Horyou had the opportunity of sitting down with Nilou Safinya, VP of Customer Service at Xurus, a small family-run luxury wine business with a vineyard located in Lake County, CA. “My father [Kambiz Safinya] and uncle [Ali Namdar] started the company back in 1999 when they planted the first grape,” Safinya said. “Initially they sold grapes to other winemakers, then in 2007 they began to make their own wine.” According to Safinya, her father and her uncle had always wanted to work together, and wine is something they are both passionate about. So together, they decided to create Xurus.
In Zoroastrian philosophy, the creator’s energy is represented by fire and the sun, both enduring, radiant and life-sustaining. The rooster, or xurus (pronounced ‘khoo-roos’), was the companion of the angel that guarded humankind at night. The xurus’ crowing signaled the transition from the evil of darkness to the goodness of daylight. As early as 3000 BCE, this time of day was celebrated with a morning cup of wine poured from a rooster-shaped pitcher.
The name and label of Xurus Wine celebrate centuries of elegance, art, culture and joie de vivre. The dual roosters in its logo signify the close relationship and collaboration of the two founders.
The vineyard is managed using sustainable practices to preserve the environment in which it is located. Native plant growth is controlled between the rows of grapes with a no-till practice and scheduled mowing. Fruit thinning occurs early in the growing season, leaving only the finest clusters to ripen through the summer. “The fermentation is based on the Bordeaux style of winemaking, which means the sulfites used are natural and not made in chemical factories,” Safinya said. “There is much attention to detail and quality, to the extent that each grape is hand selected.”
The family has always endorsed social-good and displays a commitment to charity work. “My father is a businessman and a physicist. He is quite a unique person in that he also has artistic inclinations,” she said. “My uncle shares the same dual passion as a writer and a businessman. They are both appreciators of all arts and culture. As a family we are very socially conscious, always aware of social challenges and try do our part in supporting charities.” This past May, Xurus was a partner at the Horyou Foundation Gala during Horyou Village at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. “The idea of participating in a charity gala was something my father was very interested in,” Safinya stated. As Xurus grows, they hope to increase their ability to continue donating their products to charities and social-good causes, events and fundraisers.
Horyou asked Safinya for her opinion on the importance of company commitment to social good. She explained: “In an ideal world, most companies would have a social-good component in their structure. How people and companies give can be different based on the industry, the commodity and the capacity. Whether it’s through financial giving, in-kind donations, socially-conscience business and hiring practices or active engagement with the broader global environment – I do think we each should do our part in being socially responsible for the greater good.”