|Friday January 21, 2005|
Things have been real slow around here. Except for last weekends WinerWineland, people in the valley have been non existent. With little to do, I have now started tax planning. Even though I have an accountant to prepare my taxes now, I have to go through all my credit cards and categorize all deductibles. With the expense of a new bottling line and a new solar system, I must figure out if my cashflow will cover the expenses. Otherwise I will have to borrow more money.
Our solar system will control the main building which includes our office with all the computers. More than half our PG&E bill will be supplemented. We are also in the process of installing a generator backup for the same building. This building also includes our residence.
We have finished labeling our new 2004 Late Harvest Sauv Blanc so it is now officially for sale at $18 a half bottle.
Friday February 4, 2005
As I said there is little going on this time of year, so I have to make up things, by being creative. WELL, unless a scenario is presented to me I am useless. Give me several possibilities (like multiple choice) I am OK, but give me an essay to write, I am worthless. SOSOO to write something in this diary this time of year is hard for me.
We all have our problems we'd not want to talk about. Hidden secrets that even our closest friends would be surprised at. Not necessarily with me. I have secrets I would not like to divulge, but I am sure they would be comparable with most of yours. BUT I am starting a new diary which could interest some of you. I am not sure I will publish it, but I will be honest. Hey you know I am pretty outspoken and honest already. So it Is not necessarily any great thing. If it is released it will be awhile.
OK it is slow, so I have to tell the story about Freeman Toyota of Santa Rosa California. Some of you in Sonoma County know it is a big dealership that includes Lexus. After my dealings with them in the last 13 months, I can see they have become un-caring. To put it a different way, they must have enough money.
I bought a 2000 Rav 4 for Kate in 2001. She was 16. The dealership was Freeman Toyota of Santa Rosa. It was Kate's choice and I approved, because I test drove it and decided it was a safe car. We had an anti-theft system installed a few months after which failed in 2003. I suspected it was out of warranty, but I hoped it would be covered under a safety item. You see, the back door could not be opened from the anti-theft remote or safety switches inside the car. Kate and I brought the car in for an estimate and was not told we were required to pay the $49.50 fee until six months later. Here is all the correspondence between me and Freeman Toyota.
From Shelly Campbell Freeman Toyota June 16 2004: On December 19,
2003, you dropped your vehicle at out Service Department for an estimate
for repairs. To date we have not received payment for this repair order.
I have enclosed a copy for your records. Shelly goes on to demand $49.50,
or it would be sent to collections. This was the first time I had been
presented with a bill. The date on the estimate invoice was the same date,
June 16, that the letter was dated. I thought I had settled the matter
a few days later when I visited the dealership. Now 6 months later I received
a letter from a collections company demanding $52.37. Here is a copy of
the letter I sent to Gene Jones, the Service Manager.
January 21, 2005
Dear David Coffaro:
January 24, 2005
Monday February 7, 2005
I have been in contact with Brendan's restaurant and a friend regarding the possibility in selling them wine. Actually our friend who I will call "P" Has obtained a permit in order to sell wine. I believe he wants to sell a great deal out of State. In total it could amount to 500 cases. I have ten extra barrels (250 Potential Cases) of a blend that we decided not to sell at this time. It consists mostly of Doug Rafanelli Cabernet with Sangiovese and Touriga Nacional. Brendan has played around with adding 6 barrels of 2004 Bernier's Zinfandel. The zinfandel fruit has definitely improved the potential blend. So most likely I will be adding the Bernier and then we would be sold out of the wine. For now I have removed the 2004 Bernier's Zinfandel from our order form. Brendan's restaurant would have us bottle some wine under their label. "P" wants some of this blend and also wants a Zinfandel to sell. Most likely, if this arrangement works out, I will sell "P" some of our 2004 "My Zin" under his label. I was planing to produce 416 cases of "My Zin" and at this time we have sold 155 cases. I believe it is one of our best wines this year, but if "P" wants 150 cases we would still have about 75 cases left after my library take. Both Brendan and "P" must give me a commitment before Barrel tasting weekend March 4 thru 6.
I have finished revising all the statistics for our 2004 wines. Check out the .pdf. Besides the blending I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I have made a decision regarding our Aca Modot. This 2005 vintage will be the last for that wine as we know it. In the Fall we will be removing all the Cabernet and most of the Cab Franc. The vines are dying and we will be replanting the site to Cab Franc and Zinfandel. I have plenty of newly planted Cabernet and Petit Verdot which should be producing fruit next year. I will use that fruit to continue our Aca Modot program. Until the new cab franc comes on, the blend will consist mostly of Cabernet with some Merlot and a little cab franc and petit verdot. Later this Month we will be removing all our 100 vines of Malbec. Last year those vines only produced 280 pounds, enough to contribute only 9 cases to the Aca Modot blend. This Spring we will plant more Barbera in that area.
This year I have decided to add a barrel of the Doug Rafanelli Cabernet to the Aca Modot. This will bring the percent of cabernet up to 50% which is about what we have used in the past. This 2004 wine will no longer be Estate, but I will have an extra 25 cases to sell. We have not been selling the 2004 Aca Modot for months, but now I have put it back up on our Futures Form. I also have calculated that we have about 20 cases of Barbera to sell, so that 2004 wine is back on the form also.
I know some of you like to hear what I think of the 2004 barrel samples so I will say a few words now. The wines that are the most interesting to me are as follows: Carignan, Sangiovese, Block 4, My Zin, Estate Cuvee and Escuro. After 5 months in the barrel I can safely say this vintage is as good as the 2003. The Estate Zin, Petite Sirah and Cabernet are really coming on so I may change my mind. I like the 2003 petite sirah and Cabernet so much that is hard to believe that the 2004 versions will be as good, but time will tell. I do know that both those 2004 wines will be more balanced than the 2003s and thus be more to your liking. The wines I have not mentioned are the Aca Modot, barbera, terre melange and Bernier zin, mainly because I have not tasted them much. I am not particularly a Barbera fan nor am I a Rhone fan so the Terre Melange and Barbera probably won't be my favorites, although many of the customers who were in this weekend loved both those wines. I did taste the Aca Modot last night and thought it had great potential.
Besides the 2003 Petite Sirah and Cabernet, my favorite 2003s are the Block 4, My Zin and Estate Cuvee. Depending on my mood any of these wines could be my favorite on any given night. Last night we opened the Petite Sirah, Cabernet and Block 4 and I preferred the Petite. Of course this was after drinking a few glasses of champagne. I'll probably open a My Zin tonight with my left over stew. One thing about all the 2003 wines is that they hold up well. Most of them are just as enjoyable the second and third night. They do lose fruit, but they become softer and even more complex.
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