Mari grew up spending weekends and summers camping, playing, working, and even learning to drive on the Sonoma–Cutrer estate with her dad, Brice Cutrer Jones, and two older brothers, Monte and Victor.
At home, Brice allowed her one (diluted) glass of wine with dinner. When she was 12 years old, he invited her on his annual tree (for barrels) buying trip to Burgundy, where among other things, she discovered Pinot Noir. In a centuries–old wine cellar, she turned to her father with a glass of Pinot Noir in hand and told him, “This wine is better than the one you make! You should make a red wine like this.” She was ecstatic when Brice announced his plans to purchase the Hallberg Ranch for the purpose of planting Pinot Noir exclusively (no Chardonnay this time!).
In 2012, Brice called on Mari and asked her to come launch a tasting room at Emeritus, and her brothers asked her to go and keep an eye on Brice for them. It was to prove a propitious moment. After spending time in two of America’s most beautiful areas—upstate New York, where she studied philosophy at Colgate University, and then the Rocky Mountains, where she worked with the non-profit, Telluride Adaptive Sports Program—she yearned to return to the most beautiful corner of the country, Sonoma Wine Country.
Today, she works alongside Brice and the Emeritus Team to produce the most elegant expression of Pinot from their treasured vineyards; wines that match the complexity and depth of the ones she tasted in Burgundy, but with a style that’s all California (much like her).
When she’s not sipping on Pinot Mari can be found hiking around Northern California or snowboarding in Telluride with her husband Brian.