Georges and Daniel both dreamed of living a winemaking life long before they came to the United States.
On early visits to their maternal grandfather’s ancient olive groves in Lebanon, the young brothers fell in love with the rural way of life and its intimacy with the land.
During the Lebanese civil war, the Daou family was forced to emigrate to France when Daniel and Georges were 10 and 14 years old, respectively. Arriving in Paris and eventually relocating to Southern France, the brothers grew up in a culture where wine was woven into the very fabric of life.
Pursuing opportunities in higher education, the Daou brothers immigrated to the United States in the early 1980s. They attended the University of California San Diego, both graduating at the top of their classes. Georges received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Daniel a B.S. in Computer Engineering. Industrious and driven to succeed, the two brothers started their own networking technology company.
Ten years later they would find themselves at the top of their industry and ready to return to their roots. It was now time for their winemaking dream to prevail.
Yet it was only after eight years of intense searching and researching that they found everything they had been seeking, all in one property with an impeccable confluence of soil, aspect and climate. This property would become known as DAOU Mountain.
These natural elements alone, however, were only the beginning. They envisioned planting a vineyard and building a winery to make Cabernet Sauvignon of the highest order—aiming to rival, compare with and ultimately surpass those of the world’s great winemaking regions.
DAOU Mountain was once home to the legendary Hoffman Mountain Ranch. It was here in the early 1970s that renowned winemaking authority Andre Tchelistcheff had spoken of great things to come, as he saw immense potential in the mountain’s calcareous clay soils, soaring elevation and balanced exposures.
Yet while this property produced notable wines and was widely considered the birthplace of modern winemaking in Paso Robles, its full potential lay unfulfilled for more than 30 years.
When Georges and Daniel acquired the original Hoffman Mountain Ranch property, they ignored their architect’s advice to tear down the structures and start over. They began restoring the original redwood winery to preserve a vital part of Paso Robles history and to honor the visionaries who paved the way for their success today. Georges and Daniel completed the restoration in 2013, and now carry the torch that Tchelistcheff and the Hoffmans lit over a half century ago—stewarding the exceptional property to produce extraordinary wines.