Winemaker, CADE Estate Winery
Danielle Cyrot brings to CADE a diversity of experience and knowledge. Having grown up with a French father with whom she took annual trips to France, Danielle was exposed to the winemaking history of her family from a young age. Her great-grandfather was the last in a long line of ancestors who owned the Cyrot vineyard in Burgundy’s prestigious Côte de Beaune.
Danielle had no plans to carry on her family’s winemaking legacy when she enrolled at the University of California, Davis; however, that quickly changed when she took an introductory winemaking class and knew she had found her calling. While at Davis, she worked harvests at Schramsberg and Artesa in Napa Valley, learning the trade from the soil up. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in viticulture and enology, Danielle worked abroad at wineries in Alsace, France, and South Australia.
Danielle comes to CADE Estate Winery from St. Clement, where she was praised for crafting elegant, structured, and balanced wines with refined tannins. Before taking on the role at St. Clement, she worked as an enologist and was promoted to assistant winemaker at Stag’s Leap under her mentor, Robert Brittan.
Country born: United State of America
Education: UC Davis, Bachelor of Science in Enology/Viticulture.
Studied winemaking practices in France and Australia.
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
Use tradition and science to bring out the best of the grapes and the place they are grown. When I worked in Alsace, France, they had a very “hands-off” approach to winemaking. They trusted that the wine would be great because the grapes (good viticulture) and the area they were grown in (terroir) were the best. They didn’t need to manipulate it into something that it wasn’t. They just brought out the best of what they had to work with. However, my experience in Australia was very different.
The approach In McLaren Vale in South Australia was heavily based on chemistry and science. If they had mediocre grapes, they felt they could change it by using science, technology, and the latest and greatest winemaking techniques to make it a fantastic glass of wine. I learned that winemakers have a lot of tools available to them to help make great wine. I like to think of it as my toolbox or secret weapon. The advancements in viticulture and enology have taken leaps and bounds in the last ten years. In Australia, I learned to embrace the science of winemaking.
Today I use both approaches in winemaking. I want to take the vineyards/grapes I work with and bring out the best in them. By working with fruit in the right place, with precision viticulture, and with the latest winemaking techniques, I hope to make stunning wine year after year.