Say what you will about Darioush Winery’s over-the-top architecture, expensive tastings, and even more expensive bottles. Yes, it can be a lot to take in, especially along Napa’s Silverado Trail, but who are we kidding here? Napa is the heart of wine country’s touristification. (Uh oh, my Sonoma County-ness is showing again.) At least at Darioush, the wine is delicious and the grounds are beautiful.
Darioush Khaledi built his winery to evoke Persepolis, the seat of the ancient Persian Empire. He’s an Iranian-American entrepreneur and I tip my (imaginary) hat to the man: instead of shying away from his Iranian heritage like some Iranians who have made it in the US, he’s fully embraced it.
During my last visit, Nishan and I stopped by for a tasting, and things have changed. $40 tastings and valet parking. How Tehrangeles. This hasn’t deterred the crowds and Darioush Winery is as bustling as ever, so much so that it was an effort to get the attention of our guide throughout our visit.
After our tasting, we explored the outdoor garden, dotted with pomegranate trees and fountains full of water lilies. For a moment, you could almost pretend you were in Iran. Almost.