theCorkHead.com

theCorkHead.com

The online home of Mark “The Cork Head” Stuart, Certified Wine Professional, speaker/educator, judge, and columnist.

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May 2017
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After just two years business, brothers Daniel and Georges Daou might be on the cusp of producing what could be the first true cult wine out of the Paso Robles AVA.

Heady talk when you consider they have not yet produced, nor even harvested, their first estate crop. However, if past business success is any measure of future potential, these siblings with San Diego ties are going to wow wine enthusiasts for decades.

Sitting down with the Daou Brothers is a fascinating exhibition in family and business dynamics. While Daniel rhapsodizes about vine spacing, crop load, and brix levels, Georges veers off into a romantic episode of the impact La Capilla will have on family gatherings. Their individual contributions strengthen each other as do merlot and cabernet sauvignon in a Meritage.

Originally from France, George was the first to move to San Diego in the late 1970’s, followed by Daniel in 1983. Both graduated from UCSD with engineering degrees. Shortly after school they founded Daou Systems, an information technology networking business. In less than 10 years, they took the company public in what amounted to one of the top 5 IPO’s in the country.

Their early business success allowed the brothers to embrace their French roots and enter the wine business in grand style. “I want to make wines like the big Chateaus in France”, said Daniel.

One of the first calls Daniel made was to Delphine Barboux-Laurent, winemaker at the Bordeaux based Château Lascombes. If he wanted to make great wines that will compete with the greatest in France, he knew he needed someone with her winemaking acuity. After a visit to Daou Vineyards, and Daniel speaking to her in her native tongue, she agreed to serve as a winemaking consultant.

Daniel drew on his technology background to design what might be the perfectly planned vineyard for their land. He chose to plant nearly four times as many vines per acre as other successful producers in Paso Robles, but allows only 25 percent as many clusters per vine. He also prunes his vines at a back-breaking 18” off the ground, just like the great vineyards of Bordeaux.

In a couple of years when the vines have matured, the newly planted vineyard will produce fruit comprising the brothers’ ultra-premium Daou Estate label. “To make great wine, you need tremendous dedication. To put your name on a bottle, it is truly a labor of love”, said Daniel. George added, “Daou Estate wines will be the best wines our customers have in their cellars.”

Currently, Daou Vineyards main product is its La Capilla label. These wines are made from premium grapes grown in the best California regions which result in a variety of reds and red blends.

Daou Vineyards overflows with a magical potion of location, vision, and family the brothers expect will prove to be successful. “We want to be well recognized in Paso and loved by our customers worldwide”, said Daniel.

Customers may inquire about La Capilla and get on the mailing list for Daou Estate when it is released at www.daouvineyards.com.

2 Comments

  1. Jim
    Posted 11/27/11 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Ho hum. If they hadn’t squandered so much on their tasting bordello, their wines would be mid-$20s vs. mid-30s.

  2. Posted 12/08/11 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I know these guys, and they are not it it for the money. They are all about creating something memorable and everlasting. Their wines have been priced as they are for some time now, prior to any construction. I continue to be impressed not only with the quality of the juice they put out, but more so with their vision and dreams.

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