Darioush is unlike any winery you’ll visit in Napa. The Iranian-born civil engineer who fell in love with Bordeaux wines is unlike any proprietor you’ll ever meet anywhere. This is a tale that interweaves Iran, France and America in a rousing example of the American Dream while staying true to one’s roots.
Darioush Khaledi’s love of wine was kindled when he was a child in Iran. For leisure, his father made wine in a ceramic vat in the basement of the family home. Intrigued by the scent and unable to contain his curiosity, Darioush secretly dipped a towel into the vessel so he could get his first taste of wine – sponged from a towel.
Darioush began his career in Iran as a civil engineer in 1968. Eight years after he founded his firm, it was awarded a $500-million contract from the Iranian government.
Khaledi moved to Redondo Beach just before the revolution in 1979, but took nothing with him; he lost his fortune in the uprising. Undaunted, he quickly built a second successful career as a grocery store owner. It started with a small storefront in a Hispanic neighborhood. In a few short years, he owned a 41-store empire.
His winery is a testament to his passion, prowess and pride in his culture.
Outstanding works of Persian art adorn the estate, blending seamlessly with European antiques and pieces by celebrated American designer Kelly Wearstler and Belgian legend Martin Margiela.
An in-house design team creates special-edition bottles each year. Their labels draw inspiration from Persian art that is many centuries old. The stones used in the winery’s construction were imported from a location within Iran believed to be the site of the great palace of Dariush 1 (also spelled Daryoush or Dariyush), throne name of Darius the Great.
Khaledi likes to remind his visitors that wine-making and the country of his birth are as firmly intertwined as two ancient grape vines.
“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.”
Khaledi sees himself as an inheritor of an ancient tradition that’s in his bones. One taste of his wine will convince you that his vision, talent, perfectionism and pride live in every drop.
Explore: Darioush Wines