Press Release (ePRNews.com) - NOVATO, Calif. - Jun 21, 2017 - Mantra Wines winemakers and owners Dez and Mike Kuimelis, Jr., opened a tasting room and event space on June 8—occupying the historic First National Bank building on the corner of Grant and Machin Avenues in Historic Downtown Novato. To reflect their love of Marin’s natural beauty and as a nod to the orchards that once blanketed Novato, the interior is furnished with redwood and walnut slabs on the tables, bars and walls. They will be hosting a grand opening celebration with barrel tasting, music and prizes on Saturday June 24th.
“We feel so fortunate to be able to share our wines with our home community,” said owner, Mike Kuimelis. “Dez and I both grew up in southern Marin and moved to Novato 10 years ago. We love the small town feel of the central downtown and in many ways we see it as the gateway to the wine country – so it was a perfect spot to open the Mantra Tasting Room.”
After graduating from Saint Mary’s college, Mike Jr. served in the Peace Corps from 1991 to 1994 and was assigned to work on agricultural projects in rural Guatemala. Upon his return he enrolled in a graduate program at Mills College designed for students with non-science college degrees who want to enter medical school. He soon met Dez who was studying Forestry at Cal Berkeley. Two years later, while Mike was applying to medical school, they moved to Healdsburg, where he took the opportunity to help manage his parents’ vineyards that he had known since childhood. His father, Mike Sr. – who immigrated from Greece when he was 12 – and Mike’s stepmom, Lorene, where long time residents of Mill Valley but started growing grapes in Sonoma County in 1978. Since then they have had their premium grapes turned into many award-winning wines by a host of noted winemakers including Mike Jr.
While assisting with vineyards, Mike Jr. became more and more drawn to the art and science of winemaking and soon fell in love with the process – ultimately setting aside his ambitions for medical school. He hasn’t looked back since. In 2000, Mantra Wines was established and Mike Jr. turned his focus to winemaking fulltime. It has been a family collaboration with Mike Jr. as the winemaker, forklift driver, and sales team; Dez as the all around support crew; and Mike Sr. and Lorene as the grape growers.
Mantra’s Cabernet and Merlot both recently won best of class and gold medals at the California State Fair wine tasting competition. In previous years, Wine and Spirits Magazine declared Mantra Zinfandel as one the “Year’s Best”. The Connoisseur’s Guideto California Wine awarded their Syrah with 93 points. Another of their Cabernets was featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Sunset magazine in addition to receiving a gold medal at the Sunset International Wine Competition. Noted wine critic Robert Parker Jr. has praised Mantra Wines with the following descriptions:
“These juicy cabernets emphasize loads of fruit, impressive purity, and beautiful texture…”
– Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate
“Hedonistic, smoky, full-bodied, voluptuously texted flavors…”
– Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate
Mantra is dedicated to producing wines that reflect the unique characteristics of their high elevation vineyard sites located in Cloverdale, Geyserville and Healdsburg. Many of their wines are produced from the best blocks of their mountain-top and hillside vineyards, which are farmed to rigorous specifications by Mike St. to produce their ultra-premium wines. The Mantra Wines Tasting Room will offer many choices of their premium wines from their three labels: Mantra, Mobius and Big Ridge.
The Tasting Room
Managed by Novato resident, Hilary Kinney, Mantra Tasting Room is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. The beautiful space is also available to rent for large parties or for smaller groups. Options include the ‘Red Room’ with a 12 foot custom walnut slab table that can seat up to 14 – perfect for meetings and private tastings; the more intimate ‘Indigo Room’; and the ‘Back 40’ with a separate bar and shuffleboard.
The tasting room is located in old town Novato at 881 Grant Avenue. For more information call 415-892-9463 or visit their website at www.mantrawines.com