Carlton, Ore. -Omero Cellars has announced the appointment of Chad Stock of Minimus Wines as Omero’s new winemaker and Destiny Dudley has been promoted to assistant winemaker and director of operations. A new winery and tasting room is scheduled to open at the west end of Carlton in time for the 2014 harvest.
Originally from Concord, Calif., Stock discovered his interest in wine while studying business at University of Oregon. The Oregon wine industry inspired him to change his course of study to Enology, resulting in a move to Fresno State University. After graduating in 2006, he accepted a seasonal winery position in Oakville, Calif. at Rudd Winery. The following year he returned to Oregon.
Since making the move back to the Willamette Valley, Stock has worked and consulted for a number of notable wineries around the valley and beyond including, Antica Terra, Johan and Durant Vineyards, and Two Hands in the Barossa Valley of Australia.
In 2011, he began an experimental winemaking journey and started his own label called Minimus, endeavoring to produce the most pure and natural wine with minimal influence. This philosophy dovetailed nicely with the vision of David Moore, owner and general manager of Omero.
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Working in concert, Moore and Dudley, both felt Stock made sense as the winemaker that would pursue the mutual goals of creating wines that are not just expressive of place, but have inherent transparency in winemaking.
Stock explains that transparent winemaking, “allows wines to speak for themselves in a pure and true fashion. Pinot Noir is all about nuance and it’s extremely adept at showing the subtleties of place. Personal style preferences and winemaking additives blur the natural expression of the vineyard.“
Organic, and more importantly, biodynamic principles are important to Stock and the trajectory of Omero wines. He clarifies the joint importance of farming organically and implementing biodynamic principles in the vineyard and winery: “A vineyard is above and below the earth, so we want to farm the soil. We seek to show the significance in soil types and express the soil differences in the Willamette Valley. I’ll show you what your vineyard tastes like.”
By working without additives, using organic and biodynamic principles, Stock and Omero seek to create wines with distinctive character, authenticity and aromatic complexity.
In addition to their Ribbon Ridge estate fruit, the Omero team will continue to work with vineyards from different AVA’s to showcase the unique ecosystems and biology of the Willamette Valley. The goal with every vintage will be to understand the subtle nuances of the soil that is farmed and to translate those traits into a wine that express vintage and place with an unwavering level of quality.
Both Stock and Dudley are optimistic for harvest 2014. “This is a big year for Omero. A new winemaking facility will allow complete control of space and equipment,” says Dudley. Stock adds, “even years prove auspicious for the Willamette Valley: small crop and clusters create a concentrated wine. We’ve had a great spring: vines are growing great and we’re caught up on rainfall.”
“We are very excited to have Chad join the Omero Cellars family and feel with his keen insight, minimalistic approach, open-minded nature and aligned vinification and farming philosophies, he is the perfect steward for the wines,” Dudley said.