As children growing up in Lebanon, Georges and Daniel fell in love with the rural way of life during visits to their grandfather’s ancient olive groves.
Their world was turned upside down, however, when the Daou family home was struck by an errant rocket at the start of the Lebanese civil war.
The Daous were forced to emigrate to Paris and later moved to Southern France. It was here—surrounded by vineyards that reminded them of their childhood—that Georges and Daniel first began to dream of a life in wine.
Georges and Daniel came to the United States to study engineering at the University of California San Diego and graduated at the top of their classes.
Industrious and driven to succeed, they soon started their own networking technology company.
Ten years later they would find themselves at the height of their industry and ready to return to their roots. It was now time for their winemaking dream to prevail.
Their vision was to produce unrivaled Cabernet Sauvignon. They spent years searching for the ideal terroir, led by research and instincts that would ultimately defy the paradigm.
Indeed, the moment that they first set eyes on this staggering mountain in the heart of the Adelaida District, they recognized it as the place they had imagined all along—a singular property with an impeccable confluence of soil, aspect and climate.
Their search was now over, and their pursuit of the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon had begun.
The greatness of DAOU Mountain was foretold decades earlier when renowned winemaking authority André Tchelistcheff hailed it as “a jewel of ecological elements.”
Then known as Hoffman Mountain Ranch, the property produced notable wines and was widely considered the birthplace of modern winemaking in Paso Robles. However, its full potential lay unfulfilled for more than 30 years.
When Georges and Daniel acquired the original Hoffman Mountain Ranch property, they began restoring the original redwood winery to preserve a vital part of Paso Robles history. Their intent was to carry the torch that Tchelistcheff and the Hoffmans lit a half century ago—and to finally fulfill the mountain’s long-held promise.
Photographer Julia Perez will be signing copies of The Winemakers of Paso Robles with winemaker Daniel J. Daou at DAOU Vineyards.
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