David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 40
September 29, 2002 to October 5, 2002 

Monday September 30, 2002
  Here is something interesting that one of my customers sent me regarding the Turkey: 
It was a Wild Turkey, but it is the domestic ones which have been bred into idiocy.  Once upon a time, Ben Franklin advocated the Wild Turkey as the national bird ... and not because it was stupid. 

Ben Franklin thought the North American wild turkey should be the national bird. Of course, the turkey of his day was nothing like the domesticated descendants we know today. The wild turkey of Ben Franklin's day was a brightly plumed, cunning bird of flight. 

Unlike eagles, turkeys live in flocks. Imagine seeing a flock of birds as large as turkeys flying across the sky. It must have been a wondrous sight. Wild turkeys have longer necks and legs as well as smaller breasts than turkeys bred for the table. The true American turkey was "wild and wary to the point of genius," said author G. T. Klein.

Wednesday October 2, 2002

Brendan and I will be going into our most stressful days. We are now in the midst of deciding which barrels to use for all our 30 fermenting wines. The last two days were relatively easy, being just the Raf petite sirah and some petite sirah from our vineyard. The next three days will be hard. Tomorrow we put our Aca Modot into barrels. Friday we will barrel all the Pinot and Saturday we will add all our Carignan. In all we will fill 70 barrels, one third of our production. What is somewhat complicated is that we must decide which new barrels and older barrels to use for each wine. Some wines like the Doug Rafanelli Petite Sirah can handle more oak, preferably American Oak while with the Aca Modot Cab and Pinot I prefer to use all Eastern European oak. With the carignan and Estate Cuvee cab, we want to use a mixture of both American and Eastern European. 

This week end we have friends coming to pour at the Harvest Fair. We won silvers for our 2001 Carignan and Estate Cuvee and a Bronze for our Terre Milange. Brendan and I will stay here to put the 2002 carignan into barrels. 

Friday October 4, 2002

I tried to write a diary last night, but fell asleep at the computer. SOOO I decided to try at 7:00Am this morning. Brendan is due in soon so I must start. Today we press the Pinot which will take more time than most. We have three clones of grapes to deal with in 6 fermenters. The clones are 115, 667 and Pommard. The Pommard seems to be the darkest. In our two ton fermenter we have a combination of all clones as well as combinations in two other bins. We want to keep each of the three clones separate into barrels to taste later and we want to keep the two ton combo separate, because it had a cold soak and was fermented cool till the end. In all we have 6.4 tons which will yield about 19 barrels. We can fit all these tons in the press at once, but since we want to keep some separate, we must press for an hour in-between each barrel sample. Even though it will take onlt about one hour to fill the barrels (3 min per barrel), with a press time of many hours, we will be at this until well into the evening. After keeping all this separate we will run a final press load that will take about 4 hours to yield the final barrel. Brendan will still leave about 6:00PM, but I must come out about 9:00Pm to fill the last barrel. Don't worry I will have some wine in me by then. 

I got a call from Doug Rafanelli and he informed me that he had an extra ton of petite sirah to sell. I said bring it on today. This is the tannic clone that has been used in our "Neighbors" blends and ZP2C in 1998, 1999 and 2000. We had bought the bulk wine already fermented from Lambert Bridge in those years. This year we bought 1.7 tons directly from Doug fermented it and pressed it Wednesday. It is the darkest of our wines and also the most tannic--a lot of structure with less fruit. As I have said some of this wine may go into "My Zin". 


Home | Read | Diary | Public Forum | Tell Us What You Think of Our Diary! | Last Week | Next Week