Nico Azios: Winemaker/Owner
I came to winemaking a bit later in life than I would've liked. But life's got a funny way of getting you to where you need to be, eventually. I lived a previous life as a breast cancer researcher (slash phytochemist) and found myself publishing research articles about the effects of red wine compounds on cancer cell biochemistry (all the while becoming more and more interested in the wine part, rather than the cancer part). I saw the marriage of art and science in winemaking, and I wanted to be a part of that: that alchemy, an ancient craft, a trade for a lifetime of learning and experimenting.
I have a PhD in Plant Biology and have been passionate about plants my whole life. So the concept that "the wine is made in the vineyard" is integral to my philosophy in winemaking.
I tied up the loose ends of my cancer research at UT-Austin and began my new schooling as a vineyard researcher and winery lab tech at Flat Creek Estates in the Texas Hill Country. From there...vineyard work at Cosimo Massini in Tuscany... cellar hand to enologist to assistant winemaker at Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez, Ca...a harvest stint at Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa...
And now...Azios Cellars
I have worked in these diverse arenas always with the singular goal of learning the craft by doing the work. Starting from the ground up instead of taking any shortcuts. There's a million ways to make wine... And I'd like to learn at least 100 of them before I die.
Amara Maliszewski: Partner (in business and Life)
Amara and I have been together for 12 years. We met in Austin Tx in 2001, moved to Romania and Italy together in 2007, to South Africa in 2009, and then to California. She is a hospice social worker, counseling those working through the grief of death in the family.
Amara is the organization behind Azios Cellars. She loves nothing more than to check things off her List. If something gets done regarding the business, it's because of her.
Lucinda and Etta: Kids
Lucy and Etta are our 2 lovely daughters. Lucy aspires to be a dog groomer . She has helped me in the vineyard, cellar, and lab but thinks wine making a bit boring for a real career. All except for the fork lift driving part.
Etta aspires to speak in a language that others can understand.
Paul Maliszewski: Assistant Winemaker
Paul is Amara's father and an integral part of helping me make the wine during harvest. When things get rough, he always comes in from Durango, Colorado to get his hands dirty and help me make sure it all gets done.
Dr. Bubbles: Dachshund x Corgi x Chihuahua. Squirrel catcher.
Dr. Bubbles is a dog. She has honorary degrees from agricultural universities worldwide due to her extensive research in vermin control. She is also extremely needy and will destroy anything of personal value if left alone.
Nico, Amara, Etta (on hip), Lucy, and Dr.Bubbles