Kokomo Culinary is a collaboration between winemaker, Erik Miller, and food industry veteran, Dale Peters. These two have combined their experience to create a sustainable food and condiment company based in Sonoma County, California.
Erik Miller is the owner and winemaker of Kokomo Winery in Dry Creek Valley in Healdsburg, California. His idea for Kokomo Culinary came to him when he was contemplating how he could further his sustainable practices at the winery. With access to such high quality fruit he knew there was a potential to create additional desirable food products from the excess fruit that was not used in the winemaking.
Erik teamed up with his good friend Dale Peters, who manages Timber Crest Farms, and who until 2003 was the Plant Engineer for their “Sonoma Brand” packaging, canning and organic fruit processing facilities. With help from Dale’s many years of experience in food production, Kokomo Culinary was able to launch its first product, Kokomo Verjus, in 2012.
Kokomo Verjus is a product derived from the love of food, abundance of our county, and a commitment to sustainability as a winemaker.
Verjus, the pressed juice of unripe wine grapes, is a natural form of acid that enhances the flavors of fresh ingredients in cooking.
Wine grapes have an abundance of acidity, which is what makes them so desirable for making world-class wines. This acidity is what allows wine, or any other form of the pressed grape juice, to pair so beautifully with food. We harvest our wine grapes to produce verjus at the highest point of acidity to make a product that is both flavorful and complimentary to food and wine.
Wine grapes are often thinned from the vines in mid-summer to reduce the crop load, a common practice in cultivating premium quality wine grapes. These thinned grapes are high in acid and low in sugar, and are handpicked from the vine during veraison to be pressed into verjus. By creating verjus from this initial harvest of green grapes, we ensure that no grapes go to waste in the vineyard.
Verjus has a natural acidity and a subtle, tart flavor, which makes it a wonderful compliment to many foods. When used in place of vinegar or lemon juice, it brightens a dish by enhancing, rather than competing with, the natural flavors of the fresh ingredients. Verjus adds the touch of acidity to food that helps showcase the farm-fresh quality of the fruits and vegetables you use in your cooking.
Kokomo Culinary strives to utilize all available resources in the winery and vineyards, to create zero waste. Our fruit is wholly grown on our property in Dry Creek Valley.