|Thursday May 31, 2001
The temperature here yesterday was 108. It was already 100 at 11 Am this morning. I haven't sulfured for two weeks so there shouldn't be much damage to the vines. When we have temps over 105 we can see some damage. The bunches on our zin vines seem to be filling out nicely, but I want to wait another week before I make any predictions on the crop level.
This last week, I have been pursuing the possibility of high speed internet. Last Friday a Starband dish (two way wireless) was installed on the side of our building. The installer spent 5 hrs trying to find a signal off one of the satellites, but was unsuccessful. He came back Tuesday and had no luck also. He wants to move the dish, but that will create many holes in the side of my house. I want him to find a signal first so he is coming back today to set up the dish first somewhere in my driveway. We have replaced everything including the dish and receiver so it must be the location.
Tomorrow we are dropping our offer on our 2001 pre harvest futures for now. I want to see how the crop potential comes along. Those of you who still have not ordered may still call for current prices. I noticed that at this time last year we were selling our 1999 wines for $17. Therefore, starting with June first we will raise our prices by 50 cents on our 2000 wines. This will still put us 50 cents under last year at this time and with ZP2C being $1.50 less. I am determined to keep my prices down.
Saturday June 1, 2001
I was just out in our vineyard to turn on the drip. We did have a high temperature reading on Thursday of 107. I only water on the weekend, because that preserves energy and also the rates are 1/5 the cost of irrigating between noon and 6 pm during the week days. I did sneak a peek at the vines while I was out there. My initial indication today is that we will have a bigger crop than last year. That isn't saying much since last year was one of the three lowest yielding crops in my 22 years here. Even though the total zin bunches are probably less than last year, they seem to be filling out well and are longer. I can safely predict that the carignan level will be the heaviest since 1997. This is no surprise since the last three years has been the lowest crops of carignan since I have been here. The cab and petite sirah look promising, but since these bunches are real small, I will need time to see what happens. The Aca Modot area looks real good with the petite verdot, cab franc and malbec all looking heavy. I may have to thin some bunches. The barbera also looks good in that area. The Block 4 is hard to predict since a great deal of fruit comes from the three clones of petite sirah, but we should be able to service those of you on our waiting list.
The syrah is another matter. I had planned to produce 180 cases this year, but we have already sold 165 cases of 2001 syrah. I am not going to buy anymore fruit next year so the syrah I do buy this year will be our last. I have told Simpson that he may sell some of his syrah fruit to another winery. I may have to ask for a little more from him. We will have a small crop of estate syrah, but that won't make much difference. I will be making a new blended estate wine next year which will contain syrah, mourvedre, carignan, petite sirah and zinfandel--all from our vineyard.
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