know we have to sulfur our vineyards inorder to keep powdery mildew off our vines. Mildew which can destroy bunches can form at temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees. Our temperatures have been in that range for two weeks. Sulfur can control this mildew by applicating a fine powder (15 lbs per acre) when the wind is calm. Otherwise the dust will disappear through the wind up in the sky to eventually come back down. I should have dusted sulfur on Friday, but it has been too windy. The calmest time is about 5:30am. I have been observing the wind for days starting about 2:30am. I have had less sleep than usual, but I know I must endure and wait one more day.
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