Areion: Who Wrote the Book of Love
By FBWorld Team
1 - Says you Love Her, you Love her with all your Heart
The Love, of course, is the love of Grapes, and Her, of course,
is mother nature, who you love with all your heart, and whom
you are sworn to protect throughout your entire life. Chapter
1 says you love the grapes, you love them with all your heart,
because a lot of these stories begin in the same manner.
you were the enviable child of a farmer/winemaker, self-elected
or forced, whichever the case may be to carry on the family
torch, to be imbued with the awe of your own place in the universe,
you were there to gopher this, and go for that. And slave you
did even though you thought it was play, unlocking the caveau
with your grandmother's keys upon the arrival of guests, fetching
the needed wines for tasters waiting in the cellar, riding the
tractor and getting to steer, and sorting the clusters after
you just picked them, ready for fermentation. And as if this
living poem was not just a fantasy for one, this all took place
in the family winery of Margaux, a 40 acre family winery that
was to shape his destiny in ways few are lucky enough to claim
as their own.
Margaux is a wine growing Appellation within Médoc in
Bordeaux. Its leading (premier cru) château is also called
Margaux. It contains 21 cru classé châteaux, more
than any other Appellation in Bordeaux (according to Wikipedia).
Vonderheyden knew from a young age that he would become a Vigneron
(french for wine grower and vintner), and would be a willing
celebrator of the process of coaxing the vines into wine. As
he was learning wine production, he realized that the Vigneron's
journey was not to control Nature, but to exalt and sublimate
Nicolas had a few more stops to make before the dream of owning
a winery became his own. After studying food science engineering
in the Netherlands, Nicolas completed a winemaking internship
in CA, then returned to France and graduated with a master degree
in Wine Estate Management back in Bordeaux. After coming back
to the United States again, this time in 2014, it was only then
that Nicolas began to manifest his own dream of making his own
wine, that is from vine to bottle. Nicolas was able to approach
his dream of creating his own wine with a new depth of focus.
Seizing an opportunity to start his winery with a friend's leased
2 acre plot of land located in Woodside, California, yet situated
in the Santa Cruz Appellation about 1,400 feet above sea level,
offering all kinds of ingredients mother NATURE had to contribute
to the perfect recipe for wine. The name of his dream was to
be called Maison AREION.
believe turning grapes into wine has real meaning. That's why
I use artisanal methods and respect a traditional savoir-faire.
I implement sustainable, biodynamic and organic farming practices,
soil and canopy management, not using any herbicides or insecticides.
My focus is on harvesting fruit that reaches an optimal ripeness
and shows a great balance between sugar and acidity while listening
and responding to the vineyard needs. Wine will then naturally
ferment and age in oak barrels to blend into a unique personality.
From cultivating to bottling, craftsmanship reveals the passion
and dedication to creating singular products. Wine is the water
of the earth filtered through the roots of the vines,"
says vigneron Nicolas Vonderheyden. This commitment is not just
lip service to a culture which exalts the natural process, but
to a spiritual process as well.
closely at the horse in the center of the winery's logo. This
horse is the Areion referred to in the name of the winery /
brand. In Greek mythology, Areion means "moon-creature
on high", is a divinely-bred, extremely swift immortal
horse which, according to the Latin poet Sextus Propertius,
was endowed with speech. This horse is a symbol and constant
reminder, almost a prayer, to bring everything spiritual in
his life full circle. Gaia, Mother of Earth and Poseidon, God
of Oceans, between water, earth and soil, gives birth to the
grapes we create wine from. Grapes are the life and wine is
the product of the life that is given, and that must be treated
with deep respect.
horse doubles as an ever-present reminder and reference to a
horseback riding accident to Nicolas' sister which almost took
interruption to the cycle of nature's creation demonstrates
the closeness of family in the total cycle of life and ingredients
of Mother Nature. Wine is an organic, living by- product of
Mother Nature that is to be revered by a winemaker who also
respected the healing process that has been needed to take place
while his sister has been recovering with his mother in Florida.
While the family rallied, travel that was not prescribed in
the original scheme of things altered the original timetable
that was to be Nicolas' road map to full time winemaking. However,
that was not the driving force when the entire family was needed.
first vintage of Maison Areion was the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon.
A light to medium bodied wine, the grapes were picked early
and the wine is only 13% alcohol, making it very approachable.
Light in oak, it reveals a lot of fruit flavors and some intense
green olive/pepper that mountain fruit can sometimes show. It
offers a smooth finish with a light toast on the palate. It
is recommended to decant and let the wine "breathe"
for best enjoyment.
2017 batch will have 20% new oak (10% American oak with the
rest French oak), whereas the 2018 batch will have 40% new oak
(25% American oak with the rest of the oak in French barrels).
100% of the volume is being aged in barrels. The wine is 100%
single vineyard, with 100% sustainable, biodynamic and organic
farming practices. Aging time lasts from 14 - 18 months.
2017 Chardonnay offers a distinct fruity flavor with crisp acidic
balance. It does not have any new oak, as too much oak will
overwhelm the flavor of a white grape. Nicolas is currently
experimenting with used oak to see what the final expression
of this flavor profile will be. The flavors have a natural blend
that makes it a perfect accompaniment to almost any meal after
being chilled. The 30 year old vines are 100% from a single
vineyard, and contain 100% chardonnay grapes. This is 100% whole
cluster pressed, French traditional method, sur lies, native
yeast, fermentation, unfiltered, bringing a delicious, drinkable
white wine that is sure to be a summertime favorite.
of Areion wines by night, and winemaker by day for Gonzague
and Claire Lurton Vineyards, Nicolas has the best of both worlds.
By night he experiments with his own ingredients creating a
wine by his own definition, that has a goal to let the fruit
express itself at its best. And by day, he creates a Bordeaux
style wine right here in Sonoma County under the direction of
the Lurton's. The estate grapes for the wines are grown on the
former estate of Chateau Felice, the original architect of the
50 acre estate grown winery located in the Chalk Hill AVA in
roads lead to a goal. New World Wine Club urges you to try these
delicious wines. In order for you to feel encouraged to try
these, we will offer these prices until the 10th of August at
which time they will revert back to their normal retail price.
HERE for the 2017 Chardonnay. The normal price for
this wine is $29. Our sale price is $21.00
HERE for the 2016 Cabernet
Sauvignon. Our normal price is $32. Our sale price is $23.
By Ellen Walsh