|Monday June 25, 2001|
Well as I predicted the weather has cooled off. After being 108 on Wednesday, 102 Thursday and 98 Friday (lows being in the 60's), we had a high of 86 Sat and 84 Sunday. More important was that Saturday morning we had a low of 46 and Sunday a low of 44. The winemakers and farmers who were worried about the high temperatures should be relieved. The bunches are filling out nicely and we should be seeing some color within a week. That would put us atleast two weeks ahead of schedule. A possibility of rain is predicted for Wednesday with below normal temperatures. This could put us back on schedule for harvest time starting in the last week in August for sauv blanc. The crop is much heavier in the reds so I don't think we will be harvesting our zin until the first week in September.
Friday June 29, 2001
I am going to do something different today with this diary. This Friday will be one of the most consuming days for awhile so I will give an account of it by time.
First of all I must make a few statements of what happened in the last few days. On Wednesday we had an inch of rain which is unusual for this time of year. This washed off all the sulfur from the vines (sulfur is needed to control mildew). The rain itself did not hurt anything in the vineyard. The bunches have formed, but they have not softened from veraison (color or ripening) so rot would not form yet.
Also yesterday I had long discussions with insurance companies regarding Kate's car insurance (she just turned 16). This in itself consumed much of my day. Also we are having a great deal of trouble with the slowness of Starband. Unless we are downloading or on the actual site loading of anything is very slow.
5:30 Am: I couldn't sleep so I just laid in bed and contemplated the possibilities of the day. My first decision to make was whether I should sulfur the vineyard again. I have sulfured the vineyard 5 times, but as I said earlier, the rain washed off all the last application. When the grapes start turning color, which could occur within the next week, I will not have to sulfur again. Until then the vines and grape bunches are susceptible to a dry form of mildew which can ruin the fruit. If the temperature goes over 100 the mildew will not form. As a matter of fact if it does form the fungus could be destroyed when temperatures are over 105. The weather forecast is calling for the likelihood of over 100 in the next few days.
6:30 Am: I came down to the computer to check out my stock prices. I decided against sulfuring, because grapes can burn if over 100 degrees. This decision involves a lot more variables which need not go into.
7:30 Am: Steve Ryan showed up with his spray rig. He wanted me to go out in the vineyard to help him. I informed him that Brendan would do a better job and he would be showing up at 8:00 (:-). We need to spray inorder to control the mites that have started to eat the green out of the leaves on our zinfandel.
7:45 Am: Two workers arrived to tape the sheetrock up stairs in the
new building. The downstairs is fire taped already so I even put 1500 cases
of bottles in on one side yesterday.
8:00 Am: Brendan arrived in time to help Steve to spray for mites in the vineyard.
8:15 Am: Steve blew a hose on his tractor so he had to go off and buy one.
8:35 Am: Two guys showed up to install my overhead doors. They were not in a good mood so we did not hit it off too well. I wanted to know if I could stack cabinets in one side of the building, but I got no positive response.
8:50 Am: Bill, the electrician, arrived to run some wire from our winery to the new building. I got out of helping him by pleading that Brendan would be through spraying in an hour. He had plenty of set-up work to do.
9:00 Am: Steve and Brendan went back out to spray.
9:15 Am: Pat and I looked at the texture samples and tried to communicate with the overhead door people again.
9:30 Am: A winery owner from Virginia arrived unannounced and I took a half an hour to answer his questions about fermenting in bins.
10:00 Am: I got a call to inform me that all my kitchen cabinets for the new building were to be delivered in 45 min. I knew they were to be delivered today, but I was hoping it would be in the afternoon inorder to stack them in the new building where the doors were being installed.
10:20 Am: The overhead door guys took off without telling me, leaving all there equipment in the openings (preventing us from bringing in the cabinets). I decide to call up the owner to find out what is wrong. I was informed they needed a break. I ended up having a heated discussion with him, informing him that his workers were not cooperating and also not even communicating with us. I was informed that they were upset with me from yesterday. That got me real upset. You see they were supposed to show up on Thursday morning. I had to call at 11 am to find out that they had an emergency, no one let me know, and that they would work only half a day. When they finally arrived at 1:15 yesterday, they told me they had a tough day and would only unload and come back tomorrow. Knowing I had the cabinets to be delivered today, Friday, I was a little surprised. I told them I needed the doors completely installed by tomorrow. Well I guess they did not like the tone of my voice.
11:00 Am: The cabinets arrived and I decided to temporarily put them in the wine storage building, next to the new building. We were supposed to unpack them and inspect them as they were unloaded. We had no room and Brendan and Steve were still out spraying.
11:15 Am: I had to call Kate inorder to get her lic. # to give to the insurance company. She just broke up with her boyfriend so she was over a friend's house. I then had to call the insurance co.
11:10 Am: The overhead door people showed back up again.
11:30 Am: Brendan and I sat down to discuss plans for our bottling next week.
11:45 AM: Dennis (our contractor, who had been pouring concrete on another job) and two workers showed up and tried to lighten up the overhead door people with little success. He got a passing approval (maybe they are just quiet guys?) to unpack the cabinets and re-stack them in the new building (on the side they were not working on. There are two 16 foot wide doors).
12:00 noon: Brendan helped Bill pull wire for the new building. That goes smoothly!!
12:05 Pm: The overhead door workers say they are going for lunch. A communication!!
12:45 Pm: The overhead guys return and Dennis finds out that we need to move a few of the cabinets. Of course it would have been nice to know this ahead of time. Some of the cabinets get moved for the third time.
12:55 Pm: Brendan and Dennis leave for the day.
1:00 Pm: Pat can't surf on her computer. I try everything to no avail. She can see my computer and I can surf. I guess it is Winproxy screwing up everything again. Winproxy is used with Starband in order to connect the computers with software. We hope to obtain a router in the future in order to eliminate the software. I am trying to type this diary so I will save it now and try to get off of Starband and just dial up.
2:00 Pm: Two groups of people came unannounced to taste. I needed a break so I accommodated. They were confused by the "futures program" even after I explained many times that the wine was not bottled. I was not surprised, because people are confused often.
2:15 Pm: Pat is able to surf. Who knows why Winproxy started working again--the mysteries of computers. Earlier I told Pat that if I had a gun I probably would do like Elvis did: shoot out the tube.
2:30 Pm: I decided to make one more attempt to talk to the overhead door guys. I was extremely patronizing and told them I realized that the doors would not be done today and that it was OK. Will the doors be finished Monday? Yes was the answer. I felt satisfied. Maybe because it was Friday afternoon they felt better about throwing me a bone.
2:45 Pm: The overhead door people leave, the tapers leave and even Bill leaves temporarily to find some lights. You see, the doors are up, but no openers are installed. It is dark inside.
3:15 Pm: My appointment showed up for a tasting. The two guys are chemistry teachers from Pennsylvania who have been referred by one of our local customers.
4:10 Pm: Bill came back to install the lights.
4:15 Pm: Pat complains that she can't surf again. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!
4:30 Pm: I paid Bill and he showed me the two lights he plugged in. Also he has installed an automatic timer for our night air fan. This will bring in cold air at night to cool down the wine that will go into the area next week.
4:45 Pm: Pat can surf again. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!
5:00 Pm: I decided to walk out into the vineyard to turn on my drip system.
5:25 Pm: I need a drink!!!!!
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