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Noria Wines

Russian River Valley AVA

Award-winning winemaker Nori Nakamura crafts expressive Sonoma County wines that are sensai and inspired by the delicate nuances of Japanese cuisine.

Founded in 2010 by Japan-native, Nori Nakamura, Noria Wines was created with the concept of making wines that pair well with the delicate, fresh ingredients of Japanese cuisine. The winery is based in Sonoma's Russian River Valley and it currently offers a limited portfolio of Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay from well established vineyards in the surrounding regions. In Nori Nakamura's words, "Sensai in Japanese describes when something is nuanced, sophisticated and infused with subtle details. I strive to create wines that reflect this sensibility." We are excited to introduce our Pinot Noir Wine Club members to Noria Wines, a winery that takes a unique approach to achieving balance, structure and flavor in their small-lot, food-friendly, award-winning wines.

Nori Nakamura was first introduced to fine wine at a young age while working at his uncle's Italian restaurant, Marie, in Tokyo, Japan. His uncle was an opera tenor singer and the restaurant was filled with his love of music, wine and Italy. Nori's memories include plenty of family gatherings at Marie, always surrounded by delicious dishes and straw-covered Chianti bottles, and it is what first attracted him to the romance of wine. Nori's father was a chocolatier for one of the largest confectionery companies in Japan, and it is he who Nori credits with developing his acute sense of smell and taste. Nori's mother, who was an exceptional cook, further inspired his idea of creating wines to compliment Japanese cuisine - the basis behind Noria Wines.

After graduating from the prestigious Keio University with a degree in Economics, Nori started his career in hotel management with Nikko Hotels International. During a graduation trip to Italy, he tasted a phenomenal Barbaresco that ultimately set him on a path towards a career in the wine industry. Nori earned his Sommelier Certification from the Japan Sommelier Association before transferring from Tokyo to California to assume the role of catering manager at the luxurious Hotel Nikko San Francisco in 1999. His close proximity to wine country fueled his passion and it led to cellar positions at Koves - Newland and Pine Ridge Vineyards, where Nori gained valuable hands-on experience. Nori also earned his Viticulture and Enology degree at the prestigious UC Davis, which gave him the necessary educational background to further his winemaking endeavors.

Nori went on to assume the position of Assistant Winemaker at Artesa Vineyards and Winery, followed by the role of Head Winemaker at such notable properties as Jamieson Ranch, Reata, and Larson Family Winery, for which he is still currently the winemaker. Over the years, Nori's wines have garnered several 90+ point ratings and he has become a reputable winemaker in the Sonoma area.

In 2010, Nori finally fulfilled his dream with the start of Noria Wines. Noria means 'water wheel' in Spanish and the symbol that graces the front of each label evokes the circle of life, bringing elements like flowing water, vitality and the forever turning cycle of nature to mind. As a winemaker and winery owner, Nori is dedicated to selecting premium fruit from the right vineyards, and strives to find the perfect balance in his wine, combining fruity, smooth and elegant nuances that are reminiscent of sake and thus pair effortlessly with food. He feels incredibly fortunate to work with esteemed growers who are passionate and care about the quality of grapes on their land as well as the quality of wines they are ultimately made into. We hope our Pinot Noir Wine Club members enjoy this beautiful Noria wine and pair it with your favorite Japanese dish. Cheers!