Kohill Winery Review
Address: 17211 Highlander Drive Ramona,California 92065.
Phone Number: 760-787-1042
Tasting Hours: Sat-Sun 12:00-5:00
Region: South Coast and S. California, Ramona Valley AVA, California
Review Date: 5/24/2014
On a recent trip to the San Diego area one of the items on our “must do” list was a revisit to our beloved Cordiano Winery in California’s San Pasqual Valley. With a beautiful, cloudless southern sky above us and the winding road before us, we headed east from Rancho Bernardo into the hills of the San Pasqual Valley with the idea of visiting Cordiano as well as at least one new winery in this rapidly expanding wine region. As luck would have it, we returned home with another gem on our “must do” list for our next visit to the area.
Winding our way east of the Cordiano Winery through the high hills and into the Ramona Valley AVA, we discovered a diamond in the rough atop a hill overlooking the Valley of the Sun. Kohill Winery, co-owned by Mike and Aurora Kopp, derived its name from the combination of their family name and the winery location.
In 2000, following their family dream, Mike and Aurora purchased eight acres of property to create a destination winery and vineyard. They first designed and built their own home on the property in 2001. Work on the vineyard began in 2002 with the planting of 450 Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Soon Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera, Refosco and Semillon followed as did the construction of a 1,400-square-foot winery. The first releases came in 2008 with 50 cases of a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangiovese blend that is named Aurora’s Red as well as 15 cases of 2007 Sauvignon Blanc.
The views from the property are astounding, and the mission-style tasting room/winery is very inviting with the patio providing northern views. There is a small gift area for those interested in that kind of thing. This was the first gift shop I have been in with some very unique earrings.
On our visit we were able to have some quality one on one with the owner/winemaker Mike Kopp, who also was our server. It doesn’t get any more personal than this. They own it, they make it and they serve it.
While we enjoyed all the wines that we tried at Kohill, several deserve a special mention.
Our favorite Kohill white was the 2010 Estate Sauvignon Blanc. This vintage is a blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon. It is clean, crisp and slightly sweet with a hint of citrus.
Another nice white is the Kohill 2009 Sweet Aurora. This vintage is a blend of 61% Sauvignon and 39% Semillon. It is a dessert wine and is sweet but not over-the-top sweet. There is honeysuckle on the nose and hints of banana on the palate.
The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon smells of oak, begins with the taste of cherry and finishes with a nice hint of spice.
Our favorite red was the 2008 Aurora’s Red. It was an instant hit with everyone at our table. A blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Syrah and 5% Viognier, the 2008 is very well-balanced. We really enjoyed the hint of roasted coffee and chocolate on the nose. The finish lingered and was extremely pleasant. This was my purchase to take home for the evening.
While they have sold out of their 2008 Estate Barbera, the other guests ensured me that it was a delight and that they wish they could get their hands on more. It was also clear that Kohill is drawing a following of its own among the 20 or so wineries in the Ramona AVA as well as those who like myself have had the privilege to discover this gem. I am anxious to see what this relatively new kid on the block will do in the future. It bet that whatever it is, it will be good.