The founders of DWC, Lou Damiani (specializing in energy conservation at Cornell University) and Phil Davis (a logger by trade) both grew up in Hector, NY.
Lou, who has had a long-time interest in wine making, originally went to school for food science before switching into engineering. In the mid-nineties he returned to studying winemaking in a serious way, working closely with some local winemakers to deepen his understanding and experience. He then reached out to his old friend and college mate Phil Davis, a long-time viticulturist, to be part of the project. Together they vowed, first and foremost, to prove that beautiful red wines can be made in the Finger lakes. The two of them threw themselves into the project. In 1997 Lou planted his first vineyard of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The following year, Phil pulled out a hybrid vineyard and planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The two friends and partners soon started making some good wines from the Finger Lakes region from local vineyards and when their vineyards started producing in 2003, they took the next step and began making world class red wines. The journey has never slowed down as they include many more varieties of grapes and types of wine, always striving for excellence and expression of the unique terroir of the Finger Lakes region.
Lou was the head winemaker from inception in 2003 until 2011 when he helped to train Phil Arras to continue and improve the tradition at Damiani Wine cellars. Phil Davis focused on the viticulture aspect knowing that beautiful wine must start in the vineyard. In 2007 they were joined by Glenn Allen who brought his business background and passion for wine to DWC.