Laura Cusick, winemaker, grew up in the Pacific NW and moved to Maine for a bachelor’s degree in environmental science & education. Her passion for the outdoors then took her to Jackson, Wyoming, where she became involved in the restaurant scene, and after that to New Zealand, where her restaurant management continued and her love of wine grew.
A decision to study viticulture & enology at Lincoln University in Christchurch led to a cellar master position at a large, conventional winery, where Laura learned exactly how she did not want to make wine – an invaluable experience! When she and her husband moved back to the US in 2015, it became a mission for Laura to find somewhere that she could produce wine with minimal intervention, and work with high-quality, beyond sustainably-farmed fruit – thus finally bringing her care for the environment and her love of wine together. She has been with Craft Wine Co. since 2017.
Meredith Bell, consulting winemaker, is owner/winemaker for Statera Cellars and EST Wines, and has been with Craft Wine Co. since 2014. Born and raised in the Portland metropolitan area, and with four generations of her family still in the area, feels very connected to the Willamette Valley. She studied biochemistry at UCLA and started thinking of wine as a possible career, and not only a hobby, while living abroad in a dry country. Upon her return to the states, she headed back to school and to earn her masters in viticulture and enology from UCDavis. From there she worked a vintage in Burgundy and in Gippsland, Australia, before returning home to the Willamette Valley, where she has been ever since.
MINIMUS was started in 2011 as a series of one-off experiments, and continues to be an innovator of experimentation and research. Minimus pushes the boundaries of winemaking and viticulture by continuously exploring the possibilities in the diverse region of Willamette Valley. We use a variety of fermentation vessels, and work with as many cultivars and clones as we can, often producing experiments that will never be repeated.