Our brand is named “Rubaiyat.”
In 1957, Ministry of Interior Sekikawa visited our winery with the famed poet, Konosuke Hinatsu. Seeing how much Sekikawa and Hinatsu enjoyed our carefully-crafted wine, third generation owner, Tadao Omura, asked the poet to name the brand. Hinatsu was more than happy to offer a few suggestions.
Here is a translation of Hinatsu’s letter:
Dear Mr. Omura,
I hope this letter finds you well.
I received a letter from Mr. Sekikawa telling me that you requested I give your wine a name in the hopes of expanding your wine sales. The following names are what I came up with. I hope you like them.
I have two suggestions. The first is for intellectuals: RUBAIYAT.
Rubaiyat is the name of the poetry of Omar Khayyam, a Persian poet and astronomer in the 11th century. Khayyam was born where grapes originated and was a lifelong lover of wine. He wrote many poems expressing his love of wine and beautiful women.
Most Japanese intellectuals know Omar Khayyam as one of the best poets in the world, therefore, if you name your wine Rubaiyat, it would delight them!
The second is more for the general public: ENCHANTE. This means “pleasant, enchanted, or delighted” in French. People fond of France would like it.
These were the two names I chose, but if you have a new yellow-colored wine, CHARIOT D’OR (golden carriage) would be a clever name for it.
If you don’t like any of the names, though, please forget all about them.
After receiving this letter, we named our wine Rubaiyat.
The actual letter from Mr. Hinatsu is displayed in the gallery in our cellar.When you come to visit, please stop by and see it.
– Rubaiyat No. 133, by Omar Khayyam –
If thou hast Wine, forswear not the Drinking of it;
for an hundred Regrets attend such Resolutions.
Roses burst in Bloom, Bulbuls fill the air with Song-
would it be wise to forswear Wine at such a Time?
Translated by Hamzeh Carr
Carr, H. 1925. The Rubaiyat of ‘Umar Khaiyam. Boston, USA: Small, Maynard and Company.