George Skorka, Daniel Daou and Rusty Sly
Special thanks to Chaz Roberts for the excellent photography.
I have come to know the owners and staff of DAOU winery over the years and have learned to understand why they are so successful but most importantly how they have the respect and love of the wine community. The heart of their success is family. The definition of family to these brothers is twofold. One family is DAOU Vineyard which encompasses the entire winery and staff. Multiple times I hear comments about how great it is working for DAOU Vineyard and how well the Daou brothers treat them. But the real love and passion lies within the Daou family. The DAOU Estate Soiree is held every year on February 11. It is on this date in 1956 that George and Daniel's parents, Joseph and Marie, were married. So to honor their parents and celebrate their anniversary the DAOU Estate Soiree is held.
Upon our arrival at the tasting room on DAOU Mountain for the 2015 Estate Soiree, we were greeted by warm welcomes from staff members that were focused on tending to all of the guests. What a beautiful setting. Everyone was dressed to the nines in semiformal to formal attire. Walking up to the bar, George Daou came over, and in family tradition, shook my hand and welcomed me back to the mountain for this special occasion.
The Soiree kickoff brought tears to my eyes as George Daou spoke about how much influence their parents had on their lives, raising them to be the kind and loving people that they are. During his speech you could feel the warmth and love he had for his brother Daniel. After George's speech, family slides were shown reflecting the life of Joseph and Marie's marriage and life in Lebanon with their children followed by their immigration to France and the United States. George's speech was followed by Daniel who further reinforced the bond between the two of them. This passion of caring for people and family values can be seen not only in their intermediate family, but also their extended DAOU family. Following the speech, Soul of the Lion, named for their father, was poured for all of the guests followed by a heartfelt toast in honor of Joseph and Marie Daou.
The Soiree holds another level of excitement as it is also the night where all DAOU club estate members come to taste and pick up their long awaited 2012 estate wines. These wines are the creme dela creme of DAOU Vineyards and are made in honor of George and Daniel's parents. Soul of the Lion, as mentioned, was named for Joseph and Mayote for Marie. These wines are of Grand Cru quality right here in Paso Robles California.
The evening would not be complete without delectable delights such as foie gras and octopus sliders, lamb chops, meatballs, smoked salmon just to name a few along with some unique cheeses and finger deserts. All of the foods prepared and served were the work of DAOU'S Resident Chef, Giancalo Perez-Scolari.
Finally, a Soiree would not be complete without music and we were treated the jazz and cabaret vocals of Lebanese-American singer, Danielle Rizk. Several of the guests tripped the light fantastic. Whether it was dancing or just conversation a great night was had by all and I am sure everyone will return next year, I know I will.