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Southern California vintage winery is inspired by Persian culture (video)

June 17, 2016

Nested in the bucolic rolling hills of Temecula in Southern California, within an hour drive from Los Angeles and San Diego, are acres of sun-ripened wine grapes and vineyards, including the renowned and scenic De Portola Wine Trail. Each winery on the trail is operated by a proud family, including one - Fazeli Cellars - that is clearly proud of its owner's Persian heritage, offering exquisite wine varieties such as Shiraz, Khayyam, Norooz, Yalda, and soon Rumi.

The Wine tasting room, Restaurant and Events center at Fazeli Cellars is a warm and inviting facility that offers visitors a vintage combination of ambiance, wine and food pairings from a Persian fusion- Mediterranean menu inspired by the best of Persian, Italian, French and Spanish cuisines. The Events Center can host public and private receptions (weddings, banquets, etc.) for up to 250 people, and is equipped with one of the area's largest and most modern catering kitchens on site.

Fazeli Cellars Winery and Events Center

The Fazeli family is proud of its cultural heritage, which it continues to celebrate by creating wines that capture the essence of its ancient traditions. Named after the fabled city of Shiraz, its benchmark grape pays homage to ancient Persia. Long ago this beautiful city was famous for its wine, and some even say that this is where the Shiraz grape originated.

Fazeli Cellars Winery, Restaurant and Events Center

The owner of Fazeli Cellars, Mr. Bizhan (BJ) Fazeli, a seasoned food business and marketing executive who moved from England to the United States in 1989, is so proud of his Persian heritage and roots that he uses the phrase "Our Roots Run Deep" in the official motto printed on all wine labels, and on the entrance signage to Fazeli Cellars' new Winery and Events Center.

De Portola Wine Trail

Proud of dessert wines first produced in Iran's ancient garden city of Shiraz, BJ Fazeli has chosen the Shiraz grape (dark-thick-skinned grapes also known as Syrah) as the benchmark grape for various blends he creates, each inspired by a seasonal or cultural theme to evoke taste experiences for different palettes. For example, the Khayyam collection, a medium bodied red wine with a velvety finish, is inspired by spiritual references to wine in the world renowned Rubaiyat of Persian poet Khayyam. It offers hints of blackberry fruit complemented by nuances of anise, vanilla and green olive, and as in other vintage collections by Fazeli, Khayyam is a blend of four varieties: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Shiraz, 5% Cabernet Franc.

BJ Fazeli, a graduate of University of California Davis extension program in wine making, calls red wine the second most complex fluid after human blood. Fazeli Cellars’ award winning wines each tell a story and pay homage to the rich cultural heritage of Ancient Persia. For example, Norooz, a white wine blend inspired by the Persian New Year (Spring Equinox), offers a refreshingly off-dry rich-mouth feel, and is enriched with perfumed floral aromas, such as hyacinth, popular among Iranians in the Spring time, and tropical fruit. Norooz is a blend of two vintage varieties: 71% Viognier, 29% Muscat Canelli.

Bizhan Fazeli believes wine is an experience and not a drink: "Our new Winery and Events Center on De Portola road offers visitors a vintage combination of ambiance, wine and food pairings from a Persian fusion- Mediterranean menu inspired by the best of Persian, Greek, French and Spanish cuisines."

Fazeli Cellars Winery and Events Center that opened recently (link) is a warm and inviting facility that can host public and private receptions (weddings, banquets, etc.) for up to 250 people, and is equipped with one of the area's largest and most modern catering kitchens on site.

Wine varieties by Fazeli Cellars have won numerous prestigious awards and high ratings such as several by Wine Enthusiast for Reserve Shiraz 2008, Khayyam 2008, and Yalda 2008. In 2015, Fazeli Cellars produced a record 144000 bottles of vintage wine. These are available in their Old Town Temecula tasting room, through several gourmet and boutique locations throughout Southern California (see locations), via their Online Shop in most US states, and starting this week in their new tasting room at 37320 De Portola Road.

The naturally-inspired building in the new winery uses recycled materials in its construction. The bar counter tops are made from roots of Walnut trees, indigenous to Persia. The Tasting room offers a sophisticated yet relaxed ambiance and is expected to be a popular place for Southern Californians to have a good time while experiencing Persian-inspired vintage wines with food pairings from the Mediterranean and Persian fusion menu. Don’t be surprised if you are joined by one of the Fazeli family members who love to connect with their guests and share their joy and pride in Persian culture and Persian-inspired wines.

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