Let Light Shine: Diwali Party + Calligraphy Pinot Noir

Diwali and Calligraphy Pinot Noir

Do you do Diwali, the five-day festival of lights observed throughout South Asia and by South Asians scattered around the world? Coinciding with the conclusion of harvest and the new moon, Diwali acknowledges the “darkest night” and commemorates the triumph of light over dark, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance.

Held annually in late October or early November with the new moon which this year is Oct. 24 or Oct. 25 (depending on where in the world you are!) Celebrants consume large quantities of East Asian sweets typically made of milk, sugar, and chickpea flour, light candles or small oil-filled earthen lamps called diyas symbolizing the inner light. and decorate their homes with marigolds, a flower associated with the sun.

Lighting candles draws away the darkness and brings in the light.

While the festival began as a Hindu tradition, today other South Asian religions like Jains and Sikhs celebrate as do non-religious. One of my favorite Hindu Gods is associated with Diwali, Lord Ganesha, remover of obstacles, patron saint of writers and musicians. The God of Wisdom is also your party guy–he loves to eat and drink! . Goddess of Prosperity Lakshmi is invited as well. 

Various regions in India connect the holiday with other Hindu Gods such as  Vishnu, KrishnaShiva, Kali, and Hanuman plus it’s the day Rama returned to his kingdom in Ayodhya with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after defeating the demon Ravana in Lanka and serving 14 years of exile. 

Diwali Party Menu Ideas

Food is an important part of most celebrations; with Diwali it’s all about the sweets which are believed to bring joy and good luck.

Twenty-four acre estate vineyard in Sebastopol
prepped and set to be planted in spring of 2023


Calligraphy sent me a barrel sample of their inaugural Pinot Noir plus a candle in a beautiful box so I could participate in “Prelude to a Wine’s Unveiling Diwali Toast and Celebration.” The wine will be bottled in early 2023, and should be released in time for Diwali celebrations in fall 2023.

Even from this barrel sample, it is clear the wine is well crafted, vibrant, and delightful, full of lively fresh fruit enjoyable in our toast but also ready to pair with food — just maybe not with those Diwali sweet treats!

Why the name Calligraphy? Founder Pooja Challa Gorthy comes from a multi-generational musical family; music and art is very important to her and to Calligraphy. 

Using large LED lights, the grapes are harvested at night to maintain the cool internal berry temperature (for example 45 degrees as compared to a typical 80 degree day) to keep the quality high and to get nice extraction without high alcohol. Native yeast, native malolactic fermentation, and minimal sulphur complete the picture for Megan Baccitich who is making the wine at Balleto in Sebastopol, where she’s successfully made unfiltered wine before.  

This spring they will plant their twenty-four acre estate vineyard in Sebastopol. A former apple orchard at 750′ elevation surrounded by fir and redwoods, the vineyard has Goldridge soils along with a mix of Blucher sandy loam; Blucher creek runs through the property making it not only exceptional for a vineyard but bringing historic value. The daily blanket of fog makes it an ideal microclimate for growing Pinot Noir… and possibly some chardonnay is in the future as well.

Sign up to follow their journey on their website www.calligraphy.wine. Follow on Instagram: @calligraphy.wine. 

Hopefully next year we’ll have a sample and a feast — either there at the winery or here!


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