Meet Winemaker of CADE Estate Danielle Cyrot
The evening at CADE Estate was something you read about in the pages of Vanity Fair. The setting was perfect. The exclusive winery, perched atop Howell Mountain, invited CADE Estate club members and VIPs to this very special evening. Indeed, it was a night to remember hosted by CADE Estate’s winemaker Danielle Cyrot along with PlumpJack Partners John Conover, Gordon Getty and California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. Gavin’s wife, filmmaker and actress, Jennifer Siebel Newsom was also there looking radiate. Along with celebrating the Lieutenant Governor’s birthday, it was the much-anticipated release of the critically-acclaimed 2012 CADE Estate Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon created by Danielle Cyrot.
The most impressive part of the evening was spending time with Diva and winemaker Danielle Cyrot. Danielle is a rising star winemaker who joined the stellar team at CADE Estate three years ago and was thrilled to be celebrating the release of the 2012 vintage, the first from the winemaker. Prior to taking her role as winemaker at CADE Estate, Danielle worked as winemaker at St. Clement. Before that, she worked as an enologist and was then promoted to assistant winemaker at Stags Leap under her mentor, Robert Brittan.
Originally trained at University of California, Davis, Danielle traveled to experience winemaking abroad in Alsace, France and South Australia, but then returned to graduate with a degree in Enology and Viticulture. Danielle lives with her college sweetheart in Napa balancing work and play as well as a primary fixture in the kitchen where she loves to bake fresh breads and play with recipes for the organic vegetables growing in her garden.
Here is our interview with this amazing Diva Visionary:
What was the best decision you made in your life?
My best decision in life was when I decided to marry by wonderful husband Bruce.
Why did you choose to become a winemaker?
I chose to be a winemaker because I found the process of making wine fascinating. My job utilizes the fields of biology, chemistry, and plant physiology with the art of blending and trusting your own sense of smell and taste. I love the fact that I can be in the vineyards in the morning, crushing grapes in the afternoon, and enjoying amazing wines with dinner every night. I get a huge amount of satisfaction by saying, “I made that wine and it tastes pretty darn good!”
What other wine regions around the world inspire you?
Well, of course it must be France. My father is French so I have lots of family and history there. I worked in Alsace for 6 months as an harvest intern but since then I have traveled all over France just enjoying the wines, culture, and terroir that make up each unique area of France. I also really enjoy Australian and South African wines.
Besides your wine, if there another wine that you adore?
I love trying wines that I don’t make for my day job. So I try to seek out interesting varieties and styles that I don’t have the opportunity to make otherwise. I enjoy Austrian and Greek white wines for their crisp clean refreshing style. Don’t ask me to pronounce them though. Really tough names! I also love Southern Rhone reds, especially those from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Grenache based reds are silky, smooth, and full of lush red and black fruits. Delicious stuff.
If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
If I could travel back in time I would love to meet Thomas Jefferson. Not only was he a founding father of the United States, but he was an inventor, and lover of wine. I think it would be fascinating to share a meal with him and talk politics and wine.
What moment in your life did you feel the most alive?
My husband and I rafted the Grand Canyon for 10 days a few years ago. It was such an amazing majestic place. I will never forget it. To be surrounded by such ancient beauty was truly awe inspiring. It was also really big water that year so every time we hit a rapid we were soaked in 50°F water. That will wake you up fast!
What is the hardest thing about your career?
The hardest part of making wine is the time when we pick grapes and make them into wine, or Harvest. From August to October the only thing I do is eat, sleep, and drink all things related to wine. I work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for 3 months. I don’t have time for much else in my life other than being completely focused on making the best wine possible. It can take its toll, but it is part of the job.
What is the best thing about your career?
The best part of my job is being able to share a glass of wine that I made with friends, family, and our CADE consumers.
Who inspires you?
My husband inspires me. He is the best winemaker that I know and he works twice as hard as I do. He makes some amazing wines.
And finally a word from our Featured Diva, you in your own words- give us a stirring, Diva-worthy battle cry for women everywhere to hear!
Don’t give up on your dreams! They are out there waiting for you to reach out and grab them. It may not happen right away, but with some determination, a little hard work, and a few glasses of wine, you can find your true passion in life.
We look forward to following Danielle on her journey as a winemaker. What journey do you want to go on? Today is a great day to take that first step!
360 Howell Mountain Road South
Angwin CA, 94508
Click here for directions
620 Oakville Cross Road
Napa Valley, CA 94558
Hours of Operation
Open Mon-Sun 10:00am to 4:00pm