Emeritus Vineyards was born of a dream to create a noble Pinot Noir—one that especially speaks of elegance and charm. An experienced team of uniquely qualified individuals—the Emeritus Team—combined their talents to work toward the realization of that dream. The result is two Estate Grown and Bottled Pinot Noirs: Emeritus, Russian River Valley, from the home ranch in the heart of the Russian Ri... Read more
Emeritus Vineyards was born of a dream to create a noble Pinot Noir—one that especially speaks of elegance and charm. An experienced team of uniquely qualified individuals—the Emeritus Team—combined their talents to work toward the realization of that dream. The result is two Estate Grown and Bottled Pinot Noirs: Emeritus, Russian River Valley, from the home ranch in the heart of the Russian River Valley; and Emeritus, William Wesley, from the mountain vineyards on the Sonoma Coast near Annapolis.
In 1999, two months after Brice Cutrer Jones signed the last of the papers turning over control of the 26-year-old Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards (SCV) to liquor company Brown-Forman, Jones and his team of six key, long-term employees (the Emeritus Team) and six long-time investors closed on the purchase of Don and Marcia Hallberg's 115 acres of prime apple orchard in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The land is located just 10 miles west of SCV, two miles north of Sebastopol, on both sides of the Gravenstein Highway and directly on the Gold Ridge-the name of the predominate soils of the area.
Emeritus Vineyards owns and farms 150 acres of Pinot Noir vineyards in two Sonoma County locations: The home ranch-Hallberg Vineyard-in the heart of the Russian River Valley, and William Wesley Vineyard in the coastal mountains of the Sonoma Coast.
The sole objective of the Emeritus Team is to produce a noble Pinot Noir reflecting the terroir of each vineyard. Three factors will determine the quality of wine the Team will produce: soil, climate, and man. Soil gives the wine its character. Climate gives the wine its personality. Man, in addition to elevating the wine from grapes, influences the effects of both soil and climate, and thus, gives the wine its spirit, or style.
The Emeritus Team has embarked on a new direction for Pinot Noir. Winemaker Don Blackburn has produced two elegant Pinot Noir wines, whose defining characteristic, he believes, is charm. Don explains that a great Pinot's appeal is emotional and visceral; seducing with nuance rather than complexity or intensity. Noble wines begin in the vineyard and the Team utilizes clonal selection, meticulous viticultural practices and dry farming to help the grapes achieve full ripeness without excessive sugars and extracted flavors. Then, to capture the wine's full essence—that captivating sultry elegance—the winemaker must listen to the grape and respond with a gentle touch.
Consequently, Emeritus wines are evolved with softened edges and supple tannins, yet retain their youthful vibrancy. The aromatics are clean and airy with the olfactory brightness of ripe fruit or the fragrance of freshly cut flowers, and work harmoniously to create a wine that infuses a sense of well-being. Read less