|Monday July 8, 2002
|5:45 Am: Brendan just showed up for our big day of bottling.
He is cleaning one of our tanks to hold our Terre Melange.
Saturday we finished bottling 393 cases of 2001 Carignan. As usual it was a confusing, disjointed day. Again, like last year we had trouble with the fill level in the bottles. But unlike last year the problem was not our bottle size. After having constant trouble with the wine foaming in the bottle, just before the cork went in, I discovered that the wine from the tank was running into the filler too fast. When we slowed the rate that the wine went in, our problem was solved. In all it took us over 6 hours to bottle the 393 cases. Since we hope to bottle about 840 cases today, things better go well.
Saturday I turned on the inside camera and today I decided to zoom in for a closer view. The quality is not great and we will improve it eventually, but at least we are sending a picture every 7 min. all over the world.
7:15 Am: We just finished putting about 85 cases of our 2001 Pinot in our small tank. We will start bottling this wine first today. Next the 430 cases of 2001 Terre Melange will go into our medium tank and next we will put about 330 cases of 2001 Aca Modot in our big tank. We just brought down our big tank since we will need it tomorrow when we bottle about 950 cases of our Estate Zinfandel.
7:30 Am: Our first problem occurred. Our label company wound our pinot labels on the roll backwards. This required us to rewind the roll by hand which took 30 min.
8:00 Am: We have started bottling our 2001 Pinot Noir. Hopefully we will be finished in one hour. We are now filling the medium tank with the terre melange.
9:10 Am: After a slight delay because we ran out of labels for the Pinot, we have now started bottling the terre melange. The last few cases we just labeled the pinot with avery stickers. I will drink these cases so there was no concern. It just took us a few minutes to figure out what action the take. The terre melange should take over 4 hours to finish.
11:45 Am: Everything seems to be going along relatively well. we are about half way through with the terre melange. We just spent some time talking about the weather outside. The forecast is for much warmer temperatures in the next few days. So, we have made a decision to move our big tank inside for tomorrow. That tank is needed to bottle our Zinfandel and Estate Cuvee, because it will hold up to 1000 cases. The winery will be kept at 70 degrees which will be fine for bottling. Our two smaller outside tanks are temperature controlled.
2:15 Pm: At 2 :15 we started our 2001 Aca Modot hopefully we will done before 6 Pm.
7:45 Pm: Those of you looking at the camera will notice that the winery finally went dark at 7:30 Pm. That is a day that started at 5:45 Am; who says we don't work hard once in awhile (G). Brendan is now over taking a shower and I have been preparing dinner. Of course we will be having our 2001 Aca Modot, Pinot and Terre Melange. I can't believe how different and interesting these wines are. Tomorrow we will start at 5:30 am splashing our 2001 Zinfandel into the big tank that is now situated inside our winery. Tomorrow will be the longest day!!
Tuesday July 9, 2002
Today was the longest day. Some of you might have noticed that I turned on the camera at 5:00Am. To tell you the truth: I can't remember when I turned on the camera in the winery, but I do know I was there at that time. I turned on our $12,000 pump and it would not start. I found out immediately that the wires on the control were stripped out of the box. I foolishly spent 30 frantic minutes trying to figure out where the three wires should be replaced to. Finally I asked myself: "what am I doing". "I need to find a way to displace this wine into this tank!!!!" It dawned on me that I needed to use our old pump that was still fast enough to work OK.
At 8:25 Am we started bottling our 2001 Estate Zinfandel. We ended up at 6:25 Pm with 965 cases. At 10:25PM tonight I am obviously too tired to write more. Tomorrow we will bottle our Block 4 and Petite Sirah.
Today, we sent out an e-mail informing that we will be open for the next few weekends for tasting of these newly bottled wines. We hope to see some of you.
Wednesday July 10, 2002
We finished bottling today about 4 Pm. That does not mean that I stopped working. Brendan took off early today again since he is mainly involved in putting the wine in the tanks, cleaning the barrels and setting up for the re-stacking of the empty barrels. I've been putting the bottled wine away and ultimately stacking the empty barrels. After today, we have bottled a very little extra Petite Sirah and a little more Block 4. We have been sold out of each of these wines for months, but will have a small amount for sale now and through the week-end.
I know that I should not get into politics, but I will state the facts. As some of you know, way back 40 years ago I started following the Market and made a living at it in the 70's. I have kept track of all the trends in the stock market even though I have very little of my money in it at this time. I should write a book regarding all my research, but like some of us, I don't follow my own advise. Here is what I said right after we finally had a president elected back in December of 2000
Thursday, December 14, 2000
Tomorrow is another big day. We bottle our 2001 Estate Cuvee. Since we will be bottling about 940 cases it will be another very long day. I plan on getting up at 5 Am and Brendan will be here at 6 followed by Steve at 6:30 and Caterino at 7 Am.
Thursday July 11, 2002
This whole week has become a blur. BUT I will remember almost all of it. This morning I was awakened by my neighbor's tractor at 1:30 AM. He does like to work in the morning!!! I got little sleep after that, but I did get up at 4:45 AM. By 4:55 I was transferring our 2001 Estate Cuvee into the big tank. The whole process of racking into the tank, took less than two hours. By 8: 10 AM we were bottling. At 4 PM we were through bottling 938 cases. Tomorrow we will tackle our Syrah. Then I will blend all the ZP2C.
Friday July 12, 2002
6:50 Am: The 2001 Syrah has already gone in the big tank. Now Brendan is racking the ZP2C barrels. The wine that was settled from all the barrels blended in January is pretty clean (meaning little sediment). Then Brendan is very slowly racking the clear ZP2C off all the wine from the bottom of the barrels that we racked in April. There is a good amount of lees (sediment) in the bottom of these barrels. Now Caterino will dump this sediment into a bin and take it out into the vineyard. If you are looking at the camera now, you will see this action.
7:40 Am: Now we have all the ZP2C into our medium tank. It looks like we will have between 11 and 12 barrels of clean wine. We also collected 2.5 barrels of equal parts of all the bottom of the barrels used to bottle this week. That could give us enough wine to bottle up to 350 cases of ZP2C in August. The question is; do we want to bottle that much wine OR save some for topping 2002 barrels later this year?
8:40 Am: Brendan is now through cleaning the last of the empty barrels, so I will switch the camera into the building. We are about half through bottling the syrah.
9:20 Am: An interesting thing just happened: Brendan found some full bottles of wine in our recycling bin, outside. Yes, these bottles were outside in the elements last week, during our 110 degree weather. He did say they were on the bottom of the bin, covered by other empty bottles. There were 6 bottles of 2000 Aca Modot and 6 bottles of 2000 Pinot. All the corks look fine (I love Neocork; they seal tight). It will be interesting to see how they compare to my cellared wine.
9:40 Am: We are finished bottling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We got 191 cases of syrah today. Brendan is now filling barrels with our newly blended 2001 ZP2C. We will age this wine for another month.
3:00 Pm: I just wanted to remind any of you, who may be interested in purchasing any of these 2001 wines we just bottled this week, that our prices will go up tomorrow morning to $18. Some additional wine, which was sold out earlier this year and last, will be sold at $22 with Aca Modot and Block 4 at $25.
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