Rasa Vineyards Wines
“Rasa” translates from Sanskrit as "terroir" or a sense of place. Given the importance of place to Billo and Pinto in crafting their wines, it is a perfect name for their winery.
Founded in 2008, red-hot Rasa Vineyards just keeps getting better. We know, because we opened a bottle yesterday for our friends from Houston and turned all the heads in the room.
at right, Pinto and Billo Naravane
Rasa Vineyards is the collaboration of two brothers, Billo and Pinto Naravane. Originally from India, their accomplishments range from the world of high tech, engineering and math to viticulture and winemaking. Joining Walla Walla's winemaking community with their move into the beautiful former Colvin Vineyards building in South Walla Walla, they have quickly made a name for themselves.
More About Rasa Vineyards
Billo is a graduate of MIT and Stanford University, and finished his MS in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis in 2008 . He is an adjunct professor of Viticulture at Washington State University as well as winemaker for Rasa. Pinto has a BE and MS from Stevens Institute of Technology and and is still in the high tech world, based in New Jersey. Pinto hopes to move to Walla Walla eventually but for now commutes between the coasts.
Billo's red wines are his own interpretations of some of Washington's best grapes. Working with sites like Dubrul Vineyards, he has carved out a niche in the "big" red wine category that incorporates finesse as well as a rich, full-bodied style. His whites are evocative, characteristically complex, balanced, and each is strikingly different.
Along with their vineyard sources including Les Collines, Seven Hills, and Dubrul Vineyards, Billo and Pinto have a new 28 acre vineyard site of their own called Crimson Lane Vineyard. Their first planting is nine acres of Syrah and a few other varietals.
Located on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA, the site has soils similar to those of Chateneuf-du-Pape, loaded with softball sized basalt cobblestones. The land was planted to apples and cherries, and the Narvanes plan to plant mainly Syrah, with Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Malbec, and maybe some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. As they say - "sounds like a party..."
About The Scientist Winemaker, Billo Naravane
This is the smartest winemaker on earth. OK, maybe a bit of hyperbole, but not much. Mathematician Billo Naravane knows complexity. He's a computer industry guru turned winemaker, and his wines are as perfect a proof as any mathematical formula that something special is going on at Rasa Vineyards. He even has a wine called Q.E.D. - “quod erat demonstrandum”, and Pinto says "the proof is in the bottle." Another wine is named for Newton's law of universal gravitation (Principia).
A mathematical proof is an elegant work of structure, logic, and intuition. You can describe Billo's wines the same way. He is clearly inspired by the wines of the Rhone, and he brings considerable scientific skills to the process of winemaking. But the mysterious, essential core of the Rasa wines defies a simple solution. Billo brings buckets of heart and soul to his winemaking. All the rational elements of a superb wine are present, but their essence is indefinable.