David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 50
December 10 to December 16, 2000 

Tuesday December 12,  2000

Please excuse, this will be my last political posting. 

As I have said before I think Al Gore should have conceded a few days before Thanksgiving. Remember---The Florida Supreme Court OK'd recounts a few days before Thanksgiving, but only until the next Sunday. The best thing for Gore to do that night was to say: I don't want my supporters or especially the dedicated government county workers to sacrifice their great Thanksgiving Holiday. But now tonight: I think he is down now. I have not thought much of his crusade for his victory until now. He is a martyr. Sure he is a loser, but maybe we will get some reform with our election systems. We need a uniform voting system so we don't have to go thru this again. 

I guess I was naive. I thought the Supremes would be fair. I think both the Florida and USA Supremes were both wimps. The USA court is the most disappointing. This is the most convoluted unresponsible decision.  What hypocrites. Yes as I said earlier I voted for Gore, but I really was not thrilled about either of these candidates. I have liked Bush also, but I have said I am concerned that he goes off to exercise during the Supremes broadcasts. Who ever is President will be fine. BUT I can't believe that the Supreme Court has really delayed everything. Catch 22!! They stopped the recount by Staying last Friday. They have stopped the recount by requiring by Dec 12 the recount. Obviously the best we can do is unite and respect George Bush as our president. 

Brendan has been encouraging me to buy a new Press. A PRESS actually takes our fermented wine and filters out the grapes into clearer juice. Tomorrow we have a sales person coming. I will give you more input tomorrow. 

Wednesday December 13,  2000

Well Brendan and I went out and did some research on a new press today. The question: should we spend  $40,000 on something we may not need? 

That means I would have to raise my prices by $9 per case or 75 cents per bottle to make up that difference in one year. But a Press should last more than a year, probably 10 to 20 years at least. Over ten years that would be only 7 cents per bottle. In other words, I should be able to afford it. It is only money and I love spending money. Now do we need this press? Will it be more dependable? Will it save us time? Will we be able to make better wine? 

I should now explain how a Press works in our winery operation. Not to go into too much detail, after fermentation of our reds we press into barrels. Most wineries press into a tank and settle out the solids before going into their barrels. I think the solids add some character so we go straight into barrels. The Press, thru screens, catches skins and seeds that are still in the wine after fermentation. A bladder or big inner tube, inside the press, is pumped up to press these skins and seeds thru the screen and obtain the wine. The more you press the drier the skins until there is no more liquid left. Some Presses create more solids (our old press). If we eliminate some solids, are we going to make better wine? 

These new presses have computers connected to operate them. As we all know, computers can break down. Our old press has no computer and thus is very reliable. With our old press we need to operate over night to obtain 180 gals per ton. The new press can produce up to 185 gals in 3 hrs. As most of you know, we have a reputation for fruit driven wines. Some wine experts feel that fruit driven wines come from less solids or tannin and are created with these new presses. I feel we have enough fruit in our wines from our old press so I am concerned that we could have softer wines with the new one. I like tannin and thus I have been trying to create a little more in the old press by using overnight. I have been told that I could create more tannins by pressing longer on this new press. I have also heard that this new press has many other options to help Brendan and I have more possibilities to be more creative. 

Obviously this new press would save us time, but would we sacrifice reliability. If it breaks down, can we get someone here soon enough to preserve the wine? We only produced 60 tons this year. That is less than 15 loads in either press. Do we need a press that would be faster, but would it help us to be more creative? 

Thursday December 14,  2000

Well this has been a big day for our family. Susie has turned 13 years old. Even though Kate is 15 and loves the Raiders as I do, Susie is more like me. She is a challenge as Maria was in the Sound of Music. She is a wonderful kid, but needs guidance. She was hoping for a video game today, but we did not receive it in time, but she surprisingly took it well. Oh well, Amazon.com will probably come through tomorrow. 

I know most of you are hoping the stock market will start going up since we finally have a Republican president elect. Be ware, check out history. I have been following the stock market since 1962 and have noticed that, probably by chance, the stock market goes up more during Democratic administrations. Just think,. for the last year, most of us have expected Bush to get in as our next president. Then why has the general market been going down? In other words, just because we have a Republican in, that doesn't mean the market will go up. I know most of you may not agree, but I think the intelligence of our leader is more important. I agree that we have such a bright future, that it will be hard for any of us to screw it up. 

My research on a new Press continues. I found a new possibility that would cost $30,000. I will talk to Brendan about it next week. 

I tasted our 1998 Petite Sirah and 1998 Aca Modot tonight. At first I preferred the P.S., but after an hour or so the Aca was much more intense. If you are going to try one of our 1999 wines over the holidays, I suggest our 1999 Zin. It will please with all this holiday food.



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