Winemaker, CADE Estate Winery
Danielle Cyrot brings to CADE a diversity of winemaking experience. 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 then promoted to assistant winemaker at Stag’s Leap under her mentor, Robert Brittan.
Country born: United State of America
Education: UC Davis- BS in Enology/Viticulture. Studied winemaking practices in both France and Australia.
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
Bring out the best of the grapes and the place they are grown by using tradition and science. When she 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 that they were grown in (terroir) were the best of 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, her experience in Australia was very different. In McLaren Vale, South Australia the approach was very heavily based on chemistry and science. If they had mediocre grapes then 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. Danielle learned that winemakers have a lot of tools available to them to help make great wine. Danielle likes to think of it as my tool box or my secret weapon. The advancements in the field of viticulture and enology has taken leaps and bounds in the last 10 years. So in Australia, she learned to embrace the science of winemaking. Today I use both approaches in winemaking. Danielle wants to take the vineyards/grapes that I work with and bring out the best in them. By working with fruit in the right place, with precision viticulture, and the latest winemaking techniques she hopes to make stunning wine year after year.