In 1956, Joseph and Marie Daou married after a whirlwind romance in Lebanon. Beirut was booming, a cosmopolitan destination that was nicknamed the Paris of the Middle East. As the Daou family grew, Joseph transformed his father’s small carpentry business, DAOU and Sons, into one of the most successful furnishing companies in the entire Middle East.
As children growing up in Beirut, Georges, Daniel, and their sisters, Marie Jo and Michelle, fell in love with the rural way of life during visits to their grandfather’s ancient olive groves. Their childhood was steeped in Lebanese traditions of generous hospitality, family values, and faith. But in 1973, their world was turned upside down. A missile, fired to begin the Lebanese civil war, struck the sidewalk in front of the Daou family home sending shrapnel tearing through the house. For two years, the family rebuilt and recovered from serious injuries, but when the war escalated in 1975, Joseph and Marie made the courageous and difficult decision to save the family, leave everything behind, and move to France to give their children peace and hope for a brighter future.
The family emigrated to Paris and, later, Cannes in the south of France. In France, Joseph developed a passion for wine, and it was here, surrounded by vineyards and centuries of winemaking tradition, that Georges and Daniel first dreamt of a life in wine.
In the early 1980s, Georges and Daniel moved to California to pursue their American dream. They both enrolled at UC San Diego and studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. Industrious and driven to succeed, Georges and Daniel followed in their family’s entrepreneurial footsteps and started their own company, DAOU Systems, a networking technology company that would revolutionize hospital computer systems.
In 1998, after taking DAOU Systems public, Georges and Daniel sold the company, and a new dream arose, a dream with its roots in France. For years, Daniel had been making wine in his garage in rural San Diego, tending to a one-acre vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon, and reading every book he could find about winemaking. He knew he was destined to be a winemaker and knew it was time to start a winery. Everyone told him he was crazy, but with Georges as his business partner, Daniel told his father, “I’m going to buy this property in Paso, and I want to become a winemaker, and I think I can make one of the best wines in the world.” Without hesitation, Joseph said, “Go and don’t look back. Go full throttle.”
On DAOU Mountain, Georges discovered his true calling. Here, he became the shepherd of a dream, a dream that this mountain’s wines would one day bring joy and pleasure to people around the world. He recognized the enormous potential and challenge contained in the mountain: “The raw jewels of this mountain have been here for thousands of years, but they can only be unlocked through great imagination. This is the quest we are wholly engaged in—and it is the journey that we invite you to walk with us.”
These gifts have enabled him to master the art and the science necessary to make transcendent wines. He has set out to make true California First Growth Cabernet Sauvignons and become the Central Coast’s ambassador of Bordeaux varieties. Daniel’s heart is in the vineyard, where he spends his favorite part of the day—attentive to every possibility for cultivating the purest expression of DAOU Mountain's terroir.