Wine & Beer

This world-famous sommelier is joining forces with a Paso Robles winery

Master Sommelier Fred Dame, center, celebrates joining Daou Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles as global wine ambassador with winery founders Daniel and Georges Daou.
Master Sommelier Fred Dame, center, celebrates joining Daou Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles as global wine ambassador with winery founders Daniel and Georges Daou.

One of the world’s most renowned sommeliers is teaming up with a prominent Paso Robles winery.

Daou Vineyards and Winery, owned by Georges and Daniel Daou, announced its new partnership with Master Sommelier Frederick “Fred” Dame on Thursday.

Dame will serve as the award-winning winery’s global wine ambassador as it seeks to establish the Adelaida District of Paso Robles as a industry hotspot for Bordeaux varieties, according to a news release.

“Wine is a story, not a product,” Georges Daou said in the release. “And with the addition of Fred, the Daou dream will be shared and celebrated within the industry and beyond. As a world-renowned teacher and master sommelier, we are fortunate Fred chose our collaborative community as his swansong.”

Daou pouring wine
Georges and Daniel Daou, owners of DAOU Vineyards & Winery, recently purchased Centrally Grown at Off the Grid, an ocean-view restaurant, shop and event complex on the northern edge of Cambria on the east side of Highway 1. Daou Vineyards and Winery

A widely revered wine expert, Dame was the first American to serve as president of the international Court of Master Sommeliers. He is also one of 250 people to complete the notoriously tough Master Sommelier Examination — and the first to do so in one year.

Dame founded the American branch of the Court of Master Sommeliers and served as vice president of prestige accounts for American Wine and Spirits of California.

Dame will appear in the upcoming, as-yet-untitled third installment of the “Somm” wine documentary series; he also appeared in 2012’s “Somm” and 2015’s “Somm: Into the Bottle.” (The first film in the series won best documentary feature at the San Luis Obispo International Wine Festival in 2013.)

“We are both humbled and thrilled for Fred to join our team and continue sharing the Daou experience,” Georges Daou said.

Daou overview
Owners of Daou Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles recently purchased Centrally Grown at Off the Grid, an ocean-view restaurant, shop and event complex on the northern edge of Cambria on the east side of Highway 1. Daou Vineyards and Winery

The Daou brothers founded Daou Winery in 2007 on a 212-property in the Adelaida area known as Daou Mountain. About 120 acres of its vineyards are dedicated to Bordeaux variety grapes.

In the release, Dame said his decision to join Daou was driven the opportunity to help blaze a trail in an emerging wine region.

“I couldn’t think of a better final chapter of my career than the opportunity to work alongside the Daou brothers,” Dame said, praising the brothers’ “passionate commitment to excellence.”

“When you combine the Daou brothers’ extraordinary vision and culture with the ideal conditions and developing potential of the mountain, you can imagine my delight in becoming part of this extraordinary winery and its quest to produce the ultimate wines in terms of grace, structure and complexity,” Dame said.

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