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Craft Wine Co

Craft Wine Co 2016 Johan Vineyard Grüner Veltliner

Break all the rules.

He’s been called “America’s most avant-garde winemaker.” One winemaker told me that Chad Stock knows all the rules – and he knows exactly how to break them.

When I first met Chad, I was blown away by the sheer number of wines he produces and the sheer number of unusual varietals and bizarre techniques he experiments with. For one wine, he’ll try an unusual barrel material. For another, he’ll toy with bacteria usually considered a “fault” in wine. He even planted an obscure grape called Mondeuse Noire, tended it for several years, and made multiple batches with various barrel treatments, just to see what it would do.

All this off-the-wall experimentation, and yet fundamentally he’s respectful of the grapes, of the history of wine and winemaking techniques – but always pushing the boundaries of what we know about wine.

And best of all? His wines all turn out wonderfully, approachable and easy to drink – not just for the wine nerds among us. Chad is fanatical about natural winemaking, is out to prove that natural wine can be good, consistent and has a long-term future in the wine market.

Craft Wine Co

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Craft Wine Co, Carlton, Oregon
2016 Johan Vineyard Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is the national grape of Austria, mostly grown in the hills around Vienna along the Slovakian and Czech borders. It’s a dry white wine grape that can range from intense and exotic, to a food-friendly wine that’s deeply textured and herbal.

In North America, you’ll find Grüner in colder climates like British Columbia and the Finger Lakes of New York. This particular edition was grown at the Johan Vineyard in the Van Duzer Corridor (soon to be Oregon’s newest AVA.) As winemaker Chad Stock notes, this particular vineyard “punishes” the vines with foggy mornings, bracingly cold winds at night, and a granitic soil that forces the vines to struggle. (Remember: vines that struggle put their energy into their fruit, which gives us great wine!)

This Grüner is full of spicy white pepper, alongside herbal and floral aromas balanced with citrus and stone fruit flavors. The grapes were kept on the skins for 48 hours to extract all the flavors and give it the lovely golden color. It was aged for 8 months in Austrian oak, unusual for Oregon but perfect for this wine!

A Cellar 503 selection in April 2018, Environmentally Thoughtful Wines Willamette Valley | Grüner Veltliner