Wine probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Morocco. Rainbows of colorful fabric, aromatic spice-markets, and couscous; most definitely. But wine? Due to an influx of foreign investments since the 90s, the Moroccan wine industry is experiencing a revival. Thanks to importer and owner of Nomadic Distribution, Didier Pariente, you just might find high quality Moroccan wine at a wine shop near you.
“Morocco is known for its fragrant, jammy, yet balanced syrahs,” says Pariente. “They’re not made in a big bombastic style, but more of an elegant Rhône style.”
The region’s oldest winery, Domaine Ouled Thaleb, has been producing wines since 1923. However, traces of winemaking can be traced back to the era of ancient Rome. The winery’s 2010 syrah was recently named one of the best wines under $20 by Forbes Magazine.
Morocco’s coastal vineyards are the same latitude as Santa Barbara’s. Out of 40 million bottles produced annually, 37 million are consumed domestically.
Forbes isn’t the only entity noticing Moroccan wines. Auberge Resorts in the Napa Valley is teaming up with Palais Namaskar, an Oetker Collection resort in Morocco, for three days of events in the Napa Valley March 13-15, 2014, to celebrate the cultures and cuisines of both regions. Participating chefs include Executive Chef Robert Curry of Michelin-starred Auberge du Soleil; Brandon Sharp, Michelin-starred Executive Chef of Solbar at Solage Calistoga; and Executive Chef Aaron Meneghelli at Calistoga Ranch. Their multi-course meals will be paired with fine Moroccan wines. Find more details on “Napa Meets Morocco” HERE.
Here are a few wines Pariente recommends:
DOMAINE OULED THALEB 60% Faranah (a native Moroccan grape varietal similar to pinot grigio) 40% Clairette (Zenata, Morocco) $14
DOMAINE OULED THALEB Syrah 2010 (Zenata, Morocco) $18
Have you tried any Moroccan wines? Let us know below.