When we started PrimeCellar in 2008 we tasted hundreds of wines that we bought from local retailers and from trade tastings; our goal was to find exciting California wines of high quality, from small boutique producers that were just getting started, just as we were.
The wines from Kokomo Winery in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma immediately caught our attention, so we made an appointment to visit. We were warmly greeted by the young owner/winemaker Erik Miller and his partner, wine grower in Dry Creek for four generations, Randy Peters and after tasting their new releases, we were able to sign them up to represent them in Asia. Erik and Randy have teamed up to make many great wines in the last 8 years, from Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhone blends, Dry Muscat and of course the most famous grape from Dry Creek Zinfandel! As Erik’s family of wines has grown in the last 8 years so has his real family; he and his wife Kimia now have two young boys named Milo and Oden.
When you are in charge of a small family winery with two young sons it is hard to get away and travel to places like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China but we have finally arranged to have him come and visit Asia and you, our customers for the first time. We are very excited to have you meet him and taste his wine at our events as he is a very nice approachable person as well as very talented.
For a little background I asked Erik a few questions about his path to California and Winemaking. The first thing to know is that he came from the city of Kokomo, in the State of Indiana USA. Most of us have no idea where that is, but I’m sure they are very proud of him in Kokomo Indiana! I asked him the following questions…
What was the first wine that rocked your world?
Erik…Ch. Angelus from St-Emilion in Bordeaux, I forget the vintage but I was still living in Indiana.
How did you get started with Randy?
Erik…I bought fruit from Randy in 2005 and there was an immediate connection between us.
Why did you pick Dry Creek?
Erik…It picked me! I did my first harvest at Belevedere Winery in Russian River and for my second vintage I worked in the cellar at Amphora in Dry Creek. I formed relationships that I continue to have to this day.
Are you happy with your development as a winemaker, size of the winery and all that goes along with that?
Erik…I definitely am. We make around 8,500 cases that allows me to be very hands on. I could see growing a bit more but I do not want to lose sight of quality.
Do you have any future goals for you and the winery?
Erik… Yes, to become known as one of the best winemakers in Sonoma County! Develop Kokomo into one of the premium brands of the region.
What is your favorite wine to make, drink at home and favorite foods to enjoy with?
Erik…My favorite wine to make would be old vine Zinfandel that is co-fermented with Petite Sirah and Carrignan. I feel like it is a tribute to Dry Creek Valley, where it is known to grow the best Zinfandel in the wolrd! I love the diversity of Zin when pairing with foods. Some of my favorite pairing is Zinfandel with a hearty Bolognese sauce and of course grilled meats from the BBQ!
We invite you to come meet Erik and taste his wine at our Hong Kong events and absolutely come to visit Kokomo on your next visit to Sonoma. It is here that you will always experience a warm welcome from Ross the tasting room manager, the Kokomo team and taste some delicious wines.
One of my close friends here at my day job is a huge fan of the Kokomo wines and his quote to me is right on the money…
“I’ve been tasting at Kokomo Winery since 2008 and there is one thing you can count on vintage after vintage. Progressively better wine! Erik and Randy Peters are a powerhouse team that creates complex wines that are fun and friendly.”
Jordan Stone- K&L Wine Merchants Wine Sales Department
I invite you to come meet Erik and I at our events in Hong Kong.
Cheers to you! Ralph Sands