In the 1980s, Moe Momtazi fled the Iranian Revolution, found a home in the United States and, eventually, made his way to Oregon.
Now, Momtazi and his four daughters are making some of Oregon’s most celebrated wine.
Maysara Winery is located in McMinnville and made its first vintage in 2001 after Momtazi bought the property in 1997.
Maysara, Momtazi says, is an ancient Persian term that means winery.
Momtazi says his father and grandfather used to make wine in Iran. He says Oregon resembles a lot of the Caspian Sea, which is in the northern part of Iran.
When Momtazi immigrated to Oregon and bought the land for his winery, he said he wanted to keep the environment in mind. So, he decided to take a holistic approach.
“We use absolutely no chemicals, and no minerals,” Momtazi said. “I’ve learned there’s a lot of herbs and flowers we grow in our vineyard, that instead of using chemicals or minerals, we make tea with these plants, and we make them into tea, and we spray that in the foliage or put it in the irrigation line to put it into the root system.”
He says by doing so, his family farm has become its own little ecosystem and is completely sustainable.
“Initially, of course, when we started, it was kind of considered voodoo, witchcraft among a lot of people, but a lot of people right now are learning that working with nature and taking care of nature, it rewards you back,” Momtazi said.
Maysara is known for its Pinot noir. In fact, 85 percent of what they produce is Pinot noir. And one of the wines made there is especially meaningful to Momtazi–it’s called the “Immigrant Pinot noir.”
According to Momtazi, 33 percent of the proceeds benefit refugee and immigration programs.
To learn more about Maysara Winery and Momtazi Vineyards: https://maysara.com/
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