David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Weeks 20 -21
May 16, 2004 to May 29, 2004 

  Wednesday May 19, 2004

Tomorrow I go to a dentist to have dental implants installed. I don't know what to call the piece of metal that will be installed. It looks like a bolt or screw that is implanted into bone. Then a crown is attached in 4 months by screwing into the bolt. Actually my procedure is more involved than usual since extra bone will be installed into my sinuses. As you can tell, I know little about what will go on, except to know that I will be in a lot of pain for a few weeks. I'll have to consume many bottles of wine. 

To complicate the situation more, in a few weeks, I may be having constructive surgery on my whole mouth. For years each dentist I have visited has said that I grind my teeth at night. I sleep very lightly at night so I found it hard to believe that I would not have noticed my grinding. Finally I have a new dentist who disagrees with everyone else. Hopefully, he is not into just collecting a few more bucks. Maybe I should get a second opinion. Or would that be a 10th opinion, considering all the dentists that have had the wrong opinion? Here are some of the facts: 

I have thought for all my life that my crowns are too high. Every time I have had a new crown installed, I have had to make many visits back to dentists to complain about pain. All my crowns have had to be adjusted down because they were too high. I have had to compromise with all these dentists. They all have insisted that my bite was correct and they did not want to grind down the high spot on the crown. Reluctantly, they have adjusted a little, but not enough. According to my new dentist, F, over the years my bite has moved forward to my front teeth in order to avoid hitting my back teeth. That has caused me to wear my front teeth down to as much as 50% of what they were. Now, F wants to replace all my crowns in the back and veneer the front teeth so that my bite is right again. At first a connected temporary will be fitted over the front teeth while more evaluation is done. I won't be able to pull, tear, or chew hard breads with my front teeth. Maybe I should ask him if he should adjust all the back teeth first? If I do have all this work done, I will be eating softer foods for 6 to 8 months. 

By the way, F did say that I could have braces fitted and wear them for 18 months, and thus less re-constructive surgery would be necessary; but I informed him that I was too old for braces. It looks like I will be consuming even more wine. 

Sunday May 23, 2004

Well I made it through my dental surgery. The pain has actually been less than I expected. I do have some swelling and I have been taking 600 mgs of Ibuprofen every 5 hours. I also have consumed about a bottle of wine every evening. I don't have much pain then. I have many stitches in place so that is bothering me now, but I have avoided chewing on my right side where the surgery was done. One bothering thing is that I like to sleep on my right side and that has been hard to accomplish without pressure on my jaw and thus more pain. I suspect the worst is over. Now I must decide on whether to go for the alterations of the crowns. 

Brad has been here and we have installed a wireless router and the winery camera is back up. Now we should be safe from viruses. 

Wednesday May 26, 2004

This has been a difficult day and I still have a headache. I must document it in chronological order. BUT I must say at first, my cat was bit by a Rattle Snake. 

7:00 Am: I was down in the office on time and I decided to check out the Raider highlights and was surprised that Gannon was still our starting QB. 

8:00 Am: Steve arrived to spray roundup in order to kill our weeds. As I have said before, Steve is like me: Tractor work is little fun. We enjoy some, but not all chores. 

9:00 Am: Ken and his partner showed up to do some Audio Video work. I've bought a little LCD display for my kitchen, long story. 

10:00 Am: Things get complicated! I can't begin to describe everything. Ken is having problems. 
Then,  routinely, I decide to call regarding my corks and capsules; and much more happened. 

11:00 Am: Things get even more complicated! Ray is here to do an article on me and I find out that my artificial corks and capsules were not ordered. Wow what a shock. I called and found out that the sales people did not place the order in time. 

12:00 Pm: I have to be nice to Ray, but I am getting a headache. I need to call  to see about getting a different cork and capsule. 

12:30 Pm: Ken is still having big problems, but I don't have time to deal with him. I take care of Ray, but I am more concerned with finding a replacement for my corks and capsules. 

2:00 Pm: Ken has more problems, but he leaves with solving some of the problems, but gives me a bill for $2000. ( Long Story). Steve and I joke we are in the wrong business. A real joke, because I love what I am doing. 

I get a hold of Ramondin, my past capsule supplier, and they say no problem: " We can get you the capsules on time". Just about the same time, my Neocork supplier shows up in person and says he was just in the area. I had called him earlier and left a message. He was so nice even though I had considered to use one of his competitors. ( He had no idea, I was considering switching to the other artificial cork supplier until now they flaked out) He was concerned that I was going to 50% screwcaps, but did not show much. He actually was very upfront and said that screwcaps may age my wine longer. ( Long story). 

5:00 Pm: There was much more that happened in-between, but at this time, Steve started to leave and abruptly came back and quietly called me out to the vineyard. He did not want to alarm Pat. He brought me out to see a small rattle snake (It did not look small to me, about two feet long) He wanted to know if I wanted to just move it out in the vineyard so it could survive in a safer area for us. I said NO and he easily killed it with a shovel. I had planned to never tell Susie or Pat. 

7:20 Pm: Pat and I are just ready for dinner when Susie runs up with Leroy our 10 month Siamese. She says he does not want to eat and his head is swollen. I have to immediately confess that a rattler was found on are property for the first time in 26 years. As a matter of fact, I have only seen 4 snakes in all the years, and they were not Rattlers. Maybe climate changes have brought us deer and Rattlers in the past 10 years and never before on the Valley floor where we are. 

7:25 Pm: Pat was concerned, but did not feel we should be rushing off. Susie and I are very quick at times. We were off in a flash to a Vet and Pat was wondering what was going on. 

9:00 Pm: Susie and I head home with bad news. All this seemed like an eternity. Leroy was probably bitten by the snake. They plan on observing him and will get back to us. They were very professional and helpful. We were told there was an anti-venom that was ONLY used on dogs. I immediately asked "Why not for cats?" I was told that it was risky and would probably cause allergic reactions. I took that to mean, dogs were more important. The nurse did check with a doctor who was at a movie (Wow, he called back in 15 min). 

11:30 Pm: I just received a call from the VET. Leroy is not doing well. Now she does want to give him the anti-venom. She has got approval from the other doctor. They will administer small doses at first and they hope he will take it well. If he can take the first doses, he has a chance. I still have hope. 

Thursday May 27, 2004

7:00 Am: Leroy is doing better! After I had little sleep, I just called and found out his swelling has gone down and he even ate a little. That is a good sign. I have a dental appointment to remove my stitches today so I may be able to pick him up in the afternoon. He took the anti venom well. I was told we were lucky that we got him there so soon and I was told they were the only hospital that carries the serum. The doctor had never administered the anti-venom before. There are so many emergency vets so it is amazing we picked the right one. 

Saturday May 29, 2004 

Leroy came home yesterday and seems to be fully recovered. He wants to go outside, but we are holding him in for a while. Pat says I hope he lasts for awhile after paying $1,000 to save his life. I agree, but it is only money.

June 1 will be the last day to order 2004 pre-harvest wines at present prices. On average prices will only rise by 50 cents a bottle. After bottling in July we will not be offering our newly bottled 2003 wines. We have decided to hold them back until an open house event on November 14. Those of you who have bought these 2003 Futures will still be able to pick up their wine any day after bottling. Although we probably won't have the wines available for tasting. Remember all of you will have a choice of selecting corked wine or screwcaps. If not specified, you will receive equal amounts of both closures. We have decided to hold back the tasting of our 2003 wines until November because we have many of our 2002 wines still for sale and we will be harvesting from late August until November. Actually Pat and I have decided to drive across the USA from July 21 until mid August. Steve should be here most days so wine pick-up will still be available.

It appears that we will now start our Summer weather patterns. The forecast is for high temperatures to head into the 90s by tomorrow. We are still at least two weeks ahead of schedule and if this keeps up we will be harvesting Zinfandel on the last few days of August.


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