The beauty of Paso Robles lies deep within its roots. Most people think that it is a community for wine lovers but it goes much deeper than that. This adventure was shared with Larry and Gloria Stahly, Robert Schwemmer, Desiree Thatch and of course my lovely wife and birthday girl, Tracy. This trip was planned around visiting a few of my all time favorite wineries but also new ones on the East side of the 101 freeway. Since I had the honor of having a professional photographer (Robert Schwemmer) I will showcase this trip with pictures from both Robert and me showing the ambiance and beauty of DAOU Mountain. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Many of you know that I love the DAOU Winery and the wines created by Daniel Daou. The key attraction is the feeling that you get from the moment you drive through the gates of DAOU Vineyards and step through the door of the tasting room. You will be greeted by all of the staff members that you cross paths with followed by friendly smiles that say, “Welcome to DAOU”. Step up to the tasting bar and again you will be met with smiles as they guide you through the wines along with a detailed and knowledgeable description of each wine poured. Each guest (not group) is provided with this along with answers to questions that you may have on the processing, grape source, etc. Yes, they are always busy but their efforts are still focused on making sure that EVERYONE as an individual is attended to and having a great time. During the pouring the knowledgeable staff will provide you with details on the heritage of DAOU Mountain or future plans from the Daou brothers. You can spend hours here and time flies with all that is offered.
On this visit, we were met by Lisa Colwell (Assistant Tasting Manager) who introduced us to Kelsey Loupy (Wine Steward). Kelsey is going to college and struggling as we all did with what path or major she wants to pursue. In talking with her, it is definitely no secret that she loves being involved with wines. Being a science major we had some very interesting discussions on various topics about wines. I wish I had started learning about wines at her age. Daniel and Georges have put together a fantastic team from wine stewards, chefs, managers, etc. The chemistry of the team shows.
For this tasting Lisa and Kelsey directed us to a beautiful patio table overlooking the valley to sample their fine wines. What a gorgeous view overlooking the valley from the DAOU tasting room which is perched high on a mountain top. My focus for this tasting was on a newly released Rose made from 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. The Rose was delicate and very refreshing on this warm day in Paso Robles. The color is beautiful offering a shade that matches many Rose wines from Provence, France. Mildly dry on the palate, there is a nice balance of acidity with light flavors of pomegranate making it very fresh and vibrant.
The Rose, as with many of Daniel’s creations, are unique blends rather than the traditional French style of wine making. Daniel and Georges selected Paso Robles to be the home for DAOU Winery so that they could remove themselves from the restrictions and controls mandated by the French AOC on how wines can be blended. Daniel did not want to be inhibited as he wanted to use his creative ability to create fantastic wines that people will love and appreciate. His wine, “Unbound”, was named in honor of his freedom from French AOC regulations which allowed him free reign to blend whatever he desired. Many of the Estate wines at DAOU are named by Daniel and Georges Daou in dedication to family members or events such as:
- Mayote named in honor of their mother. Mayote was their mother’s nickname (Marie).
- Soul of a Lion named after their father, Joseph, as they felt like he had the soul of a lion.
- Micho named in honor of their beloved sister that passed away.
- Celestus named after the night sky they were viewing from the sandy beach in Florida one night.
The names and meanings of their wines show their feelings and value that they place on both personal family and the DAOU family (staff). In talking to many of the employees of DAOU Vineyard I always get a common statement that the Daou brothers treat them like family. This feeling of happiness and security radiates on DAOU Mountain.
This warmth and family traditions are found in many of the Paso Robles wineries. Over the next few articles I will try to capture “The Beauty Of Paso Robles”.