David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

April, 2009 

Thursday April 9, 2009

Pat and I have been real busy visiting our Daughter Kate in San Francisco. We are trying to line her up with a place to live there. She has taken a job in Oakland and needs to be near a Bart stop.

When we are here we have also been working 11 hours a day to arrange the new 2009 Futures orders and get out our first shipment of Dave's wine Club next Thursday.

Matt, Catarino and Salvador just finished racking our 2008 wines for the last time until they go into bottle in July. They will be a little rough to taste for a week but I was impressed even after I tasted them in tank this week. Of course racking means we put all the barrels of each wine in a tank to aerate them and back in barrel for another 3 months. Young wines need to be shook up every three months. This time we left about 2 gallons in the bottom of each barrel to make sure the wine is clear as possible. That 2 gallons of slightly cloudy wine will go into a barrel to settle and the clear wine generated will be used for our 2008 Zp2C. 

Monday April 20, 2009

We have been to San Francisco 3 times in the last 10 days. It takes over 90 minutes to get there and if you have been to The City you know that is just the beginning! San Francisco is only 7.5 miles square but in some places it can take 10 minutes to travel a mile. We looked at condos and houses yesterday, maybe to purchase. It is scary there.....a starter house is usually at $800,000 with no privacy and 1200 sg ft, 2 bedrooms and one bath.  Occasionally at a little more you can get 3 bedrooms. One parking place is usual but not certain, especially with condos. Condos can offer a little more but you have to share and the prices are similar. To get a house with a few extras you have to pay closer to $1,000,000. We saw two houses yesterday for over a Mill that were unlivable. An investor would have to put 200 thousand in to them just to live in. It is amazing in S.F., we don't think prices are down much. Places over 1 mill do take more creativity to get financing thus they have come down as much as 20%. We may make an offer today, long story.

I went out on my tractor Saturday and blew a lot of sulfur around. As I have said in the past we have to control mildew on wine grapes and sulfur dust is one way to accomplish this. If mildew develops the grapes can not be harvested. Only 10 pounds per acre is required so only a fine dust is visible on the grape vines. While out in the vineyard I noticed the pinot in the first block was growing the fastest. We are hoping to get a whole barrel of Pinot wine this year. Shoots on most vines are out only a few inches but what I can see so far, the amount of crop looks average which means we should have another great year. 

April 20th is the anniversary of the frost that occurred last year and destroyed 20% of our crop. Hopefully the threat of frost is over for this year.

Tuesday April 21, 2009

I am excited!! We just got it confirmed that an offer we put on a property in San Francisco was accepted. I just have to come up with the financing. My accountant wants us to show little profit but we have plenty of equity in a 25 acre winery and vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. I will make it happen. I am happy for my Daughter Kate since the property is in an area where there is a great deal of activity for young people. Time will tell!! Now I have to find out whether Susie can use my help. 

If you have noticed the weather here has become what we usually get in the months of July and August....high of 95 during the day and a low near 50 at night. We need the cold nights to grow premium grapes and we have it now and hopefully forever.


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