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The Name

Water WHeel

Noria means water wheel in Spanish.  A symbol that evokes life bringing elements like flowing water, vitality and the turning cycle of nature.

A a niche wine combining fruity, smooth and elegant tastes reminiscent of sake. Made from grapes grown in Napa & Sonoma County and handcrafted in small lots.

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The Winemaker

Japanese native

Nori Nakamura first learned about fine wine at his uncle’s Italian restaurant in Tokyo. After college he visited Italy and tasted a phenomenal 1981 Barbaresco that clarified his life’s goal of being a winemaker.  

Earning a Japan Sommelier Certification in Tokyo he transferred from the Hotel Nikko in Tokyo to San Francisco where he worked as catering manager. Located near Napa and Sonoma, he religiously visited wine country every weekend for two years. 

Fulfilling his dream  he enrolled in the viticulture program at UC Davis where he graduated in 200?  Subsequently, he has gone on to become assistant winemaker at Koves-Newlan, Pine Ridge Vineyards & Artesa and head winemaker at Jamison Ranch and currently at Larson Family Winery.

The Vineyards

 

It is undeniable that most of wine quality is decided in vineyards.  Therefore, it is critical to select grapes from right vineyards. We are so fortunate that we could work with the growers, who really are passionate and care about the quality of wine.

 
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Russian River

Bevill

My Japanese friend, Yasue, introduced me her uncle, Duff Bevill, in 2014 when I was searching for Sauvignon Blanc as a new addition to the NOIRA line-up.  I was focusing on Russian River Valley AVA since I thought that area could bring vibrancy and elegance at the same time to Sauvignon Blanc. When Duff took me to his vineyard on Hall Ranch in Sebastopol, I felt a positive energy and potential from the vines.  Duff is so down to earth and has great knowledge and experience in Viticulture and I truly enjoy working with him and his great team.

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Mike Valentine Vineyard

After launching NORIA, I had been searching for Pinot Noir from Freestone area in Russian River Valley AVA. Freestone is considered to be one of the coolest spot in the northern California and has a potential to produce delicate, unique Pinot Noir that can be paired well with Sushi.  I came across with Mike’s vineyard in 2014 and was overwhelmed by its picturesque site. Only small amount of fruits was available in the beginning but I was impressed by Mike’s attentive vineyard practices and the quality of the grapes.  2016 is the first vintage for NORIA Pinot Noir Michael Valentine Vineyard and I cannot wait to reveal further potentials of this vineyard in more years to come.

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Sonoma County

SANGIACOMO FAMILY VINEYARDS

I first met with Steve Sangiacomo when I was working at Artesa Winery as Assistant Winemaker back in 2007.  Artesa was producing the single vineyard Pinot Noir from Sangiacomo Vineyard. I have been a big fan of Sangiacomo’s fruits and the family operation ever since and I really wanted to source Sangiacomo fruits when I decided to launch NORIA project.  Mike and Steve’s commitment to grow the best grapes synchronizes with our dedication to produce the best wine. Sangiacomo family has been growing grapes in Sonoma since 1969 and it has become a trademark for excellence in our industry. We source Sangiacomo fruits for NORIA Chardonnay and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.