- Winemaker and Fruit Finder: Rob Stuart
- Marketing, Hospitality and Public Relations: Maria Stuart
- Since 2002
- Total Annual Production approximately 16,000 cases
- Our family of wines include the Big Fire wines, the Love, Oregon wines and our Reserve and specialty wines,
which include blended and several Single Vineyard Pinot noirs, two sparkling wines and two Port style wines
- Located in a converted granary in downtown McMinnville’s burgeoning Granary District
- Vineyards: Sourced from a dozen of the Willamette Valley’s finest vineyards, most within 30 miles of the
- Open for tasting at our Wine Bar, on charming 3rd Street also in downtown McMinnville.
After making wine for other people for more than twenty years, Rob Stuart and his partners founded R. Stuart & Co. in early 2002.
With a degree in biochemistry from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in New York, and a short but eye-opening career in the labs at Baylor University in Texas, Rob started his winemaking journey on the bottling line at Hans Kornell in Napa, California. From there he went on to work in the cellar at Valley View Vineyards and then on to Staton Hills in Yakima, Washington where he made wine for ten years.
Rob managed to return to Oregon in 1994 when he became the winemaker at Erath Vineyards, his home away from home until he started his current adventure. Now he makes the wines he loves: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and sparkling wine. Life is good.
Maria Stuart started her wine career in Chicago selling to restaurants. It was there that she discovered the magic between food and wine, and also had the pleasure of befriending the wines of Oregon and their makers. During a glorious visit to the IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration, the fabulous wine event which takes place every summer in McMinnville for 800 attendees from around the world) in 1990, she met a talented (and handsome!) winemaker. Returning to Chicago, she hastily packed bags and headed west, young woman! Yes, they married in 1992.
Maria continued to nurture her love for the Oregon wine industry with various positions in marketing, PR and events, including a 4-year stint as Executive Director of that same IPNC — where she and Rob first met, remember? At R. Stuart & Co. Maria is the director of PR, direct marketing, hospitality. Maria is also the author of “The Life and Times of a Pinot Mom” a blog about food, life and the wine business. Find it at www.pinotmom.com.
Sea Captain, Pilot, Businessman – Frank is a man of many passions, including a a deep and abiding love for Champagne. Years ago, he came out to Oregon wine country, convinced that we could make world-class sparkling wine from Oregon Pinot noir. He started asking around and all of the winemakers he talked to said: “you should talk to Rob Stuart; he’s always had that same notion. . .” So he and Rob launched a small sparkling project.
In 1999 they started working on the blend for the base wine, and our first sparkler Rosé d’Or was released in 2005. Since then, it’s been nothing but la vie en rose.
Meanwhile, every so often Frank flies his twin-engine out from Maine to lend a hand with bottling or harvest.
OUR (LONGER) STORY
After years of working with other people, we were finally able to realize the dream of creating the winery we’d always imagined. One where the quality of the wines is consistently high, but their price isn’t. Where the staff and growers are honored for the heart and soul they put into the work they do and where the customers are welcomed as friends.
Rob Stuart is a Pacific Northwest veteran winemaker; both his personality and his winemaking style are warm and accessible. His wife Maria loves to cook for friends old and new, but her day job includes the winery’s Marketing, Hospitality and Public Relations.
We focus our winemaking primarily on Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and our two brut sparkling wines Rosé d’Or and Bubbly, with a handful of other endeavors thrown in the mix. All our wines taste of the place they are from and are authentic, approachable, intriguing and perfectly balanced to pair with food.
At R. Stuart & Co. we don’t own a single acre of vineyard land, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t totally invested in the quality of our fruit. After decades in this business, we have developed close working relationships with lots of growers. We’ve carefully chosen our very favorite vineyards; the ones that give us fruit in a wide range of textures and flavors. Each harvest we gather these lots of fruit from around the Valley and thoughtfully blend them into wines that – year in and year out – stay true to our style.
The wines with the Big Fire label—Pinot gris, Pinot noir and Tempranillo—are fresh, lively and friendly, intended for everyday drinking. The Love, Oregon wines are crafted in homage to the pioneering spirit of Oregonians then and now. Somehow they bring out the romantic in us every time. Our Reserve and specialty wines generally bear the more traditional R. Stuart & Co. label. These include classic Pinot noirs designed to marry the best of Burgundian and New World winemaking styles.
Our winery is located in the heart of Oregon wine country, downtown McMinnville. Largely regarded as “the Beaune of the New World”, McMinnville is the ideal location for a production winery, sans vineyards.
In addition to our winery in a converted granary, we also have a Wine Bar a few blocks away on the historic main street. Here we welcome people from near and far, to taste our wines, linger over a glass, and purchase wine to take home. More than a tasting room, the R. Stuart & Co. Wine Bar perfectly embodies our philosophy that wine should be enjoyed with friends and good food.