Darioush Winery Napa Valley
On my most recent trip to Napa I got to visit Dariush Winery for the first time. The Proprietor Darioush Khaledi, hails from the artistic and cultural city of Shiraz in Iran……also known as the ancient city of Persepolis. Discoveries dating to 5,000 B.C. in the Zagros Mountains of Northern Iran show that winemaking emerged as permanent communities replaced nomadic life and a new age of wine culture began. In his hometown of Shiraz, Darioush was instilled with memories of traditional wine making alongside his father. His passion for culture and artistry led him to realize one of his many passions to open Darioush. In the late 1990’s Darioush and winemaker Steve Devitt chose to commit to Southern Napa Valley for the microclimate to create their specialized wine. They committed to a Bordeaux-style of winemaking – a blended style they long admired for the potential to truly express a wine’s character. Many years later, the Darioush Winery now encompasses more than 120 acres across the Napa Valley. The Darioush family is rich in heritage, culture and the dedication to their craft is unsurpassed.
When you first enter the Darioush property, you are greeted with the sprawling landscape and the grand architecture that emulates the ancient city of Persepolis. Walking into the building you are greeted with an overwhelming sense of character, hospitality and warmth. There are small seating areas situated around the centerpiece tasting bar. Guests are able to sit comfortably while still being able to feel as if they are a part of the flow and energy of the winery. There are lovely rugs, photos, and artifacts displayed that are connected to the ancient Persian culture of winemaking. You are instantly aware of the immense history and how it ties into the present. Gregory was our wine expert that escorted us through our tour, as well as guided our wine and cheese tasting. What a lovely man. So wonderfully knowledgable about the property, the history of the wine itself, and the Darioush Family. Did you know that the limestone used to build the Darioush Winery building came from the same quarry that Persepolis came from? It took them 3 years to get those limestone blocks transported to the property. You can feel the history. It is such a transformational experience. There was no expense spared when they built this winery and it shows.
Our wine and cheese pairing, included a walk downstairs through the cellar where they keep some wine barrels, and a walk through the personal family wine cellar. There is a residence for the Darioush family to stay at when they are at the winery. This residence is connected to the winery through this particular private cellar. I was privileged to see very, very old bottles of collectors wine there. We were then whisked to the tasting room. The tasting room itself is a private room, however one wall is entirely made of glass. Therefore you have privacy without bing left out of any other happenings outside of the tasting room. As we enter the room, there is a long table with an exquisite display waiting for us with different wines, cheeses, and other accouterments to pair with the wine. The attention to detail across the entire property was unsurpassed. All of the food items that we enjoyed were sourced from local farmers and producers. And of course the wine was absolutely wondrous. You can taste the effort that Darioush has put into the wine. I was pleasantly surprised at how complex they were. I had no exceptions coming into the winery, I like to keep my mind neutral when coming into a new experience, so I may make an unbiased decision. This experience truly blew me away. I was so pleased with our guide, the atmosphere was divine, and the wine and food were perfectly paired.
My final take on this Winery is that it is a hands down, must have experience. I’ve been to many wineries and have had many lovely tastings. I love all different types of wine, but what I really remember is an experience. I remember how I felt, I remember who I interacted with, I remember how they made me feel. And though this winery is a premier luxury experience, it was not stuffy at all. I instantly felt warmth and a welcoming atmosphere. The proprietors of the property obviously treat their staff with love and care. This love and care transcended into my experience with them. I was so taken with the beauty and the history of Darioush family, the wine making, the construction of the building etc. They have created an extremely memorable experience. I highly recommend experiencing one of the food and wine tastings they offer. You will walk away with not just delicious wine, but with delicious memories that you will love to revisit. I very much look forward to my return to the Darioush Winery.
To find out more about the Dariush Winery, please visit their website www.darioush.com