David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 27
June 30, 2002 to July 6, 2002 

Monday July 1, 2002 

As some of you may have noticed, we have started to upload an image from inside our winery from our second web-cam.  This adventure has taken a great deal of time, but I am happy with the image considering this camera is of lesser quality than our outside Intel. I would like a camera that would capture an image more up-close (this is a wide angle camera). When we have the lights on inside the winery (which should be often during bottling, I will switch to this inside camera. I have set this camera so that we can turn it around to see our crush pad. 

I must relate two personal stories that occurred over the last week before I get more into talking about our bottling later this week. 

Pat and I went up to Cloverdale last night to visit and have a great dinner with our best friends and caterers Mike and Jeannine Pendleton. Susie came along (our 14.5 year old) and brought her dog Koovy. Koovy had a great time romping around with his dog friends on this great big property. Of course Mike or Mich as I call him and I enjoyed some good wines with the outstanding food. It is nice to have caterers as friends. While I was drinking and not paying attention,  a bee ventured into my wine glass. Before I knew it I had swallowed into my mouth this swarming creature. Why this bee would venture into a dry wine such as mine is beyond me. I do know he stung me. I really did not think at first so I started scraping with my fingers and applying ice as necessary to the outside of my lip. BUT I found out too late that the bee had stung me on the inside of my mouth. Finally tonight the swelling on my lip has subsided. 

The next story is more complex and serious. A week ago I started giving Susie driving lessons on my 5-speed truck. I was amazed how quickly she grasped how to steer and shift for her first lesson. I love teaching young people how to drive. I have a patience that is lacking in other things I do. I guess I remember how hard it was for me to learn at first and I admired my stepfather on how patient he was. It was amazing that that was when we got along the best. The next two days Susie improved. Of course she did kill the engine constantly, but she did not get frustrated and I did not lose my cool. There were a few times I did have to yell "stop" when it appeared she might wipe out one of my old vines. Last Saturday Pat and I had to leave to attend a gathering. Susie stayed home with a friend. We are never comfortable leaving her home alone. I kidded as I left to her "don't touch those keys". She told me later that that had given her the idea. 

The next morning I was confronted by Susie. She admitted, along side her friend, that she had knocked over and killed one of my old vines. She confessed that it was a bicycle that had succumbed this grape vine. I remember saying that it was OK and "thank you for admitting it". She replied "you are such a great dad". 

On Monday Caterino came back to start thinning these old vines and sure enough as you might have guessed he asked " who ran over your vine with a truck?" I knew right away who had done it, but it took some time for Susie to admit it. Yes she had taken the truck out and drove around the vineyard with her friend. She now has to pay $20 a year for 10 years. Pat says I am too easy. Her friend said if her parents had found out about her driving the truck through the vineyard, she personally would not have gotten out of the house for the rest of the summer. I love being forgiving. I love teaching. 

Thursday July 4, 2002 

I'm sure some of you are wondering why I don't post as many entries to this diary as in past years. There are many reasons, but here are three: First of all I am a very slow typist, second I am a horrible speller and third, I am running out of things to say. Like today I am setting up for our bottling to start Saturday. My chore today is to figure out where all the bottled wine stacks will be stored. It is a very time consuming task, but I explained how and what I was going to do LAST YEAR! Here is what I said: 

"The main chore I have had in the last two days has been to figure out where the estimated 3671 cases of newly bottled wine will be stored. I had many possibilities, from the new building or the winery to the ultimate site of our present storage building that we have used since the 1997 vintage. We finished clearing everything out of this building yesterday. I then had to figure out what to bottle first and where to store it in able to not have to unstack too many times. I have to plan on what wine will be removed and of course at what order. Obviously the zins and estate cuvee will go the fastest, but they are the most cases also. I can't store all that wine at the front of the building since I would not be able to get to the other wines. I decided to use 42 cases on 76 pallets equaling 3192 total cases."

Therefore do I repeat what I said last year with slightly different wording and does anyone care? 

Today I will mention briefly (I need more info) a new complication that may affect our winery. We have been sued!! A few of our winery friends along with us have sued in the East Bay by the Americans With Disabilities Advocates. Here is a link to an article talking about the gentleman behind the suit.

To actually get involved, we must be served papers and rather doubt we will. It would have been a nice courtesy to know ahead of time what we are doing that is upsetting him, but I hear that is not his style.  Since we are open only by appointment and complied to all State and County requirements, we are confused on why he would want to go after us. As some of you know we have built a guest house across from the winery and we are in the process of completing a wheelchair access rest room (even though we are not required to do so). We also have plenty of concrete for easy navigation. Since we have a great music system, many of our guests take advantage of our couches to listen to music. And since we primarily serve wine from the barrel, I regularly walk over to serve anyone sitting down. As you know I enjoy conflicts, but I don't know if I will this one.


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