David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 45
November 5  to November 11, 2000 

Monday November 6

Nobody believes me, but Sunday was tougher for me than Saturday. We had over 600 people tasting wine on Saturday and we were very unorganized. I must apologize. There was some good food and music and I hope everyone enjoyed our wine, but the lines were very long to buy wine and pick-up 1999 wine. I will guarantee that we will get better. I have heard that Sunday was more organized---you see, I went to the Raider game with Kate on Sunday. I had a challenge staying a wake after two nights of little sleep concerned about our pick-up party. Kate and I left at 8:20 Am Sunday and returned from the game at 6:20. That is 10 hours to see a 3 hour game. (actually 60 min of time on the field). I really had trouble staying awake on the way home until some guy almost wiped us off the road in San Rafael. It was nice to get home safe and hear about the days results at our winery.

We served about 10 cases of wine for the two days and spent many 1000s of dollars on food. Also we have over 40 wine glasses missing and since we were not prepared for such a crowd, we were out of glasses often. Next time we intend to charge a small fee for a glass. We do not want to charge for the food as other wineries do, but by charging for a glass, we will atleast eliminate the need to wash them and also be sure that we have no complaints from customers that they had to drink out of a paper cup.

Thanks to all of you our sales were great and thus I will have some money now to pay for our new building. As I have said before, I am really encouraged by the challenge of blending wine from these many 2000 vintage barrels into our 11 wines. By having all these different possibilities I believe we could have some very interesting wines. I am intrigued by the mourvedre all of a sudden. It is so peppery that I may blend a little into the 2000 Neighbors' Zin. I am certain that the Neighbors' Zin is going to be dramatically different compared to the Estate Zin even without mourvedre.

Today we received 3.38 tons of Cabernet from the Jones vineyard. At first I was disappointed in the way it looked (some red berries and rot), but it seemed to improve after the initial bin. Maybe Caterino and his crew became more selective as the day went on or they moved to a better section of the vineyard. The sugar on the first was around 22%, but improved to 23%. We will see how the quality turns out, but with our hot fermentation I believe we can achieve some great intensity form this fruit. We will most likely use this lot for topping off our non estate wines.

Wednesday 8  2000

I love politics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As most of you know I have many passions: sports, wine, music, video. But politics is the best!!! I thrive on the unpredictable. No one could predict something like a presidential  election such as this. I have a political leaning, but I can see both sides. I really think it is interesting that I liked both candidates today. They finally looked human, maybe because of shock and a lack of sleep. Well I have had an average of 5 hrs of sleep over the last 5 days, because of my pickup party and because of my interest for this race. I have always admired and enjoyed all our presidents. I am getting older and do realize that if I had their unique capabilities (I can stay up all night with little sleep, but I couldn't be nice to everyone) I could be president. All our presidents did a good job and did not destroy our economy. As a finance and economics major my biggest concern is to balance the budget. I really want lower taxes after we lower our debt. I have had some of my friends say that we need to have debt. That is probably OK. I sure do owe a lot of money. But can't we use some of that debt for our country. I think I have said too much as usual. I am convinced that who ever is elected, we will still have a great nation.

Our cab from Jones has some mold on it (no concern at this late in the year.) I used some so2 to lower this natural infection--I want the yeast, I added today, to be prominent in the fermentation. Tomorrow I will add some M/L starter and then some nutrients to assure a fermentation that finishes to create  no sugar. The color looks good and I think the wine will turn out fine. 

Friday November 10

Well I have been glued to CNN re: the controversy on our presidential race, but I am very focused concerning my obligation and real passion: wine. In the middle of this great American crisis?, I sent Brendan out yesterday to harvest Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. He endured the bees and cold and came back  with incredible stuff. My first estimate on sugar is over 50%. He came in with about 300 lbs or enough for about 100 half bottles. I plan on sending him back out early next week for more. For anyone reading this diary, I am offering this wine on futures at $15 per half bottle / 6 bottle max until we pick more. This is the first year since 1997 that we have had some real botrytis. We had a freeze down to 29 degrees this morning so that will only increase the intensity of this incredible harvest of S.B.  


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