David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Weeks 30 -33
July 22, 2007 - August 18, 2007 

Friday August 3, 2007

We are back from our vacation, but I have had a bad time in the last few days. I am now recovering from an appendectomy. Yes my appendices was removed. I am recovering fine. As some of you know I have been having trouble with my back for over three weeks. Well at 5am Wednesday morning I was having trouble sleeping and I decided to stretch out my legs and arch my back real hard and hold it for several minutes. That exercise of sorts moved the pain into my right front stomach. When I finally got up an hour later I was nauseous and in a great deal of pain. At 10am I forced myself to eat two pieces of chicken which did not set well. I had to go into Santa Rosa to Costco where I had a small piece of sausage.....that made things worse. When I got home I decided to try to drink one shot of tequila. I got half of it down. I did not feel like eating dinner or drink any wine. That has never happened to me before. 

So at 8pm Pat and Susie took me into the emergency hospital in Healdsburg, 9 miles away. I had the classic signs of appendicitis, but everyone was surprised I was not in more pain. I understand now I have a higher threshold of pain than most people and thus I do not complain as much. I was at the emergency for over 6 hours and every time I had a chance I tried to convince the many nurses and doctors that my back problem had to be connected to the pain now in the front side. After numerous blood tests and a cat scan I was transferred to Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa to have an operation. I arrived there about 3am and was in surgery at 4am. The doctor was concerned  that there could be a rupture of the appendices that could lead to serious complications. The surgeon decided to use a scope to go through my belly button and take a look and repair what ever. When I awoke I was not surprised to hear that there probably was a connection to the pain in my back. 

I have had three hernia operations on my right side that has led to a great deal of scar tissue. The scar tissue which he removed was crowding out the appendices and radiated pain to my back as a warning. The surgeon had a real hard time removing the appendices. What is more annoying is that he found another hernia that I can take care of when I receive Medi-Cal next year. What is not surprising is that I have less pain now than I have had in over three weeks. 

I got home at 5pm and had pizza and a bottle of wine last night 14 hours after surgery. The only cost I have found out so far is the cost for a semi-private recovery room......$2,200 for one day. I did talk to the financial advisor and was told if I pay the bill in 30 days to Memorial I will get a 40% discount. I have to negotiate with Healdsburg and the ambulance and I am sure I will have to look into the other specialists involved. 

I have no insurance. I dropped my insurance 5 years ago and guess I have saved about $30,000. I hope I come out ahead.

Thursday August 9, 2007

I have been slowly recovering from my surgery. I am sure it will take several weeks, but I should be ready for Harvest. Wow, On Tuesday I took a small sugar test from our 50 vines of Pinot Noir that were planted 3 years ago and I wasn't surprised to see a reading of 21.4 brix. I want 25 brix so we could be harvesting in less than 3 weeks. I am hoping for over 200 lbs and if so I may buy a small barrel and bottle several cases of a 2007 Pinot. Our planting of new Pinot vines planted this year is doing real well and I expect to have a small crop next year. That could mean we will have over a barrel in 2008 and thus could have 25 cases for sale. I need about 900 lbs for a full barrel.

Also our new Cabernet Franc vines are growing well. We probably will have a decent crop in 2009 to blend into our Aca Modot. Our other numerous plantings of the past several years have been growing real well and most will be producing a full crop by the 2009 vintage. I am still planning to keep our production down to about 4000 cases in 2007, but we will probably be able to produce 5000 cases of Estate wines for sure by 2010. Our sales have dropped off recently, but we had a good first 6 months of 2007. We are still selling about 5000 cases a year. We produced 7000 cases in 2005 and 2006 so by cutting production in the next few years we will be back on track to sell out every year. 

Next Tuesday we will be bottling some wine for The Wine Guerrilla and Pendleton Estates. Also on Wednesday we will bottle our 2006 ZP2C.

Wednesday August 15, 2007

We got the Wine Guerrilla lots done yesterday. As usual we had many problems with the bottling line, especially the labeler. It took us all day to finish 580 cases. Pendleton has no labels so we will bottle Mich's stuff in February when we bottle our whites and the 2006 Ultimate Cuvee. Tomorrow we will bottle about 290 cases of 2006 ZP2C.

Each day I am feeling better, but if I am on my feet too long I do get some pain. I probably need a month longer to be fully recovered. BUT I have no trouble driving the forklift!! I had a little step made to help me get up on the forklift. It makes things much easier.

Our few hundred lbs of Pinot is at 23 brix. We may have to crush before our open house on the 25th and 26th.


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