A person meditating

A Walk in the Park

Last Sunday morning a group of us met at the winery and caravanned up to Deer Park Monastery north of Escondido. The Monastery was established in 2000 by Thich Nhat Hanh and covers over 400 acres high up in the hills. For those of you who were considering joining us but didn’t go, you missed a GREAT day. After parking, we hiked up a hill about 1/3 mile to the meeting area where over 150 people from all walks of…

0
Read More

Bling and More Bling

About 10 days ago, I was up in Sonoma drinking some fine wine and hanging out with some friends in the vineyard. What I didn’t tell you last week was why I was up there and how important of a trip it really was for me and some very special people. Last year through a “small world” connection, I met Bill, Mark, and Jeff who approached me and Koi Zen about a collaborative project; they were looking for a partner…

0
Read More

Baby Grapes Have Arrived

I spent last weekend hanging out in Sonoma with some friends planning some really cool stuff that you will hear about in a week or so, but the house we stayed in is in the middle of a large vineyard. As we sat on the back patio around the fire pit amongst the vines, Mark said, “Ya, it doesn’t suck to live here”. All around us were thousands of vines each with tiny clusters of grapes starting to form. These…

0
Read More

5 Years Ago, Today…

5 years ago, I stood in the parking lot puffing on what was to be my last cigarette. I was nervous. My heart was racing and my mind spinning. The words I hear moments ago rattled me to the core. I snubbed the cigarette and walked through the Emergency Room doors and admitted myself. The day before was a Sunday and I woke up feeling a little weird, like when you sleep funny and you feel all scrunchy and numb.…

1
Read More

Sad Times and Sad People

On Monday, Lisa was opening the winery for a yoga class and discovered that the winery had been broken into. The window next to the front door had been smashed and there was glass all over the floor. She called me immediately called me and I raced over with my heart in my throat.   We looked around and tried to figure out what happened while we waited for the police to arrive. The damage was not too bad and…

0
Read More

Hurry Up and Wait

I have heard the expression “hurry up and wait” over and over while working with the military for over 20 years and the same expression is true around the winery.  Wine takes time to mature, parts have long lead times and staffing and space utilization are always a challenge.   Just as in life, getting all of the pieces staged and in place is often a challenge and frustration. Our current dilemma is waiting for more corks, capsules, and bottles…

0
Read More

We Crushed It!

Earlier in the month, the NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service) released the 2018 Grape Crush Report which is an impressive 164 pages of all kinds of geeky information. The bottom line is that California Crushed (processed) 4,506,583 tons of grapes in 2018! That is up 4.6% over 2017 which was also a bumper crop and so was 2016.   Now let me tell you, that is a lot of grapes. Last year, Koi Zen Cellars processed 53 tons of fruit…

0
Read More

Get The Franc Out!

Pre-dawn one cold morning last November, Steve and I were standing in the Camp Four vineyard in Santa Ynez staring at 12 macro bins heaping with Cabernet Franc grapes. I was contracted for 12,000 pounds but what stood before us was a whole lot more.  We loaded the trailer and it groaned and complained but we were on the road, at least for a little while.   We traveled a few miles and then pulled into a gas station to…

0
Read More

What’s Up Bud?

As the weather warms and the winter clouds begin to fade, the grape vines are waking up. The vineyards have soaked up the winter rains that will nourish the plants throughout the summer. As the sun warms the vineyard and the temperature rises, sap in the vines begins to flow from the root to the tip. The sap carries water, nutrients, and stored carbohydrates from the roots into the trunk and then out the cordons which look like the arms…

0
Read More

Rack and Roll

As spring rolls in, it’s time to rack and roll in the cellar. The 2017 wine is getting ready for bottling and the 2018 wine is waking up and growing up. The French call this process elvage which is comparable to the word “raising” as in raising a child. This is the period of time when adolescent wine begins to mature.   This is also an ideal time to check the young wines progress. For the last few days, we…

0
Read More

Hours

Monday – closed (Private Events Only)

Tuesday – 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Wednesday – 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Thursday – 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Friday – 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday – 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sunday – 12:00 – 6:00 pm

Visit Us

12225 World Trade Drive, Suite P

San Diego, CA 92128

858.381.CORK(2675)

When you need a break from shopping in Carmel Mountain, just swing on over to visit. We’d love to show you around.

Get Directionsgoogle maps

Stay Informed

Receive our famous Zen Times Newsletter