The Unheralded Legacy of Emeritus Vineyards: Sonoma’s Hidden Gem

Emeritus Vineyards, located in the Russian River Valley, has remained under the radar despite its legacy and quality. Founded by Brice Cutrer Jones in 1999, Emeritus focuses on producing exceptional estate-grown Pinot Noir, a departure from Jones’ previous success with Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay.

According to Mari Jones, Brice’s daughter and current president of Emeritus Vineyards, one reason for their relative obscurity is their status as farmers. As a smaller winery, they sell more grapes than they use to produce wine themselves, often supplying well-known wineries such as Gary Farrell, Martin Ray Winery, and Etude. These partnerships allow Emeritus to focus on cultivating the best quality grapes, reinforcing their commitment to terroir-driven wines.

The hallmark of Emeritus Vineyards is their dedication to dry farming, a practice that relies solely on natural rainfall and moisture retention in the soil. Dry farming leads to smaller berries, resulting in more concentrated wines with heightened acidity and fresh flavors. The two main vineyards, Hallberg Ranch and Pinot Hill, boast a diverse range of Pinot Noir clones and cover a total of 140 acres, making Emeritus the largest dry-farmed estate in Sonoma County.

In 2007, Emeritus acquired Pinot Hill, further expanding their vineyard holdings. Mari believes that dry farming enhances the uniqueness of each block and clone, allowing them to pick each one at its peak. This meticulous attention to detail is evident in the exceptional wines they produce.

Emeritus Vineyards offers three tiers of wines, each showcasing the distinct characteristics of their vineyards and clones. From the nationally distributed silver label Hallberg Ranch bottlings to the micro-climate gold label wines, and the single clone, single block copper label selections, each bottle represents the dedication and craftsmanship of this hidden gem.

For wine enthusiasts seeking a truly exceptional experience, Emeritus Vineyards delivers. Their 2019 La Combette and Don’s Block Pinot Noir offer a combination of enticing aromas, luxurious tannins, and vibrant acidity, leaving you longing for another sip. The 2018 Pinot Hill Cruz showcases a unique clone propagated from the acclaimed Grand Cru Richebourg vineyard, resulting in a fascinating and complex wine.

While Sonoma-Cutrer may have solidified Brice Cutrer Jones’ reputation, Emeritus Vineyards stands as a testament to his passion and pursuit of perfection in Pinot Noir. It’s time for the world to discover the unheralded legacy of Emeritus and experience the elegance and charm of their exceptional wines.

FAQ:

1. Who founded Emeritus Vineyards?
– Emeritus Vineyards was founded by Brice Cutrer Jones in 1999.

2. What type of wine does Emeritus focus on producing?
– Emeritus focuses on producing exceptional estate-grown Pinot Noir.

3. Why is Emeritus Vineyards relatively unknown?
– One reason for their relative obscurity is their status as farmers. They sell more grapes than they use to produce wine themselves, often supplying well-known wineries.

4. What is dry farming?
– Dry farming is a practice that relies solely on natural rainfall and moisture retention in the soil. It leads to smaller berries, resulting in more concentrated wines with heightened acidity and fresh flavors.

5. How many acres of vineyards does Emeritus have?
– Emeritus has two main vineyards, Hallberg Ranch and Pinot Hill, which cover a total of 140 acres, making it the largest dry-farmed estate in Sonoma County.

6. What tiers of wines does Emeritus Vineyards offer?
– Emeritus Vineyards offers three tiers of wines: silver label Hallberg Ranch bottlings, gold label wines, and copper label selections.

Definitions:

1. Terroir-driven wines: Wines that emphasize the influence of the specific vineyard site, including soil, climate, and other environmental factors, on the wine’s character and flavor.

2. Micro-climate: The climate conditions specific to a small area within a larger region, often influenced by factors such as elevation, nearby bodies of water, and geological features.

Related Links:
Emeritus Vineyards Official Website