David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 5
January 30, 2000 to February 5, 2000 

Tuesday February 1, 2000

I thought I could file my income taxes by February 15 without paying my last estimated payment as long as I paid all that was due. I was wrong! I found out I should have filed by Jan 31. I don't know how any business could file if we just got our final 1099s yesterday. I'll be hard at work tomorrow to scrape some money together to make my payment(I must draw some money from our line of credit). Of course I could raise my prices up to $50 per bottle or higher as some of my local competitors, but I am sure I would lose most of you and attract others. I want to keep you, so I will continue to borrow money when I need it. After all our 2000 offer will commence @ $12.60 per bottle in the middle of April. Hopefully many of you will still have faith in me to invest in my FUTURE! 

I opened a 1998 Carignan and a 1998 Estate Cuvee tonight. I went off my diet a little and had 6 ounces of roast potato with Lamb. I still only consumed 50 carbos today. I tried them blind again and still had trouble telling them apart. The estate cuvee still has not developed enough complexity. The 1998 Carignan is very dark tasting this year, unlike the 1999. The 1999 is only 13.1 Alc with more fresh fruit. Maybe I will have less trouble identifying one from the other next year at this time.([:-))::: 

Thursday February 3, 2000

I finished my income tax returns yesterday and of course I feel a great relief, even though I had to pay money. We're usually so busy that I never have to think about what to do next. Income taxes are like that at this time of year. It's always in the back of my mind to finish by April 15th which is a bad time of the year for us because it's just before the annual Passport event. Now that I've finished my income taxes, I actually have time to reflect on what we must accomplish before the Barrel Tasting and Passport events this spring. This Saturday we will be closed because it's my mother's birthday, but we will be open on the 12th, 19th and 26th for appointments, leading up to the Barrel Tasting event on March 4-5. 

We bottled our dry Sauvignon Blanc and Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc today. We don't have the labels for these wines yet and thus won't be able to release the wines for at least two months. It is a great satisfaction to know that the wine is now in the bottle and we can open up a bottle for anyone interested in tasting. We will continue to sell the Sauvignon Blanc on a futures basis for $11 until we receive our labels. We only have for sale this year 150 half bottles (375 ml) of the Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. Initially, if anyone is interested in buying up to three bottles of this wine, we will be selling it at $18 a bottle. We do have a short list of people who have already asked about purchasing this wine and we will be offering it to them at this time as well. Since we have so few bottles, we will not be able to serve it either at the Barrel Tasting or the Passport events. After we receive the labels, we will be selling the LH Sauv Blanc at $20 a half bottle to anyone who visits the winery or asks about it. Steve, Brendan and I tasted it today and thought it was showing very well at this point. Obviously, after bottle aging for a while it should be much better. The residual sugar is 15.2 and the alcohol is 12.6. 

As I mentioned, my mother's birthday is Saturday. She will be 78 this year. My sister is having a dinner for her and we will thus be traveling to Orinda for the party. Since my sister is having Italian food, it will be my first big test of my willpower to stay on my diet. At this time, I'm trying to follow the Atkins' diet as close as possible and as many of you know, this is a diet consisting of virtually no carbohydrates. One small helping of pasta, (one ounce of pasta is 21 Carbohydrates one ounce of bread is 16--even after losing your weight you are only allowed 60 all day) completely throws you off the diet for that day. Since any type of meat or even fish has virtually no carbohydrates, I should be able to get along just fine. My sister told me she was having Chicken, so even if it is served over pasta I can pick it off. What is great about this diet is that all fats have no carbos and cheese has virtually none and nuts have few. I love blue cheese dressing so I have been having a salad virtually every night. This is by far the easiest diet I have ever been on and if it works I figure it will be easy to be on the rest of my life. Unlike most of you I can do without pasta. The carbohydrates I have been consuming most of my life have been rice, potatoes, candy, and pasta--especially pizza and bread. I have decided to give up candy, rice and pasta. I still want to consume some bread which is the only thing in pizza that has alot of carbos. Any meat on pizza, any cheese, or olive oil is fine. Even the tomato sauce is low, but it is the crust that is extremely high. I love roast potatoes and pizza and I won't give them up, but I will have only one of them per week until I lose 50 pounds. I know most of you think this diet is crazy and unhealthy, but just read the Atkins book and you may change your mind. I really think there is a misconception on wine also and how it effects the body. Most of you have heard that wine or alcohol converts to sugar. I believe that is totally wrong, because dry wine such as ours has no carbos in it. I do believe that it is the first thing that has to be metabolized and that does delay the burning up of other calories. In that way it does work similar to carbohydrates. BUT I AM NOT GIVING UP MY WINE! Since I am taking two tablespoons of psyllium husks and plenty of vitamins which should give me plenty of fiber and nutrients, I am willing to stay on this diet to see if it works. I have lost 15 lbs, but have 35 more to go. I could go on with far more detail, but I would like to see if any of you will give me some feedback. I have heard that the Atkins diet is not just any fad diet and that it does work for some people. Wouldn't it be wonderful that what we  have heard all our life about low fat high carbo diets has been wrong for some of us. 

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