Vintner Information

2016 Vintner Chairs

Memento Mori produces and offers only one wine. Memento Mori is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California. It was co-founded and is owned by three friends, Adriel Lares, Hayes Drumwright and Adam Craun. They source from only the best vineyards and have one of the most talented young winemakers on the planet, Sam Kaplan. Their singular mission is to craft the absolute best product possible and will never cut corners.

“The 2012 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon is our most powerful vintage to date. It is a winemaker’s dream to work with fruit of this quality. With a near perfect growing vintage, this 2012 exhibits seductive aromatics of nutmeg, dark raspberries, hints of chocolate, sweet ripe plums and red licorice. Very bold and perfectly balanced on the palate, solidly structured yet plush as velvet, displaying very finely grained tannins. Only 660 cases produced” – Sam Kaplan, Winemaker

They researched grape sources for Memento Mori over the course of three years. Knowing that land is the key to quality, they considered buying their own vineyard. But listened to the varied experiences of some of the best vineyard managers, farmers, and winemakers, and their path to creating a wine of unique and extraordinary caliber became clear: they would select and source from the best sites.

In St. Helena, they chose multiple Beckstoffer Vineyards (Dr. Crane and Las Piedras). In Oakville, they selected the Weitz Vineyard. Each stands on its own and has consistently been the source behind many legendary wines. They blend their unique characteristics–elegance, power, finish, and longevity–to create a perfectly balanced wine that seduces the palate year after year.

About the Owners

Adriel Lares

Adriel grew up in rural Texas, the son of an immigrant welder who continued to work despite a debilitating injury in order to create opportunity for his three children. His father as example and inspiration, Adriel attended Stanford University and went on to become CFO of 3PAR, a data storage company that was acquired in a high profile deal by Hewlett Packard. Shortly before, the person with whom Adriel most dreamed of sharing his success, his father, had succumbed to cancer. The creation of Memento Mori is a tribute to this man.

Hayes Drumwright

Hayes, Adriel’s close friend and swimming buddy since high school, went to Boston University where he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor at 21. After three harrowing weeks, he learned the tumor had grown so aggressively as to cut off its own blood supply, allowing him to survive. Transformed, Hayes understood that living was more important than waiting. With $100, Hayes founded Trace3, a technology company which today is a multi-million dollar business, sustaining approximately 300 jobs in five states.

Adam Craun

Adam is an artist and entrepreneur who has come to appreciate the work and tenacity demanded by a life in pursuit of passion. He is the creative force behind the brand. At Boston University with Hayes, he was a top athlete on the swim team as well as a talented student of art and music, performing in a popular band. After college, unable to support himself through art alone, he went into IT sales and management while continuing to create art on commission. In 2011, after years of training, he completed his first full Ironman triathlon, a testament to the kind of endurance he would need to bring his artistic talent to fruition in a practical world.

2016 Vintner Information

Excitement is building for the Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction, which will be held Thursday, May 5, 2016 during the most exciting time of the year in Kentucky – Derby week! Your generous participation in the past has helped the Foundation raise over 10 million dollars in eight short years for cancer research, education and patient care.The 2016 event will again be held in the heart of the Bluegrass, Lexington, Kentucky. Our 2015 event was a tremendous success with over 400 guests in attendance, and well over 100 patrons on the waiting list to attend.

Guests from all over the world come to Kentucky to participate in this special evening. The night begins with an exclusive vintner pouring and silent auction. Dinner and a live auction follow.

The Foundation would like to thank Mr. Will Harlan, Jr. of Harlan Estate, Bond Estate and The Mascot for serving as our 2015 Vintner Chair. Adriel Lares, Hayes Drumwright and Adam Craun, Proprietors of Memento Mori will serve as our 2016 Vintner Chairs. We are grateful to all of you that have participated with our auction in the past and hope you will consider joining us again 2016! If you have not joined us in the past for this unique event, please consider adding us to your calendar this year. There are many wonderful reasons to participate in our growing Auction:

  • Over 10 million raised for cancer in eight short years, with 400 guests in attendance each year
  • 100 percent of the Auction proceeds go to cancer research, education and patient care
  • Auction patrons are high net worth individuals with an interest in wine, who reside all over the United States and internationally
  • Opportunity to increase clientele and sales
  • Access to Auction patron mailing and email list
  • 55 Degrees is donating the storage of wine for the Auction, making it easy to get your wine to Kentucky
  • Participants will have exclusive opportunities to access behind the scenes horse farm tours, and more!

The Foundation has an exciting week planned with a variety of opportunities for participation:

  • Private Vintner Dinners throughout the 2015/2016 calendar year in exclusive Lexington, Kentucky homes and venues
  • Trade Wine Tasting, Donamire Farm – Thursday, May 5
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction & Derby Gala, Donamire Farm – Thursday, May 5
  • Private Vintner and Auction Sponsor Dinner at the Iroquois Hunt Club, Lexington, Kentucky – Friday, May 6
  • The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky – Saturday, May 7

The Foundation greatly appreciates your interest and hope that you will join in our mission to raise funds in the fight against cancer. Kentucky is truly a unique place to visit, especially during the week of the Kentucky Derby. We hope that you will join us for some Southern hospitality and participate in our 2016 event!

Past Vintner Participants

The 11th Annual Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction & Derby Gala will take place on Thursday, May 5, 2016 at Donamire Farm. We are thrilled to announce Adriel Lares, Hayes Drumwright and Adam Craun, Proprietors of Memento Mori as our 2016 Vintner Chairs!

Past Vintner Chairs:

  • 2015 – The Mascot, Will Harlan, Jr.
  • 2014 – Quintessa – Agustin Huneeus, Sr.
  • 2013- Duckhorn Vineyards- Dan Duckhorn
  • 2012- Charles Krug Winery- Janice and Marc Mondavi
  • 2011- Blackbird Vineyards- Michael Polenske
  • 2010- Revana Family Vineyards- Dr. Madajah Revana
  • 2009- Oakville Ranch Vineyards- Paula Kornell
  • 2007, 2006, 2005 – Jackson Family Wines – Barbara Banke and Jess Jackson


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