Adam Craun, one of Memento Mori’s three co-founders, grew up just outside of Washington D.C. A twin and one of seven children, Adam always felt drawn to the arts. His father was an economist, and his grandfather a renowned oncologist at the National Institute of Health. Despite being flanked by politics and science, Adam was determined to be a creative.
Adam attended Boston University’s School of Fine Arts on a full-ride Division I swim scholarship. He met Hayes Drumwright in the pool and the two became fast friends, growing especially close after Hayes survived a serious health scare while the two were still on the swim team. After they graduated, Adam had a stint in Chicago before heading to Southern California shortly thereafter to dabble in technology.
It was there around 2009, during a conversation about what was next for the three friends, that Adam, Hayes, and Adriel Lares realized they all shared a love of wine that went beyond mere appreciation. Surviving Hayes’ health scare together helped the trio determine that life is too short to delay their wildest dream, so they rolled up their sleeves, tasted through Napa Valley, and decided to go for it with the finest Cabernet the region had to offer. Memento Mori was born.
Memento Mori in Latin means “remember you will die.” With life’s successes, setbacks, surprises, pivots, and heartaches, the three decided that the very bones of Memento Mori would mark a vivid, similarly poignant reminder: Remember to Live.
Adam quit his day job and threw himself wholly into building the cult brand of Memento Mori.
As classically trained artist, Adam was able to quickly come up with the label’s iconic gold logo, now front and center on each bottle and luxuriously adorning all Memento Mori packaging.
With Sam Kaplan in charge of translating their Cabernet sources into award-winning juice, Adam set out to get the wine on the radar of every collector and onto the lists of the world’s top restaurants and wine retailers. Now a highly sought label whose core message resonates beyond its audience of cult-collectors, Memento Mori – just like its three founders – is an unstoppable force just getting started.
While traveling across the US to ensure consistent and relevant branding, Adam learned that he could use their wine to help raise money and awareness for very deserving causes. In a matter of ten years, Memento Mori was able to raise millions of dollars for organizations like Next Step (rehabilitation for individuals living with paralysis), The Frankie Lemmon School (education for children with special needs), and Emeril Lagasse Foundation (youth culinary, nutrition and arts education). The crossroads of art, wine and philanthropy is where Adam feels most fulfilled and inspired.
After creating the branding for Memento Mori, Adam was hooked and started The Business Beverage Company that brands, creates, and produces ultra-premium spirits, wine and beer brands with his dear friend Nicholas Lutz. Their highly anticipated first project is a vintner's approach to a high-end sipping tequila called El Negócio Tequila, releasing in 2022.
Of all of Adam’s activities and commitments, his favorite role is being a dad. He became a father to twins (Harper and Camden) in 2012. When he isn’t helping raise paddles at a fundraiser or shuttling his kids to soccer practice, you might find him strumming his guitar, competing in open-water swimming endurance events, and living life to the fullest with his wife, Dara, at their home in Los Angeles, CA.