With March being Women's History Month, and March 8th International Women's Day, we are featuring some of our women winemakers & women-run wineries. We hope you'll join us in celebrating the successes and empowerment of women in the wine world and beyond, and raise a glass to women everywhere with a wine that suits the occasion!
Tahmiene Momtazi, Winemaker at Maysara Winery
Excerpt from Enobyte.com:
Tahmiene graduated from Oregon State University receiving a degree in Food Science and Technology in Fermentation Science. She has worked at several local wineries in Oregon before she headed to New Zealand to Kim Crawford at the Blenheim facility.
In 2007, Tahmiene, came back to the states and accepted the position at Maysara Winery. Since 2007 Tahmiene and her sisters have also produced their own wine under the name Three Degrees. Tahmiene is very devoted to capture the beauty of the vineyard in each wine she makes. Her philosophy in the cellar is really not to alter the wines but truly make wines that will stand out for the vineyard and cellar.
What first attracted you to winemaking?
When I noticed that winemaking has a lot of science background. A light bulb was lite because you are a doctor of grape juice during the harvest time. Also, I sort of like getting my hands dirty.
Is winemaking an art or a science? Or both?
Winemaking is both an art and a science. It is a science during fermentation then, when you are blending you are creating an art piece that you hope that your consumers sees what you are trying to achieve.
I understand Maysara Winery practices holistic farming. What methods do you and how does that attribute to the quality you seek?
Momtazi Vineyard does believe in Biodynamics. Which, the vineyard received its certification in 2005 of being Demeter Certified Biodynamic Vineyard. Then later Maysara Winery became a Demeter Certified Biodynamic Winery in 2007.
The methods that we use in our vineyard and winery play a huge role in our facility. Quality is really important to me because little details that you put into a bottle of wine will be translated at the end of the day. I am not going to say that if you practice holistic farming today, tomorrow you will see an improvement in your farm. But, over time I do see an improvement of quality in the vineyard and the cellar.
Do you think women make a better winemaker?
I really think that is very one view of seeing things. I do think that females have a great palate and also a sensory on taste of things. There are many great winemakers that are truly amazing and they make me a better winemaker. To answer your question I think it is all in the passion that you have for what you do.
What beer do you drink when you are making wine?
Do not like beer but, a great cocktail is nice. I eat a lot of chocolate when making wine.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a doctor for the longest time but there was a time that I wanted to be the President of The United States.
Other than your own, what’s your favorite wine region in the world?
Burgundy is the region but, I LOVE CHABLIS!
Featured wine: Maysara "3 Degrees" Pinot Noir - McMinnville AVA - 2017
3° (Three Degrees) Pinot Noir is handcrafted by the Momtazi sisters whose differing personalities; combined with elegance, finesse and balance, reflect the dynamic characteristics of the Momtazi Vineyard. The sisters, Tahmiene, Naseem and Hanna, set out to make a pinot that tastes great and has the highest quality fruit all while being affordable for everyone.
Sleek and pretty, with lively violet, raspberry and spice accents that glide on the lingering finish. A vibrant and snappy Pinot that will shine and refresh when paired with curries, spetzatinas, and rich stews.
Read more of our Women in Wine series here.