Mike Kuimelis Jr. is the winemaker and founder of Mantra and Mobius Wines of Sonoma County. At the impressionable age of 10, during the first crush of his family’s grapes, Mike met an enthusiastic winemaker and remembers thinking, “Now that’s what I wanna do when I grow up!”. He eventually ditched his plans for medical school and put the same level of intensity into making wine, alternative medicine you may say.
Since that time Mike has interned at various wineries and managed the family vineyards. 17 years after his epiphany, at age 27, Mike started making his own wine…in the garage. The first year, in 1995, he made one barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon from his father’s mountain top vineyard, the next year he made 2 barrels etc., until finally in 2000, Mantra Wines was born with 200 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon from their Alexander Valley estate vineyard. Since then his wines have been described as “Sexy and hedonistic” by Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate and Zinfandel of the Year by Wine and Spirits magazine. In 2007 he started Mobius Wines that compliment the lineup of the Mantra estate wines.
Thirty five years have passed since the family’s first crush and Mike now produces 10 different wines under both labels that are sold across the country. Mantra Wines is truly a family owned and operated winery, with Mike making the wine, his parents managing the vineyards, his wife helping with marketing and the day-to-day details of the business, and Nikos, his 10 year old son, is the official grape sampler and helps during harvest.