The Story

The cru9 Brand

Why the name CRU9? A playful twist on the French wine term ‘cru’, translated as “growth”, and Faythe – the 9th and youngest child – her evolution. Craft California wines on a mission. Faythe’s love of wine drew her to the California vineyards. The 9th child’s passion for serving people, being an advocate for their success, laid the foundation for the CRU9 brand. CRU9 sponsors and gives to House of Hope, Dorothy’s House, and Alternatives Pregnancy Center. CRU9 meticulously sources beautiful fruit from Sonoma and Napa Valley to make into wines that vintner, Faythe, and the team love to make, drink, and share. CRU9 wines are liquid liaisons, sparking conversations, relationships, and awareness. You can order online and know that your purchase is helping families thrive and advocating for survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and homelessness.

“I truly enjoy a bottle of wine that indulges all of my senses and is a representative for positive change. My motivation to create CRU9 emanated from generations of my family; I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. And perhaps it’s in my blood. Grandpa Charles made his own hooch out of Cole’s Auto Garage in Lawler, Iowa, during prohibition; I’ve had that same itch to make my own brand… wine style of course. That’s a great story to be shared over a bottle of wine someday. I have owned and managed my own businesses since I was 27. Each of those businesses and all those lessons turned into a fine blend for the creation of CRU9.” 

Marion (Cole) and Vallie Stone

The Inaugural Labels and the Story

Marion Pinot Noir. The picture on the 2014 Pinot Noir label is of Marion (Cole) and Vallie Stone; my Mom and Dad. It’s 1946, in Lawler, Iowa, their first car and first baby on the way. The last of 9 kids for them, I was a surprise for her at age 42, twelve years after the true baby. I came along at a difficult time in her life; she decided to have me in spite of being diagnosed with MS. By her faith, she had a knowing all would be fine with her and me. I never had a girl to give her the namesake, Marion, so it was only fitting my first wine was after my Mom. Marion and Vallie had a great romance for 62 years, 4 daughters, 5 sons, too many grandchildren and great grandchildren to count. The romance will continue someday, God just isn’t ready for Marion yet.

The Cole Sisters: Charlotte, Lucile, Elizabeth (Betty), and Marion

Cole Sisters Chardonnay. My Mom, Marion, and her 3 sisters. All uncommon strong women worthy of much more than just a picture on a wine bottle. From top to bottom, oldest to youngest. Charlotte, Lucile, Elizabeth (Betty), and Marion. At 98, the earth lost Charlotte but she is living it up with my Uncle George now. Charlotte and George moved to California long before I came along, but I’m so thankful for my CA family on my work trips out West. My Mom, is forever grateful to her big sis, Charlotte, providing for the family when they were younger. Aunt Betty went to her final home January, 2018. Mom talked about the days when they were little girls. Their Dad, Charles, would take them in the truck when he delivered his special brew during Prohibition, hoping he wouldn’t be as suspicious with two cute kids in tow (by the way, his plan did not work). And taking them into the local Lawler tap…Marion and Betty were quite the darlings – tap dancing, singing, and playing piano. Times certainly have changed but Betty and Marion were best buddies. The Cole Sisters are pictured above on their last trip all together in 2012.

I was fortunate enough to experience some great trips with Mom and my 3 aunts, as well as my sisters and cousins, the past several years. Las Vegas and St. Helena, CA will never be the same. So many stories to share over a bottle of wine.