“Have mercy!” It’s a plea for compassion, and when made by vintners to the universe, speaks volumes about capricious weather, fluctuations in the market and other assorted adventures from vine to bottle to glass to palate.
Mike Kohne, 35, of Alameda, and his business partners, Alan Phillips and Mark Dirickson, have taken up the challenge and formed Mercy Vineyards, the very name a little plea for kindness from the four seasons, and in return, they are bottling up velvety Pinot Noirs and creamy Chards from their Arroyo Seco vineyards. “It’s a tribute to Mother Nature,” says Kohne. “We are at her whim.”
Kohne is the Alameda connection; he lives here with his young family and has been bottling and blending since Rosenblum days, with a stint with Beringer and other winemakers before that. The three business partners and friends have some 80 years experience all together in winemaking and found an under-appreciation for Monterey County’s small appellations. In pursuit of their passion, the gentlemen have been at the forefront of showcasing the qualities of wine from the region, and, Kohne says, have scored high marks in competition, especially with their pinots. Their Chardonnay won best of show at 2011’s Orange County Wine Competition. “We wanted to do something we believe in, and to champion an area,” says Kohne of the vineyard venture.
You can sip Mercy wines locally at Angela’s Bistro any time, and by appointment, Kohne will pour out a tasting for you and your friends. They deliver by the case locally, too. So you can have Mercy, any time you like.
Mercy Vineyards, (831) 233-6756, www.mercywines.com