Wednesdays with Winemakers – Daniel Daou

Daniel Daou, a man of vision and dedication, moved from war-torn Lebanon to Paris with his family in 1975. The subsequent move from France to the U.S. to join his older brother Georges resulted in two starting a tech start-up. Their business’s IPO turned out to be the fifth best performing in NASDAQ history, valued at a whopping $700 million! Daniel’s gaze then turned to viticulture and winemaking, a love nurtured over the years of tasting fine wines in world’s top wine regions. After an exhaustive search, the brothers settled on the acquisition of a breathtaking 100 acre property on Adelaida Mountain. Today, Daou is one of the most prominent producers in the region, crafting world-class wines atop the meticulously maintained 2,100 ft. elevation vineyard. Their winery is a must-see while in Paso Robles.

 

You can read more on the Daou brothers’ winery here.

 

Why did you become a vintner/winemaker?

In 2005 I made my first commercial wine.

 

If you weren’t a vintner/winemaker what would you be and why?

A vineyard manager. My heart belongs in the vineyard.

 

What is your greatest strength as a vintner/winemaker?

I trust my palate.

 

What is your biggest weakness as a vintner/winemaker?

I am too much of a perfectionist.

 

What’s the one mistake you made in the cellar you would never repeat? Purchased barrels from other wineries.

What is your proudest achievement? Soul of a Lion.

 

What was your scariest vintage to date?

2011.

 

What is your favorite saying?

A leader’s strength is revealed in times of adversity.

 

What is your most prized possession?

My winery and vineyard.

 

What’s the oddest thing about you?

I am a little OCD!

 

What song best sums you up?

Hard to say… So many! Depending on the mood.

 

What is your favorite memory?

Being with my parents. I miss them everyday.

 

Which one of the five senses is your strongest?

Smell.

 

What is your biggest motivation?

To reach my potential.

 

Which bottle of wine would choose to be stranded with on a deserted island?

Soul of a Lion.

 

What is the difference between good and great wine?

You never forget the great wine.

 

Name any individuals you would like to have dinner with.

Pope Francis.

 

Who is your winemaking hero?

Scott Mcleod.

 

What does the concept of “balance” mean to you?

Fruit, tannin, and acidity in total harmony.

 

What is the one thing that you want people to remember about your wine?

That it made their lives better.

 

Best comment made about your wine? Was it by a consumer, trade or press?

Press – My wines are world class.

Ilona Thompson

Ilona Thompson is Editor-in-Chief at PalateXposure, a destination site for oenophiles, gourmands and luxury travelers. She also recently launched #Wine, a site dedicated to wines and spirits reviews, and #Photography, a site devoted to high-quality wine, food, and travel related photography.

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