Seaside’s simple, beautiful wines make their debut by Lori Leath Smith
Seaside’s new, private-label collection of hand-selected wines made its debut and is now available by the glass or bottle at Seaside merchants including Modica Market, The Shrimp Shack, Bud & Alley’s, Great Southern Café and Amavida Coffee & Tea.
Exclusive to Seaside, wine enthusiasts may choose from among their favorite varieties including a sauvignon blanc, a crisp chardonnay, pinot noir, cuvée and a light, red zinfandel.
The sauvignon blanc has a depth of palate with loads of complexity that is typically not seen from the varietal. With aromas of pear, apricot, guava and a hint of tangerine, the palate showcases rich and round notes of citrus finishing with vibrant balanced acidity. The coastal chardonnay is broad and expansive offering pure rich layered notes of peach, nectarine, honeydew and creamy vanilla. Cool, foggy mornings and warm afternoons, coupled with long hang time, allow for perfectly balanced tannins and a consistently classy finish for the pinot noir; the aromatics of cherry cola, exotic spices, ripe plum and hint of rose petals gives this wine the power of elegance and complexity. The zinfandel offers a ravishing display of ruby red color that leads into a pleasant bouquet of blackberry fruit, cocoa, and holiday spice, and while sipping, your palette will be delighted by blackberries and plum, refined tannins, a full body and a finish that lingers. The cuvée is produced from a unique blend of vineyards and varietals from throughout Sonoma County. Stemming from its close proximity to the coast, the county experiences diverse microclimates and contains a vast range of soil types, thus resulting in the vineyards showcasing the area’s versatility. Vines are certified organic and 100 percent dry farmed to showcase the true essence of the varietal.
This Seaside family of wines, called the Wine Project, was hand-picked by Seaside founders Robert and Daryl Davis to appeal to the continual interest and demand from patrons and visitors for the best-tasting and highest-quality wines. After taste-testing numerous varieties from various wineries, the choice was made to form a partnership with Kokomo Winery in Sonoma, Calif.
The partnership with Kokomo Winery is a perfect fit: The idea of Seaside began with the notion of reviving traditions deeply rooted in the history of the Florida Gulf Coast and further fulfilling the dream of a place that would maintain a high degree of quality and character seamlessly tied by a common sense of community. The vision was realized in the early 1980s when the Davises began to create a town on the 80 acres of pristine property located near Seagrove Beach that Robert Davis inherited from his grandfather. Today, that place is Seaside, a new urbanist community where families longing for the comforting throwback to simpler times by the sea can still experience a simple, beautiful life.
Similar in vision, Kokomo Winery is rediscovering and reviving traditional techniques of growing grapes locally and making wine that are deeply rooted in the
terroir (a French word for land, referring to the special characteristics of a specific land’s geography and environment) of Sonoma, just as Seaside has rediscovered and revived Gulf Coast architecture and community building.
Owner and Winemaker Erik Miller focuses the production of his single-vineyard wines on the special characteristics and qualities from the natural terrain and the climate of Sonoma County and its distinct appellations to offer flavorful, balanced, handcrafted wines. Miller says there are no shortcuts and Kokomo leaves its thumbprint off the wine in order to showcase the fruit and flavors that are born in the vineyard.
Kokomo believes small production techniques and relationships with growers allow the winery to produce and offer wines that are as individual and special as the vineyards from which they were born.
Named after Miller’s hometown, Kokomo, Ind., the winery is perched on 120 acres of prime Dry Creek Valley known as Timber Crest Farms. This unique and scenic property possesses a rich history in Sonoma County dating back to the mid-1800s. With nearly 40 years of wine grape growing experience under his belt, Miller says Kokomo Winery continues to gain more 90+ ratings and gold medals with each anticipated release.