Meet the Team


Assistant Winemaker

Assistant winemaker Keith Hammond and his wife Amber

What’s your favorite quote?

“When you change yourself, you change the world.” – Joe Duplantier (Gojira)

What achievement do you consider your crowning glory?

I know it’s a cliché, but being a father is definitely my proudest achievement. I was a pretty happy kid, but didn’t always have the easiest childhood, so the chance to make my son’s experience better than mine feels like a gift and I’m proud to be a part of it.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a world traveler. I would spend countless hours looking at maps and globes that I had as a kid and fantasize about what kind of people, cultures, and landscapes I could find in each place. Fast forward to adulthood and I bought a house about 20 minutes from the one I was born in, so that didn’t really pan out! Still, I love where I live in Sonoma and I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some pretty amazing places as well, so I’m happy.

What’s your favorite color?

Ocean blue. There’s something about the hue of the ocean reflecting the sky above that I find very soothing.

If you were a superhero, what power(s) would you have?

The ability to compress or expand my perception of the passage of time. We’ve all had that experience with friends or a loved one or even alone that we wanted to stay immersed in longer than we were able. Also, making that two hour wait at the DMV feel like two seconds wouldn’t be half bad either.

What are you doing to make the world a better place?

I never use anyone as a means to an end and I always try my hardest to make sure that I can shoulder a bigger burden than I place on others.


Keith Hammond was born and raised in Sebastopol, a true Sonoma County native. He studied mechanics and music in college but became infatuated with wine, so he started in the wine industry managing wine clubs and pouring in tasting rooms around Sonoma County.

Keith Hammond, Assistant WinemakerKeith first began at Emeritus in 2007 working for our original winemaker Don Blackburn, followed by Don’s successor Nicolas. He and Nicolas worked together until 2015, when Keith took a short leave to experiment with different varieties and terroir. Most recently he has been making wine with Philippe Bascaules (managing director of Chateau Margeaux/Inglenook).

From the start, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir has set a high standard for Keith and has largely shaped his vision and expectations for fine wine. He is ecstatic to be back at Emeritus continuing the tradition of crafting unique Pinot from the very special vineyards here.

When he’s not making wine, he loves to explore new places, new wines, and new food with his wife Amber. He also has a particular affinity for sipping Chartreuse.