Ophir Wines Logo

Turning Juice into Wine

Mike is our winemaker, with some assistance from Craig. Mike is the one who reads and researches to find better ways to make the best wines our grapes will give us. He unselfishly takes responsibility for tasting the wines produced from Rhône varieties in California, France and Australia. While he acknowledges that great wines start in the vineyard, he also points out to the grape grower partners that careful crafting and informed intuition in the winery bring out the best from the grapes each year. Mike believes better and more interesting wines can be made by blending small amounts of complementary wines into the primary wine to enhance its complexity and balance. So our 2002 Syrah contains a little Zinfandel to accent the aroma and a little Petite Sirah to affirm the structure. Each year he looks for the right match-up of fruit, yeasts, fermentation techniques, barrels and blends to create wine that shows the grapes to best advantage.

Mike got started in wine making in the early '70's, in the Santa Clara Valley, which was known for wine before computer chips were invented. There he learned the basics from Thomas Kruse and worked for the Gemello Winery in Mountain View. He had attended UC Davis, home of the best known Viticulture & Enology department in the world, but studied political science as an undergraduate and so returned to his alma mater to take wine making classes through UCD Extension.

mike as a performance artist

Ever true-to-form, Mike makes his debut as a performance artist in the window of his sister's bookstore, Mrs. Dalloway's, on College Avenue in Berkeley.

Privacy Policy
Contact Us