Founder of the Persian Empire, Cyrus II – better known as Cyrus the Great – was a famously humane ruler whose reign was characterised by intellectual curiosity and an embrace of diversity. The famous ancient clay Cyrus Cylinder, now on display at the British Museum, proclaims his commitment to freedom and is regarded as an early precursor of the universal declaration of human rights.
Intensely proud of his Persian cultural heritage, Masrour Makaremi had the idea for the CYRHUS project in the early 2010s. Masrour has long been a firm believer in the power of wine to embody a terroir, an identity, a culture and an art of living.
With the help of some like-minded companions, including a winemaker-oenologist and innovative player in the world of wine, he is determined to rekindle the soul of Persian winemaking on the immaculate hillsides of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
CYRHUS was endowed with an “h” in honour of Shiraz, which is not only the name of the city in which Masrour Makaremi was born, but also the Persian name for the grape variety know in France as Syrah, the sole variety used in this inspired, highly symbolic and strictly limited-edition cuvée.
CYRHUS is crafted in the image of Cyrus the Great: steeped in Persian culture and capable of uniting people.
The emblematic status of this unique wine is cemented by ageing it in earthenware amphorae, very similar to those used in ancient times, achieving a rare degree of synergy between nature, contemporary expertise and ancient culture.
This quest for authenticity is underpinned by a message of hope: “That is the beating heart of this project. Scientifically, it’s about showing how Persian wine can benefit from the progress made in winemaking techniques since it was excluded in 1979, and making this wine a symbol of a brighter future. It’s about rebirth, a true Renaissance.”
One influence which resounds throughout the Cyrhus project is ‘The Conference of the Birds’, a classic 12th-century Iranian poem which tells the story of thirty birds who set off in search of a sovereign, a leader to guide them and reveal their origins. The object of their quest is the mythical bird Simorgh (which literally means “30 birds” in Persian), and they end up travelling the length and breadth of Iran, with each new stage of the journey representing another step in their learning process. Finally, they arrive at a magical lake and think that they have reached their destination when they see the shadow of an immense, majestic bird. But in reality, the shadow they see is their own, the shadow cast by thirty birds flying together in unison.
The story serves as an auspicious metaphor for this project, which has been made possible by all those who have guided and supported me in the past, as well as a timely reminder of the Persian identity which remains firmly rooted within all of us, ready to reveal itself…
In our soils the wines of Persia are reborn, while the images, texts and network of exchanges we have built up around Cyrhus are rapidly evolving into a genuine community, founded upon the values of openness, sharing and taste.
Everything about Cyrhus is replete with meaning. Even the packaging is an homage to Persian culture. The bottle case shows the transcription of the famous Cyrus Cylinder, a written text of immense symbolic power, transcending borders and centuries, widely regarded as the first charter of human rights.
Farid ud-Din ‘Attar, Mantiq Ut‑Tair, ‘The Conference of the Birds’
Habib-Allah Savaji, c. 1600
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Farid al-Din ‘Attar, Mantiq al-tair
« La Conférence des oiseaux »
Habib-Allah Savaji, v. 1600
Metropolitan Museum of Art