A visit to the Oregon Wine Country in the McMinnville area is not complete without a stop at the rustically elegant Maysara Winery. The Momtazi family’s “House of Wine” is not only a destination for discriminating wine enthusiasts but an opportunity to see what can happen when a family puts their personal values into action. Come Wander the Oregon wine country with a visit to Maysara Winery.
An Immigrant Success Story at Maysara Winery
Mahmood (Moe) and Flora Momtazi were immigrants to the US from Iran in the 1980s. Moe had been in the United States in the 70s as a student at the University of Texas in Arlington and wanted to return to the US. The couple’s first daughter, Tahmiene, was born in Spain as they made their way to the US. A second was born in Texas and the youngest in Oregon.
Eventually, the Momtazi family purchased a home in the Willamette Valley and bought 532 acres of abandoned wheat farm in the nearby rolling hillsides. The mist hangs in the folds of the land and is beautiful even on a rainy day when water rushes through carefully constructed ponds and ditches. Moe is a civil engineer and his skill is evident everywhere. There is always something new being built (look for the beautiful stone wall and gate this year) and his wooden truss business is also located at the winery.
Keeping Things Natural at Maysara Winery
The family believes in conserving the gifts that Mother Nature has bestowed upon them. Both Maysara winery and Momtazi Vineyard are Demeter Certified Biodynamic®. Moe will tell you that 95% of all materials, including the construction materials for the massive winery and tasting room, have come from their land.
They believe in keeping things local and free of external chemicals and minerals. The grapevines are nurtured with compost teas distilled from plant material on the property. Cattle wander through the rows of grapes. They seek to keep a natural, healthy balance. Moe shared with me that insects and diseases don’t attack healthy plants.
Visiting Maysara Winery and Tasting Room
The result of these natural processes is a high quality and highly sought after collection of wines. Although they distribute to 33 states, they keep production low. And the best way to buy their wine is to visit the tasting room in the huge rock winery, meet the family (most often one of the daughters will be there enthusiastically describing the wine making process) and prepare to be impressed.
The two story stone and monumental wood structure was made from materials on the property—huge oaks and rocks. You’ll sit at a long beautifully finished bar made from an ancient oak tree. The floor is warmed with deep red Persian rugs. A stunning Persian tapestry is proudly displayed on the wall which, they will tell you, wasn’t easy to procure. The detailed tapestry depicts the Persian poet Rumi reciting one of his poems to a group.
The Wines of Maysara Winery
The wine family is completed by the three daughters who fill important roles at the winery. Tahmeine, the oldest, has always been their primary wine maker. The women have created their own small label, Three Degrees Pinot Noir. Flora, the matriarch of the family, is known for her middle-eastern cooking. Wine club members rave about the spreads the family shares at their wine pick up parties.
Maysara Winery offers highly rated Oregon Pinot Noirs as well as a Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Gris. New on the list is a Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé. My favorite remains the Three Degrees Pinot Noir. It is an excellent Pinot and affordable at $20 a bottle. Wine connoisseurs rave about the Jamsheed Pinot, their flagship wine, and the Cyrus. Although the wines may change from year to year, everyone agrees they are excellent.
Maysara’s wine names harken back to their Persian roots. The name Maysara translates to House of Wine. The winery’s signature wine, Cyrus, relates to King Cyrus from Zoroastrian times. What is Iran today was once part of the ancient Persian Empire and was at the center of an ancient wine-growing region. The earliest wines were made there 8,000 years ago—thousands of years prior to Western Europe’s first plantings of grapevines.
Maysara Winery is a Special Place
There is something special about visiting Maysara Winery. It’s a beautiful place, lovingly created by the family. Once you meet the members of the Momtazi family you will get caught up in their enthusiasm for winemaking and enjoy their warm and engaging personalities. They love wine, food, people and being good stewards of the land.
Maysara Winery Event Space
Maysara Winery offers one of the largest indoor and outdoor venues in Oregon Wine Country. The stone and wood winery has a rustically sophisticated and majestic feel surrounded by 532 acres of the Momtazi Vineyard. They hold memorable weddings and major events in this beautiful countryside setting.
When You Go to Maysara Winery
Winery hours change seasonally so be sure and check the website. If you are planning to go as a group of 7 or more, call ahead for a reservation. The tasting fee is $15. The winery is about an hour and a half drive from Portland.
Maysara Winery and Momtazi Vineyards
15765 SW Muddy Valley Rd
McMinnville, OR 97128-8551