Kokomo Winery, named in honor of winemaker/owner Erik Miller’s hometown in Indiana, is perched on a lovely 120 acres of prime DCV East Benchland vineyards, estate-centric, small-production, totally local with approximately 70% of the grapes used being either owned or under stewardship to Miller and partner/grower Randy Peters, fourth generation grower here and totally local, too. Assistant Winemaker, Josh Bartels, was roommates with Erik at Purdue University where they met- now he produces ultra-premium wines in CA and moved his wife 2000 miles west to do so. The TR and Wine Club Lounge are RIGHT inside the winery- there is no veneer here, and the actual workings are completely visible. Famous Winery Dog, Rooty, 8-year-old male chocolate Lab, green tennis ball in mouth, adds to the TR fun, pushing his ball to me with his nose while I taste through the Kokomo wines, experiencing Peace, Love & Pinot as well as feeling their Inspiration through Fermentation. TR Staff is incredibly hospitable, helpful and knowledgeable. Lots of interesting merchandise and TR things to entertain and inform, not to mention a seasonal vineyard tour with Erik centering on harvest. When Erik moved from Kokomo, IN to the West Coast, he chose the Central Coast Cypress as his symbol of that move; it can be found on his labels, and also makes me think of the Beach Boys and their Kokomo song that I cannot get out of my head…of course, the song Kokomo is fictional, as only Kokomo, IN and HI exist.
Here’s looking at you, kids.