David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 40
September 30, 2001 to October 6, 2001 

  Monday, October 1, 2001

My prediction of high temperatures was right!! Kate and I went to the Raider game yesterday and it was about 90, but it was 104 here at my official weather station. (yes I have an official station to specs. It was 107 here today. Brendan says I should get into forecasting the weather, but that is too easy for me. Forecasting when to pick our grapes is much harder. Most of our grape samples came in at 22% sugar last week and hopefully we will have 24 to 25 brix tomorrow. Caterino and his great workers will come in tomorrow and pick for two days. They will be off to somewhere else on Thursday so we must have all our fruit in by Wednesday. If we don't have sugar after these temperatures, we will never have it. 

We have switched web providers and it seems to be going along fine. Pat and I have experienced some delay in responding to e-mails, but we think we will have it under control in a few days. Let's put it this way: I have been involved, but I am HARVESTING tomorrow so hopefully Brad and Pat can carry on. 

I have other problems as most of you also have. In the last few weeks, I have been having trouble starting my 1998 Ford Ranger Small Truck. I have only put 8,457 miles on it in 3 and 1/2 years. The reason the battery is going out is that I have not driven it enough. I went to the Ford dealer today to buy a new battery, because I could not find the style recommended anywhere else. It seems that Ford chose an obscurer type for this year. I brought the battery home this evening after being informed that they only had two in stock at $92.50. Well what choice did I have. I installed the battery and found out that it would not even turn on my lights inside the cab. I could not even get the battery to charge. SOOO, I jump started it and I am now running the engine to see if I can get the charge up enough so that I can finnish with my battery charger. I NEED The truck tomorrow morning at 7 AM. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2001

The battery charger failed and so this morning I had to have Brendan follow me over to the local Ford dealer in Geyserville to drop off the truck. It is a long story, but they found that I had failed to remove a plastic cap on the negative side of the battery battery so it would not make contact with the cable. It was not there fault unless one thinks they should have told me to remove the cap. Of course, maybe they didn't know I would attempt the switch in the dark after having a bottle of wine. The new battery worked fine and the old one took a charge, so I have two batteries now. 

The low temperature this morning was 47 degrees; so in twelve hrs we had a high of 107 and a low of 47, a 60 point range. Not surprising. I think we got up to about 95 today. 

We got in about 7.6 tons today, mostly petite sirah. Tomorrow we are hoping to harvest some cabernet. It has been a very long day so I will give more details tomorrow. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2001 

Yesterday we harvested about 7 tons of petite sirah, about what we anticipated. The sugars were between 22 and 26 brix depending on the area. There are plenty of raisins so we could obtain higher sugars after the fermentation starts. We also harvested a ton of zin from a new area at 24 brix that looks real nice. All the acids look good so we may have trouble finding a place for the rest of the 1.6 tons of Barbera we harvested today. 

Barbera has high acid, but in a year like this one with good acids, we don't need it to blend into most of our wines. In the past, when we have bought grapes from our neighbors, we have needed some acid since some of these vineyards have come in with low acids in past years. This year we are going to keep some barbera separate and see how it comes out. 

We also harvested our Aca varietals. Earlier this year we did pick some malbec, merlot and cab franc from our younger section and today we finished up those varietals and the cabernet. I will have more info on Friday. 


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