by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos provided by Koi Zen Cellars

Sip Back and Relax

Koi Zen Cellars Is a Place for the Community to Come Together and Enjoy Great Wine

mp_koizen4In 2014, husband and wife Darius and Lisa K. Miller opened the doors to Koi Zen Cellars, a craft winery in Carmel Mountain Ranch. Since then, Koi Zen Cellars has become a staple in the local community – a place where people can “sip back and relax” while drinking great wine. “We start with the highest quality grapes from award-winning California vineyards located in Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Lodi, and Sonoma. Purchasing grapes from all over California gives us a nice variety of wines to offer. We’ve processed 43 tons of fruit so far this year,” revealed Lisa.

Darius is the winemaker and specializes in Bordeaux style wines, though according to Lisa, Darius’ blends are also very popular, as are Malbec, Mourvedre, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Koi Zen Cellars wines have received silver and gold medals in regional and state competitions. “Our wine label has won Best of Show in the Orange County Wine Competition, and we received San Diego’s Best Local Winery in the San Diego Union Tribune Readers’ Poll,” related Lisa.


“We start with the highest quality grapes from award-winning California vineyards… Purchasing grapes from all over California gives us a nice variety of wines to offer.”

The inspiration for Koi Zen Cellars was born out of Lisa and Darius’ desire to retire into the wine industry. “Darius was in corporate America with a high-stress computer career. After a few life-changing events, we decided to pursue our dream. The name Koi Zen comes from the koi pond Darius built in our backyard years ago. We called it our ‘zen place,’” stated Lisa. The atmosphere at Koi Zen Cellars is welcoming and relaxing. It is also a place where guests can learn about wines and discover their wine palates.


Lisa and Darius partner with other local businesses and often host fundraisers where a percentage of the wine sales go back to the fundraising entity. “We donate to auctions, sponsor events, and pour samples at local festivals. Koi Zen Cellars carries the products of local businesses in our merchandising, and we have an annual holiday Sip and Gift shopping event on Small Business Saturday with local business vendors,” said Lisa. Koi Zen Cellars recently tripled their existing space and now have a unique 4,000-square-foot venue for private and corporate events.

Koi Zen Cellars is releasing a new wine in November 2017 to commemorate Lisa and Darius’ 30th wedding anniversary. For more information about the new release or how to become a member of Koi Zen Cellars visit

mp_koizenlogoName of Business: Koi Zen Cellars Craft Winery
Owners: Darius and Lisa Miller
Years in Position: 3
Year of Establishment: 2014
Address: 12225 World Trade Dr., Suite P, San Diego, CA 92128
Phone: 858-381-CORK (2675)
Description of Business: Craft winery that produces award-winning craft wines with grapes sourced from Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Lodi, and Sonoma. Enjoy a flight, glass, or bottle of wine in our relaxing tasting room.