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Meet Lisa and Darius Miller of Koi Zen Cellars Craft Winery in Carmel Mountain Ranch

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa and Darius  Miller.

Uncork, Sip Back and Relax! That is the motto at Koi Zen Cellars Craft Winery. They are a hidden gem in a business park in Carmel Mountain Ranch near Rancho Bernardo. After years in high stress corporate environment and a stress related serious health scare husband and wife Darius and Lisa decided to follow their passion for wine and the concept for Koi Zen Cellars was born. “We wanted to create a space where people can escape from life for a moment, reconnect with family and friends and enjoy a glass of craft wine. Our relaxing, tranquil tasting room is an extension of us and is very inviting”, says Lisa. They create award winning, small batch craft wines sourcing grapes from the highest quality vineyards in Sonoma, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Lodi & Napa. Grapes are shipped to the local winery then crushed, fermented, aged, barreled and bottled in the facility. The Name came from the Koi Pond that Darius built years ago and it is where Darius and Lisa relax with a glass of wine after a busy day.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road has been relativity smooth. The support from the community has been overwhelming positive. The hardest part has been getting the word out about our “nontraditional” winery. Most people don’t think of a business park when they think of wine. So educating wine lovers and having them experience this different way of tasting wine has been the biggest challenge.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Koi Zen Cellars Craft Winery story. Tell us more about the business.
Koi Zen Cellars Inc. is a Craft Winery located in San Diego California. We produce white and red wines with grapes sourced from various regions in California such as Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Lodi, Sonoma and Sierra Foothills. We specialize in fruit forward, easy drinking approachable but unique wines. We have become known for our easy going, relaxed environment with great tasting wines. A community place to reconnect with others.

We are most proud of the community connections we have made both with our guests that visit the winery and with the local businesses we support either by carrying their products, fundraisers we donate to or host or by joint ventures that support both businesses.

I think our brand and everything that encompasses that “uncork, sip back and relax” is what sets us apart from other wineries. Wine is one aspect of that but the events that we hold, the speakers that we bring in and our tasting room atmosphere all encompass the Koi Zen Cellars brand.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think the industry will shift and create craft wines that will be enjoyable by the younger new wine drinkers. These wines will be craft wines, small unique batches. I also think wines will be available in a variety of containers other than bottles. I know our company has a product that is wine that will go anywhere you go!


  • Our craft wines range in price from $22 to $35 and are made to enjoy now and also lay down for a few years

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lisa K

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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