|Tuesday March 2, 2010
I hate trivia!! I know little about Facebook but we just joined. Like Twitter I suspect it is just trivia. I appreciate communicating to everyone so I will not be critical and I will do the best to answer all questions, but I will leave it to Cindi, Pat and Matt to post most of the information. Of course I will supervise most that is uploaded to our facebook site, but I will give free access to Cindi, Pat and Matt. It will be a joint effort. We hope to have many friends and fans join us. I am excited to participate in the next century. It will be fun.
Susie comes home today from Washington. We are hoping she has come home to help at barrel tasting, but we suspect she is here mainly to watch the Academy Awards with us Sunday evening. Pat and I have seen 8 of the nominated movies for best picture. I think Susie has seen at least that many. I know Susie and I disagree on our assessment of The Hurt Locker. I thought it was one of the movies I have enjoyed the least in the last several years. She thinks it should win best picture. We disagree again regarding Avitar. I think it should win best picture and I think Susie did not like it. We should have fun.
Today will be a big day!! Before picking up Susie at 4pm, all of us around here have to get everything set up for Barrel Tasting. We are doing something new this year. In the past we have served all our Futures samples but this year we have 14 possible Futures to purchase. We know several people who come in to taste are only here for the festivities including rock videos on out big screen and not interested in purchasing so this year we have divided the barrels into two areas. One area will consist of 8 of our most popular featured wines and the second area will be marked "Futures special tasting". We suspect less than half will taste from both areas. We have also decided to feature our 2006 My Zin at $20 before discount. That wine along with the 2009 My Zin barrel sample will be served outside near the food. Come join us.
Wednesday March 10, 2010
We are still recovering from last weekend. We had about 2,000 potential customers come through to taste out of our barrels. Our sales were up over 50% from last year so it appears the economy for wine is increasing. We had many positive responses about the wines and soon I should be able to report on the sales for each wine. Pat is now busy putting the Saturday orders into the computer. I am now off to Costco to purchase some goodies. I love Costco!! I love spending money.
Thursday March 11, 2010
Pat has put in all the orders for our Futures from the Barrel Tasting event last weekend. Some of the results are interesting. The biggest surprise for me was how well the 2009 Carignan sold and also the Lagrein, Sera-Sera and Terre Melange. Here is the results in percent for bottles sold for the 2009 Futures: Block 4, 11.8%; Carignan 10.5%; Aca Modot, 9.7%; Estate Cuvee, 9%; Sera-Sera, 9%; Lagrein, 7.7%; Terre Melange 7.2%; Cabernet, 7.1%; Barbera, 7%; Zinfandel 5.8%; Escuro, 4.8%; Petite Sirah, 4.4% and My Zin, 4.1%. We also sold 2.1% Pinot even though we are almost sold out and only served it to those who asked. We are now getting ready to do it again starting tomorrow.
Wednesday March 17, 2010
I have preliminary results for Friday and Saturday, the second week of barrel tasting. I am very surprised that it looks like our 2009 Carignan was the best seller. I should have the complete results by the end of the week.
I know I have friends who read this diary and have strong opinions about politics like I do. I know many friends do not agree with some of my leanings. I also understand the economy a little since I have an economics minor. I have forgot most of what I learned since I graduated in 1967 but I remember the basics. I was taught to balance the budget. That is why I have been opposed to what the Republicans have tried to do over my life time. Until this Democrat presidency the Republicans were the primary party to run up the deficit. Dwight Eisenhower was last Republican President to preside over a balanced budget. He had a balanced budget in 1956 and 1957. Since then, there have been two presidents to preside over balanced budgets, LBJ in 1969 and Clinton in 1998 through 2001. During the last 40 years there have been five budget surpluses, all five were under Democratic Presidents: 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. Sure the Republican reasons were either to pay for the WARS or give tax cuts. The Obama presidency inherited some problems from the last Republican administration but I agree the deficit has increased dramatically in the last year. I was born in 1943 so I was barely around back when Roosevelt died in 1945, but I know that his administration ran up the deficit. It worked then when we needed to stimulate the economy during the depression. I remember the past and I believe as do all leading economists that we are on the right track now because we need to stimulate again. The economy is improving and the Republicans will tell you we have made a mistake but the bottom line is "Are we better off today then we were a year ago"? I know some of you want to give tax cuts to the rich and that will trickle down and make everyone rich, but I believe in the Future and the rich people are already well off. I believe if we give a little to the people in need then it will truly trickle down. We can not suppress the poor forever. I believe that that along with greed will eventually be our failure. I know I am naive since people have been suppressed for centuries and it has worked so far. Have you heard all the talk about Costa Rica lately? They have no military and cover 98% of their people with health insurance. Maybe we can make a small start on that track. This is just my Naive opinions but remember this is my diary and I write this for me.
Friday March 19, 2010
I have final numbers for the second weekend of Barrel Tasting. We had a tie for the top three wines. The 2009 Block 4, 2009 Carignan and 2009 Sera-Sera each had about 12% each accounting for over one third of our sales. The 2009 Aca Modot and My Zin had about 8% each and the Cabernet, Estate Cuvee and Zinfandel sold about 7% each followed by the Barbera, Escuro, Terre Melange and Lagrein. The 2009 Petite Sirah sold a little less. We had another successful week end.
On March 29 we will start selling our 2010 Pre-Harvest Futures. Remember this is the best time to purchase since we will start off at prices that are $3 less than the 2009 Futures are sold now. You can always come by after harvest and taste and change your order. At this time I am only projecting to produce 4,000 cases so we may sell out of some of these wines before we harvest. The ones that I intend to produce that will be in short supply, only 98 cases each, are the 2010 Lagrein, 2010 Zp2C, our new Estate Sauv Blanc and our first 2010 Petit Verdot. I am cutting back on production of our 2010 Block 4 also. In the past few years I have been integrating into the Block 4 the vines in our First Block which is an old section of mixed vines. I have decided to sell that Block One to Bruce The Wine Guerrilla so our 2010 Block 4 will go back to being all from our Block 4 section, a true field blend.
The other day I was looking through some old records and I was shocked to find out that a third of our Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 2003 is not Clone 6. Unfortunately Steve who is no longer with us had made a mistake and labeled the vines as Clone 6 when they are really Clone 4, originally cuttings propagated from Argentina. The quality in the clone 4 section sure looks great and produced the best wine in 2009 so I am not unhappy. BUT as some of you know I had done a lot of research on Clone 6 and had found out the grapes from those vines in other vineyards have yielded the least and produced the best wines of any of the Cabernet clones.
After many hours of thought and after fixing the label on our 2009 Cabernet to reflect the change to Clone 4, I have decided to plant some Clone 6 Cabernet in our vineyard. I have some old vines that were planted in 1983 near our Aca Modot site in very rocky soil. The Cabernet Franc, Merlot and especially the Petit Verdot from that area produced the smallest crop in our vineyard. A few years ago we planted additional Cab Franc and Petit Verdot in another good section of our vineyard so I have enough potential fruit now that I can afford to bud over the vines in the Aca Modot section to Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon. Those 1983 vines were originally planted 7 feet apart so we have room to plant new vines of Clone 6 in-between the older vines. This should produce about 2.5 tons of fruit enough to bottle about 150 cases in a few years. We will start budding and planting next week.
Also next week we will plant 3 rows of Syrah and 5 rows of Sauv Blanc in our sandy loam near the creek. We are so impressed with our new clone of Zinfandel planted in the Aca Modot section that we are budding over 12 rows of Petite Sirah to this clone of Zinfandel. That should grow enough fruit in two or three years to produce over 300 cases. Right now we are producing a few barrels of this Zin exclusively for our Dave's Wine Club. I also have been so impressed with the fruit from our Lagrein vines that I have decided to bud over 2 rows of Tannat, one row of Sangiovese and two rows of Touriga to Lagrein. I am extremely impressed with our 2009 Lagrein and we will now start producing one each year.
Thursday March 25, 2010
The very first sparkling wine:Monday March 29, 2010
Our 2010 Pre-Harvest Futures offer started today and we have received several offers already. We are planning to produce far less wine this year so some of the wines may sell out before May 31. If not we will continue to sell our Futures at higher prices in June.
Pat and I are amazed at the video we have on display about our first sparkling wine. Matt did not tell us he was recording until a few seconds before we started. We have had fun watching it. The wine will age at least another 5 months before we disgorge and cap back up. Matt and I will decide to add some sugar or not. I prefer it the way it tasted the other day.
Catarino and I have changed our mind regarding the budding and planting of the dormant vines. I have now planned to keep the Merlot and instead bud over a few vines of Barbera. I believe we have enough Barbera to satisfy our customers. We have also decided to bud over one row of Peloursin to Cabernet Clone 6. We have plenty of grapes to go into our Terre Melange where the Peloursin has been used. We have a large 19 foot avenue between our old vines and our new planting of Lagrein. We found out that we have enough dormant Clone 6 cabernet to plant a row with 200 vines 7 feet away from the Lagrein. That will still leave us 12 feet in-between the old vines and new. In a few years we should have about two tons of Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon and we may bottle up 100 cases and sell it for $150 like BV Vinyards......no just kidding, probably about $20 on Futures. As I have said before I want to be known as being generous, not greedy.
Tuesday March 30, 2010
I am soon to be 67 Years Old on May 3rd. I have worked hard to achieve what I think is something I can be proud of. First of all I have two wonderful daughters, one 22 and one soon to be 25 AND Pat is still willing to put up with me after soon to be 37 years. And I have a business that is doing well. SO it is time to buy a new BMW!!
Yes I ordered the new 2011 5 series BMW, to be delivered in June. I purchased my first 5 Series in 2003 and my second in 2006. I have been very satisfied with both machines. BMW has lowered their price on this new model by as much as $2000 dollars. That is the good news. The bad news is that to get back what I had last time I have to order a PACKAGE!! I remember back when I purchased a 1963 Ford Galaxy. It cost me $4,000 dollars. I know the last word after $ was a little redundant, bare with me. That Ford cost me an $87 a month payment. I had it covered. I was working at the Post Office in San Francisco from 5:30 until 11:30. I barely made enough to pay off my XL. But I did have some great Sweet Potato pie and met some great people. That is the time when some of us in the Post office back in the 60's decided we needed to check out the Raiders. I was not one of those until 1967 when Fred convinced Wally and I to travel all the way to Oregon to see a pre Season game in Portland. It was the first trip that the three of us would take and after we had some memorable adventures. But I am getting ahead of myself. More about Oregon at another time.......
Ok back to BMW. That Ford Galaxy XL was a great car, but I had to purchase packages even back then. I was always a Ford fan because they would give us more options. Sure it might cost us more in the end but we had a better car, far more than GM and Chrysler. Then the Corvette came around in 1963 and 1964 but I am getting ahead of myself.........................
Well you got it, BMW now is doing what I think Ford did then with newer high tech toys, at least in my opinion and that is important since I want to please myself. BMW is creating packages that like Ford in the past gives you free things that may or not be want you need. How about a package that includes cameras all around the auto to help you see better but requires additional packages if you want: Lane departure warning, Automatic headlights, Active blind side detection, Parking assistant, or Night vision with pedestrian detection. Then you can also get Vibrating and ventilated seats to soothe you, Power rear seat shades, Retractable headlight washers, Soft close doors, Increased top speed limiter and much more. One of the options I do like is the Dynamic handling package which has some important features but also includes a function that lets you vary your ride. I hope it doesn't let you vary my Ultimate Driving Machine to ride like a Lexus. Most of the packages include things that I don't want or need like many I mentioned earlier, but since some of them are included, why not accept them. I will receive about half of what I mentioned by ordering more important things I did not mention. With these toys and many others, it is easy to raise the price of the car by $15,000. I will have fun. I like to spend money!!
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