When Brice Cutrer Jones learned of a piece of land opening up for sale in the Russian River Valley named Hallberg Ranch, he knew what a unique opportunity it was. This was back in 1999, and Jones had already built a successful winery, Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards. He decided to transform the land from a farm to a winery focused on pinot noir. Over the years, he's done just that, with Emeritus producing award-winning pinot noir varietals. Uniquely, all of the wine is dry-farmed using deep roots that enhance their complexity. Today, the winery is run by his daughter, Mari Jones, and winemaker David Lattin. The tasting room is elevated yet comfortable, with various seating options, as well as an outdoor terrace overlooking the vineyards. Appointment only.
Napa may get all the attention, but Sonoma is where Northern California locals go to relax in the sun. In fact, if Napa is all wine-fueled luxury—with its chic wine tastings and fancy wine tours—then think of Sonoma as its laid-back cousin, the one who shows up with a picnic blanket and an unassuming bottle of award-winning vino before a hike.
In fact, you've probably already tasted some of Sonoma's best cabs, merlots and sauvignon blancs in restaurants across the country, but there’s nothing like a day in Wine Country or, better yet, an overnight stay at one of the finest Sonoma hotels, to make you fall in love with this beautiful land. Whether you prefer rustic-chic tasting rooms, historic chateaus or brisk vineyard hiking, you’ll find it at the best wineries in Sonoma.
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