Kevin & Karen Kohlman
Meet the owners, Karen and Kevin Kohlman. Both grew up in San Diego, attending High School together and marrying in 1982. Karen’s family the week following the wedding, moved to Roseburg, with her 2 brothers and 2 sisters, leaving her to the joys of a new life with Kevin, in southern California. Both fostered careers, Karen in Banking and Real Estate, Kevin in Engineering. In 1985 Tyler arrived as a new bundle of joy, while Kevin was finishing his undergraduate work. Completing a degree in chemistry, the first career change, moved the young family to Washington state, where in 1991 Daniel joined the Kohlman clan, and Karen’s life as a fulltime mom became reality. In 1996 the career again moved the family to Orange county, California, where Kevin’s new role took him throughout the state, to many California wineries doing engineering work and servicing accounts.
The “Wine Bug” grew as Kevin became familiar with many winemakers and owners, solving engineering problems for them and learning the wine business from the “backrooms.” As Kevin’s career grew to a more regional role, the drive to live the “wine Lifestyle” and the need to only be near an airport became the ability to live where wine grows, and start establishing our vineyard. Legacy Vineyards began in 1999 with the purchase of the land and the initial planting of Pinot Noir in the Iron Wheel Vineyard. The Kohlman’s bought this site after literally searching high and low, and throughout three states, for the right location to grow “the right” varietals and their two young boys, Tyler and Daniel. As providence would have it, “high” was found to be the right location to grow our distinctive varietals in the unique style that we have come to be known by.
Karen was a busy mom with both boys involved in all the athletic activities, school, and a fulltime job, when the dream of vineyard ownership burst upon the seen. Having moved several times chasing Kevin’s career in heavy industrial engineering/consulting, and the associated daily travel requirements that go with that line of work, Karen found the new lifestyle enabled her to follow her passion for animals; dogs, cats, horses, cattle, chickens, etc. Adding to the daily tasks, managing a new vineyard, and keeping the wildlife at bay till the deer fencing was complete made for some very long days, where the boys took to “chores” and Karen managed even more than a growing family. Kevin’s passion for great wines, turned to establishing our farming abilities, choosing the right varietals, and making wine that would capture the uniqueness of this location. The boys grew, the vines thrived, the animals multiplied, weddings occurred and grandchildren laugh today in the old barn that has become the not only the tasting room, but the venue where the wine lifestyle has taken root.
Spire Mountain cellars is a family winery located on the foothill of Tyee mountain in Oakland, Oregon. Presently, our estate wines consist of Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, and our “Tricycle” Rose. We also offer distinctive Oregon Dry Riesling, and Oregon Pinot Gris to round out our offering of five unique wines. 2013 Pinot Noir Growing at 1200 feet elevation, on a multifaceted southeast slope, at the northwestern edge of the Umpqua Valley AVA, lends our growing season to warm days and cold nights, perfect for our varietals, and differentiating them from all others, especially our Pinot Noir and Tempranillo. Our wines hold their natural acidity, achieving high ripeness, complex structure, and incredible aromatics, all reflecting the high mountain niche that is Spire Mountain Cellars. We manage our vines to low yields of high quality and let the variations of our terrior’ dictate the style of wine vintage by vintage. We presently have 4 acres of Pinot Noir, 9 acres of Tempranillo, 1 acre of Grenache, and some small plantings of other varietals. We average 1000 cases a year of “vintage true” wines, giving the unique experience of hand crafted wines, served by family and friends active in the vintage development, in a setting built with our own hands.
Kevin Kohlman prepared for a private tasting at the Benicia Marina