In 1999, Brice Cutrer Jones closed on the purchase of Don and Marcia Hallbergâ€™s prime apple orchard in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The 115â€“acre parcel, the Hallberg Ranch, is located two miles north of Sebastopol, on both sides of the Gravenstein Highway and directly on the Gold Ridge soils of the area. Then, in 2004, Brice finally convinced longtime Pinot-phile, Burgundyâ€“trained winemaker Don Blackburn to join the team. Don came aboard the day before the first harvest of the William Wesley Vineyard and established the hallmark style of Emeritusâ€”that of elegance and charm. We lost Don to a brief but serious illness after the â€™08 harvest, but his protÃ©gÃ©, Nicolas Cantacuzene, stepped into his shoes and continues the quest: to produce an authentic wine of great distinction, one that represents its vineyard heritage, a wine of great balance, elegance and charm. The 2011 Emeritus Hallberg Ranch Pinot Noir rated #26 in Wine Spectator Magazineâ€™s Top 100 Wines of 2014.
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