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Daou Family Estates in Paso Robles expands to Tuscany

Daou Family Estates in Paso Robles, owned and operated by brothers Daniel and Georges Daou, has purchased land in the Val d’Orcia region of southern Tuscany, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The new Daou Family estate has yet to be named but the purchase includes 70 hectares of land and an old farmhouse called Coroglie. Next month, the Daou brothers will plant 20 hectares of vines focusing on Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The vineyard will incorporate biodynamic principles, as well as dry-farming and organic approaches. The first harvest is planned for 2025.

Winemaker Daniel Daou was drawn to the new estate by the similarities he found with the property in Paso Robles. ‘It reminds us of Daou Mountain in Paso,’ he explained. The property lies between two high-elevation points, Monte Cetona and Monte Amiata, the latter of which is a volcano that remains snow-covered throughout the year. Because of this location, the property sees a diurnal shift of 15-20ºC in one day. The soils are calcareous clay and the vineyard will be planted at approximately 350m in elevation. The Daou brothers plan to employ the same dense planting strategy used in Paso: roughly 6,000-7,000 vines per hectare.

The wine will be called Coroglie, an ode to the centuries-old farmhouse on the property of the same name. The brothers have no plans to make a Val d’Orcia DOC wine, which requires a minimum of 60% Sangiovese in the blend. The premium wines will be IGT Toscana with a production of 60,000-84,000 (bottles annually).

The Daou brothers are working with the authorities to restore the old farmhouse onsite. The aim is for it to eventually become a place for tastings and they are also building a winery. Daniel’s daughter Lizzy Daou, fresh off a two-year stint at Château Latour, will work closely with her father on the Val d’Orcia project. Aside from the Daou family, they also hope to hire a local team and offer internships internationally.

Daniel said: ‘Our goal is to bring the gifts of Val d’Orcia, the gifts of Tuscany. Introduce it to our members, to the trade, and to the 60 countries we work with.’

Daou Family Estates is located on a 86 hectare hilltop estate in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles in California. It was founded by the brothers in 2007 to develop the potential of Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties in the region. Today the estate offers guests a host of tasting experiences and views of Paso Robles from Daou Mountain. The brothers were born in Lebanon and raised in the south of France. Daniel stated that they’ve ‘always had an affinity for the Mediterranean lifestyle’.

‘As a family, we’ve developed our own technique and our own way. We want to take all our knowledge from the last 19 years, incorporate that in our project in Tuscany. To show that our family can excel not just in Paso but beyond,’ he said.

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