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Daou Family Estates outlines climate strategy

Published:  17 December, 2020

California’s Daou Family Estates has revealed the ‘three phase approach’ it is employing to tackle heatwaves and cold snaps in the vineyard, which have become more extreme over the past decade.

Having tracked changes in recent years, the estate’s team has come to the conclusion there has been a rise in the extreme temperature swings at its vineyards in the mountains of Paso Robles, 10 miles from downtown.

Winemaker and co-owner Daniel Daou and his team have thus managed these changes by developing a three pronged approach: activating soil micro-organisms on the one hand, while also using a shade net to block 40% of UV rays and prevent damage to the grapes. Microbursts of irrigation have also been used during heatwaves to keep the vines fresh and away from dehydration.

“I feel blessed that we have been spared by the fires and the smoke in 2020. It is an extraordinary vintage with beautiful wines defined by very high phenolics, a great nose, beautiful texture and a great tannin structure that will allow them to age gracefully for decades,” Daou said.

Daou was founded by Daniel and his brother Georges in 1999.

Having grown up in Beirut, the brothers moved to California in the early 1980s in pursuit of making a California “first growth” wine from the best terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Their quest led them to their site in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles. Only 14 miles from the ocean, Daou Mountain towers over the coastal range at 2,200 feet over sea level, with steep clay-limestone slopes reaching nearly 60%.