David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 26
June 25, 2000 to July 1, 2000 

Monday, June 26, 2000 

Many of you have asked questions about our unique field blend wine called "Block 4". I will now provide a little history. 

There are 7 blocks or sections in our Estate Vineyard. The third and fourth block are in the middle of our vineyard and have similar soil. I believe some or all of these vines were planted 100 years ago. The third block consists of 2.33 acres of Zinfandel on the north side and .67 acres of Carignan on the south side. The 4th block has slightly more well drained soil and consists of 1.67 acres of Zinfandel on the south side and on the north side, 1.33 acres (a mixture of several varietals). This north side of the 4th block is very unique since it consists of at least 7 different varieties. Some family came in here and planted, intermingled, 3 different varieties of Petite Sirah (40%), Zinfandel (40%), and 50 vines a piece of Syrah, Valdiguie, Carignan, and maybe another 50 that have not been identified yet. Doug Nalle from Nalle Winery purchased these grapes from 1991 through 1998 (Gallo before that). Our 1994 Estate Cuvee consisted of 13% from this block and not until 1999 did we use this fruit again. Our 1999 Estate Cuvee once again received some fruit from this section 15% (1.4 tons) and the rest .75 tons (50 cases) has been used in our 1999 Block 4. 

The grapes from this section are harvested all at once (field blend) and fermented together. None of the varieties (clones or varietals) at harvest are ripe at the right time. Two of the clones of Petite Sirah have a sugar content of 21 to 22%, one clone is harvested the same time and has a sugar content of 25%. The Zinfandel at harvest is probably 24+, but the Carignan is 22%. The Valdiguie is 21, but the Syrah is probably the highest at 26%. We are aiming for 24% on average so it all seems to work out. I have been down playing this section for years, because I would rather harvest separately and blend later. In 1994 I isolated three clones from this section and harvested this fruit at optimum sugar starting in 1995. I have been very impressed with the grapes from these new sections, but I am even more impressed with the 50 cases we have produced in 1999 from the original section ( Block 4). Unfortunately we are sold out in 1999, but we hope to produce more in 2000 and maybe even more in 2001. The most that could be produced from this section is 250 cases. 



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