Running a small wine company is never an easy task. But running a tiny one that focuses on low intervention wines across not one but three distinct brands? Now that’s dedication. Enter the matchless winemaking team at Craft Wine Company.
Chad Stock, Meredith Bell, and Laura Cusick make up the team at Craft, one of minimalist wine lovers’ favorite U.S. wine productions. Led by Chad Stock, who joined the company as a consultant in 2013, the small team oversees the winemaking across the Omero, Minimus, and Origin brands within the larger Craft Wine Co. enterprise.
Why house their wines under three brands instead of one? The separation provides space and structure to experiment with different approaches with intention. The Omero brand is home to fresh, affordable, traditional wines. Minimus is where you’ll find many of the funky, groundbreaking wines that Craft is known for in the industry. Under this brand, the team experiments with rare varietals, fermentation vessels, and blend combinations. If you’re lucky enough to try one of the Origin wines, you’re in for something special. Origin is the apex of the company. Only their most special wines are honored with this label.
Within each brand, they are committed to experimentation without manipulation. They do not fine or filter, they use native yeasts and malolactic bacteria, and they source grapes from trusted farmers. Rather than interfere with their wines, they focus on making authentic wine with the best varietals for the Willamette Valley. Those varietals might not be what everyone else is using! And they certainly don’t create blends the way most do. This is one of the ways the winemakers flex their creativity. One of my favorite rosés, their 2016 RedWhitePink Rosé, is a great example. This combination of Pinot Gris, Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Tempranillo can be found in their Minimus line. It is a mouthwatering, juicy, delicious rosé whose uniqueness comes from combining multiple single lots, rather than intrusive winemaking.
As a marketer, I appreciate their brand strategy and the distinct identities they have created for
each. But as a wine lover, I can see what’s even more important behind their brand architecture: the ability to grow as craftsmen, play with wine, and create an incredible final product. Here’s to Chad, Meredith, and Laura and their commitment to making unique, minimalist, and downright yummy wines.