Winemaker, Silver Oak Cellars
A self-described “beach rat,” Daniel Baron grew up on Long Island, New York, but moved to California’s Sonoma County in 1968, after his freshman year in college. Working as a tractor driver and field hand at Chateau Montelena, he developed a passion for winemaking and enrolled at University California Davis, which is renowned for its viticulture and enology degree programs. Daniel earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the space of four years and began working as vineyard manager and assistant winemaker in Mendocino’s Anderson Valley.
Eager to learn more about his craft, Daniel moved to one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world—Bordeaux, France—in 1981. Working two vintages at various chateaux in the region dramatically altered his approach to winemaking. He developed an understanding of the role of history and tradition in the art of making wine, as well as the importance of the pursuit of excellence.
In 1982, Daniel returned to California to help launch a new winery in the Napa Valley on behalf of his French employer. He had risen to the position of general manager when he was introduced to Justin Meyer of Silver Oak Cellars in 1984. Justin was planning to retire and wanted to find his successor. He found just the candidate he wanted in Daniel, and the two worked side by side until Justin’s retirement in 2001. “Justin instilled in me both pride in what Silver Oak had accomplished and the humility to realize that there is always room to improve,” says Daniel. “He constantly searched for ways to raise quality, and that’s become one of our core values at Silver Oak.”
Known for his diligence and attention to detail, Daniel perceives wine not just as a beverage, but as a way of life and an important component of family bonding, fine dining, history, and culture. He is eager to share his expertise with you during the December 3, 2014, sailing to the beaches of Society Islands & Tuamotus. Over the course of the cruise, he will present a lecture and wine tasting, host a cocktail party, and offer other opportunities for you to meet him personally aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin.
To book the December 3, 2014, sailing, click here.