Discover the brilliant individuals behind the Wine and Food Festival event. Find out how these people have honed their craft into an art.
Perched on 120 acres of prime Dry Creek Valley east benchland vineyards known as Timber Crest Farms, Kokomo Winery concentrates on small production, single-vineyard wines. Started in 2004 with the production of a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Kokomo Winery focuses their terroir-driven philosophy on Sonoma County and its distinct appellations.
Owner and winemaker Erik Miller named the winery after his hometown of Kokomo, IN, and decided on a Coastal Cypress Tree for the logo to signify his move out west. Erik and his best friend from Purdue, Josh Bartels, who serves as Kokomo’s assistant winemaker, partner with legendary grower Randy Peters, who has nearly forty years of wine grape-growing experience under his belt. The three have formed quite the successful alliance, as Kokomo Winery has now joined the elite boutique wineries of Sonoma County, gaining more 90+ ratings and gold medals with each anticipated release.
A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Randy became interested in wine during a three-year stay in Chile while on sabbatical from college in the early 1970’s. On his return to the United States, he entered Ohio State University to study crop production with a specialty in Viticulture and Enology. After six years as a vineyard manager and winemaker in Ohio and New York, Randy moved to California to become winemaker at De Loach Vineyards in Sonoma County where the wines produced during his tenure were consistent gold medal winners at wine competitions.
Randy joined Kendall-Jackson in 1992, becoming winemaster in 1997.
Kendall-Jackson (founded in 1982) produces an array of super-premium wines whose quality, taste and integrity embody the very spirit of founder Jess Jackson’s vision.