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Daou Family Estates announces new appointments to national sales leadership team 

new team

From left, Aaron Amsler, Michelle Smith, Walter Sorensen, and Tony Suarez.

New appointments include: Aaron Amsler, Michelle Smith, Walter Sorensen, and Tony Suarez

Daou Family Estates has announced four new appointments to key leadership positions on the national sales team. Family-owned and operated, Daou Family Estates produces award-winning cabernet sauvignon and other quality wines from Paso Robles. The new team appointments “embody Georges and Daniel Daou’s ‘people-first’ approach to hospitality and business.”

  • Aaron Amsler, vice president, central region, brings 27 years of experience to DAOU Family Estates, most recently as senior director for Rodney Strong Vineyards.
  • Michelle Smith, vice president, retail chains, a seasoned industry sales leader, joined DAOU in 2016 and has been promoted from central division manager.
  • Walter Sorensen, vice president, western region, joined DAOU Family Estates in 2020 and was previously division manager in California and Hawaii.
  • Tony Suarez, vice president, eastern region, has been promoted from his previous position as director of global accounts for DAOU.


“Our new Daou appointments bring decades of unparalleled experience, relationships, and expertise to our team,” said Neb Lukic, president of Daou Family Estates. “We are thrilled to welcome their collective talent to our national sales team to further our commitment to sharing Daou’s world-class wines for all to enjoy. Our wines are in the hands of the best in the business, and the sky is truly the limit. Congratulations to Aaron, Michelle, Walter, and Tony!”

“At Daou, we have created a culture that is uncompromising with regards to quality in all we do,” said Chris Baker, SVP of National Sales. We strive for excellence in our people and processes. We are extremely proud of the leadership team we have assembled to continue the quest to bring affordable luxury wines to the world.”

Aaron Amsler, vice president, central region

Amsler started his 27-year career in wine sales and management as a retail district manager for Block Distributing in Austin, TX, followed by supplier roles with W.J. Deutsch & Sons and Foster’s Wine Estates. Most recently, Amsler served as the senior sales director of the Central U.S. at Rodney Strong Vineyards for ten years. A champion for dynamic brand growth and outstanding performance, Amsler joins Daou Family Estates as vice president, central region.

Michelle Smith, vice president, retail chains

Smith joined Daou in August of 2016 as Central Division Manager. As a seasoned industry sales leader, Smith brings an extensive track record of success across industry channels, both on and off-premise, and regional and national chain management. Smith has worked tirelessly to build an impressive retail presence, develop a best-in-class retail team, foster new lines of communication with top national accounts, and increase points of distribution in major chains. Smith’s vision, leadership, and passion in her new role will inspire the whole team, deepen relationships at Daou and further their brand mission.

Walter Sorensen, vice president, western region

Sorensen began his career in the wine industry in 2001 after completing Wine and Viticulture studies at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Starting as a chain merchandiser at the Wine Group in Los Angeles, Sorensen went on to hold several positions in chains and broad market for Jackson Family Estates and Rodney Strong Vineyards. In 2020, Sorensen joined Daou Family Estates as division manager of California and Hawaii. Working with a team of division and field sales managers, Sorensen will continue to forge meaningful business relationships for Daou Family Estates in his new role as vice president, western region.

Tony Suarez, vice president, eastern region

Suarez joined DAOU just over a year ago as Director of Global Accounts, responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean. With over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing across the wine, spirits, and beer industries, Suarez provides a global perspective, high-level sales leadership, and a passion for developing people. In his new role, Suarez will be working with the Division Managers and their teams from Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, New England, Northeast, and Southeast divisions to build strategies to increase revenues, attract new accounts, and expand relationships with existing customers.



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