Hawthorn aroma

Hawthorn, also known as Crataegus, is a plant belonging to the Rosaceae family, such as cherry, raspberry, mulberry, pear, apple, plum, and almond. Native to temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, it is widespread in Europe, Asia, and North America. It has always been used in herbal medicine and perfumery for its beneficial properties and delicate aroma.

It is a medicinal, edible plant whose fruits are vitamin and astringent and can be made into jam. Its properties are diverse: it relaxes the heart, regulates its rhythm, and is used in cases of tachycardia, palpitations, hypertension, and states of anxiety. The flowers are picked at the beginning of flowering when the buds are seen still closed, to use dry with the first leaves in infusion. Herbal preparations, extracts, and tinctures are excellent. Of the plant, everything is precious, flowers, fruits, leaves.

Hawthorn's aroma and wine
Hawthorn flower is characterized by a delicate aroma with slightly sweet and fresh notes. The smell can be described as a subtle blend of honey, white flowers, a slight herbaceous note, bitter almond, and star anise.
Its aroma adds a touch of refinement and complexity to white and rosé wines, enriching their bouquet with fresh, spring-like notes. The herbaceous note and freshness help balance the wine's structure and increase its drinkability.
It is particularly common in wines made from grape varieties such as Muscat, Gewürztraminer, Malvasia, and Viognier. It also shows up in many Burgundy Chardonnays including the supreme Montrachet and in many Champagnes. It is also found in Chablis, especially in Vaudésir. The best Australian and Californian Chardonnays also give off the hawthorn scent.

The presence of this aroma depends on multiple factors, including terroir, winemaking method, and wine maturation. Vineyards located in hilly or mountainous areas, with a cool climate and good ventilation, often favor the development of these floral notes.
During winemaking, producers may use specific techniques to preserve and accentuate the hawthorn aroma in the wine. This may include early harvesting to capture the more delicate aromatic notes of hawthorn flowers, or fermentation at low temperatures to preserve freshness and fragrance.

White wines with hawthorn notes go well with many light and aromatic dishes, such as salads, fish and seafood, spring risotto, and fresh cheeses. Their freshness and liveliness also make them perfect to enjoy as an outdoor aperitif.

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In many European cultures, the hawthorn plant was considered sacred and associated with pagan deities related to fertility and spring, the world of fairies and magical creatures.
A Celtic legend has it that the Fairy Queen visited a hawthorn tree in the enchanted glade every year during the full moon night of the summer solstice to celebrate its beauty and fragrance. It is said that she would weave hawthorn blossoms into her silver hair and use its fragrance to enchant the night. Those who dared to approach the hawthorn during that magical night were enveloped in a sense of wonder and were sometimes ravished to dance with the fairies among the trees.
Hence, in many folk traditions, hawthorn was considered a symbol of protection against negative energies and malevolent influences. Hanging hawthorn branches above doors or windows was said to protect the house and its inhabitants from bad luck.

The hawthorn, with its delicate beauty and evocative charm, has inspired poets, writers, and artists of every age. Its presence is often associated with deep symbolism and metaphorical meanings that have enriched literary works through the centuries.

In the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream," by William Shakespeare, hawthorn is mentioned in the context of magic and enchantment. Oberon, the fairy king, orders Puck to gather hawthorn berries, which have the power to make those who touch them with their eyes fall in love. This magical element adds a touch of mystery and enchantment to the play and illustrates Hawthorn's ability to evoke desire and falling in love.

American poet Emily Dickinson dedicated several poems to hawthorn, using it as a symbol of purity, fragility, and ephemeral beauty. In her verses, hawthorn becomes a recurring motif representing the brevity of life, the delicacy of existence, and the transience of beauty.

In the novel "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the hawthorn appears as an ambiguous symbol of sin and innocence. The main character, Hester Prynne, wears a hawthorn halo as a mark of shame for her adultery, but at the same time, the flower also represents her inner purity and moral strength in facing the difficulties of Puritan society.

The English Romantic poet William Wordsworth in "Lines Written in Early Spring" celebrates the beauty of nature in his verses, and the hawthorn is often mentioned as an integral part of this praise of life and rebirth. In his poems, the hawthorn symbolizes the rebirth of spring, hope, and spiritual rebirth.

Vincent Van Gogh's painting "Hawthorn Flowers in a Crystal Vase" (1887) shows a bouquet of hawthorn flowers in a simple crystal vase. Van Gogh captures the brightness and delicacy of the flowers with bold and vibrant brushstrokes, creating a work that expresses the joy and vitality of spring.


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