My philosophy behind the wines of Azios Cellars is simple: to create single-vineyard designated wines with minimal intervention or manipulation in the cellar. I believe wines are most unique when they express the influences of the place and time the grapes were grown: essentially, the vineyard and the vintage.
The 2011 “O Sanguis Meus” Syrah is my first vintage of solo winemaking. The latin comes from Dante's Divine Comedia. It's the only line he repeats in all three books: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradisio. For me, this first wine offering to the public pays homage to my Family, my Blood. Always, through thick and thin. It is also a testament to how sentimental, how intimate I feel about the wine, as though it is my blood.
The main point of this whole experiment for me is to create wine from local grapes that people will enjoy. But it's also about being a part of a greater community of creative people. As much as possible, I want to bring my family, friends, and local talent into the process of bringing this wine to the public.
The Azios Cellars logo and the label art for “O Sanguis Meus” was created by Carlos Radillo, a graphic designer in Ventura and a great friend of mine. I wanted the depiction of a Naja, a Navajo symbol inherited from the Spanish conquistadors meant to ward off "the evil eye". Together with the Latin words “O Sanguis Meus,” Carlos envisioned an ancient kind of graffiti in some Roman enclave, where someone had scrawled or scraped the message into a rock wall. Both the Naja and the text were hand drawn before rendering graphically.
"the days to shape the days upon" is a quote from The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The artwork for this label was commissioned and drawn by my old friend from Reed College and fellow SanAntonian, Evan Barbour. He is an artist and museum curator in the Bay Area. See his work at: www.evanbarbour.com
My beautiful friend Carrie Paine of Santa Barbara guided me through the design and editing of the back label layout and website formatting. She has been involved in the design, layout, and editing of numerous books and websites.
Portrait and product photography for the website was shot by my sister and my brother-in-law Ali and Marcus Brooks. They are professional photographers and movie makers in New York. Visit them at: www.theheliographproject.com
The video on The Vineyard page was shot by my brother Tony Azios who is a documentary filmmaker in Guam. Visit him at: www.tonyazios.com
The magnum bottles were hand-engraved and painted by Thom and Lori at TLC Glass Art in Buellton, CA. Visit them at: www.tlcglassart.com