Daou Vineyards, home to some of the best wine you can get in Paso Robles, is sitting at one of the highest elevations in the area. Roughly at 2100 feet, with spectacular views in nearly every direction.
Residents and visitors to the area are lucky to have such a place to enjoy. Owned by two brothers they work hard to make world class wine and for me, I appreciate that.
On a visit to the winery one day, I asked them….”Tell me, why is your wine priced where it is…it is not inexpensive”
Daniel Daou let me know a few things that stuck with me.
First he explained that there was a lot of “love” in his wine. That caused a chuckle….but what he meant was that they are doing a few things that most people won’t do. Spending time that others wouldn’t bother to take.
For instance –
They plant 3 times as many vines per acre at 2100 per acre instead of 700. They then prune them down to, I think he said, 8 bushels per vine. Normally they would be pruned to 24. This means they will get the same yield but do it with simply less bushels per plant to allow the bunches to develop better while going after the ultimate goal, to ripen together. Less bushels to worry about and more energy given from each vine to help them grow into beautiful nice bushels.
He explained to me that they grow the vines at 30 inches from the ground instead of 36 inches. This one was one that I didn’t quite understand. My memory tells me that he said that it allows for a larger canopy of leaves to protect and feed the bushels. This cost them significantly more money to pick as the workers that pick the grapes have to use stools or something to sit on at that lower level. Typically grapes are picked by a machine or with workers walking through on foot picking everything.
They free flow all the juice. This means that prior to barreling, the juice is fermented in big stainless steel vats. It is a choice of winemakers to either press the juice, press all the stems and pieces that are in the container or open it up and let the juice pour out. Depending on the choice, some wineries press theirs and some don’t. Daou chooses not to put pressed juice in their wine. Instead they sell that juice. The result, as they explained to me, is simply better juice..used for premium wines.
Next he described the process of cleaning everything and the fact that they use reverse osmosis water. Trying to use good clean water for the things you are cleaning makes sense to me. I don’t know if it really helps.
I appreciate the extra effort that goes into each and every bottle. The wine is fantastic and every person that I take out undergoes the same process….we hit a couple places, 2 or 3 and then we go up to Daou Mountain. We always get something or bring something to eat. We always taste a bit and then we buy a bottle or two to enjoy on the spot. The white wine is a favorite for the sunny Paso Robles weather. I have yet to be disappointed by the fresh fruity silky taste of the Grenache Blanc or the Chemin De Fleur – Particularly these two white wines can stand up to the best there is.
The grounds and everything about the winery is done with a “Spare no expense” attitude. It is a really nice place.
In my world, I like to find things that I like.. and go do them. It is clear by the topic of my Blog that I like food. I like to take my time and cook something worth eating. I like to have friends over and engage in conversation while sipping some of Paso’s finest wine. Daou is often poured. We try to pour it last because you can’t go on to other stuff after you open the Daou. Just don’t waste it if you are having a little too much fun.
If you want to enjoy a spectacular view, some great people and drink something really worth drinking…head to Paso, check out Daou Mountain and I can guarantee you will enjoy yourself.