Meet the Team
President of Fun
What is your favorite quote or song lyric?
“The road goes on forever and the party never ends!” – Robert Earl Keen
What are you most proud of?
The team that I work with at Emeritus. They are the best at what they do and are all dedicated to making the best wine and having a lot of fun while doing so. Being able to work with this team everyday gives me joy and a deep sense of purpose.
What’s your favorite season in the vineyard, and why?
I truly like them all, each one is beautiful and has its own sense of hope and purpose. Harvest though is probably my favorite, all of your senses are engaged with the land and your brain is a mist of anticipation, excitement, and adrenaline.
What do you grow (or cook) at home?
I’m not much of a gardener, more of a cook, and I will cook just about any type of cuisine. My favorite go-to is sesame stir fry with broccoli, tofu, and any other veggies that I have lying around.
What positive impact do you aim to make in your community?
I hope that everything we do at Emeritus has a positive impact on our community. That starts with our team and our land. It is core to who we are as a company that our employees have good jobs with good benefits to provide for their families, and that means those jobs need to be here for our community for decades to come, which means we take care to ensure our land will be productive and our business will be stable to provide those jobs in the future.
As president, Mari Jones oversees all aspects of Emeritus Vineyards. Like her father, Brice Cutrer Jones, Mari believes in a collaborative approach that empowers the talented Emeritus team. She works closely with Vineyard Manager Kirk Lokka and Winemaker Dave Lattin to cultivate high standards of excellence at Emeritus.
Mari grew up playing, camping, and even learning to drive on the Sonoma–Cutrer Estate. At the age of 12, she took her first trip to Burgundy with her father to buy barrels. It was there where Mari discovered Pinot Noir. In a centuries-old cellar, she turned to her father with a glass of Pinot in hand and told him, “This wine is better than yours. You should make wine like this.” Brice was speechless (and in complete agreement).
That experience gave me a new perspective on my family business. It was also when I fell in love with Pinot Noir.
Though an early passion for wine had been instilled in Mari, she was eager to chart her own path. After earning a philosophy degree at Colgate University, she moved to Colorado and worked at the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program. In 2012, after years of giving her father advice from afar, he invited Mari to return to wine country to build a tasting room. Over the next three years, Mari oversaw the design and construction of the Emeritus tasting room, and in 2017, USA Today named Emeritus the “#1 Winery Tour in the USA.” She also founded our E-Club, which in the years since has grown into a thriving community of wine enthusiasts.
From the beginning, we’ve strived to create experiences and build relationships that are personal and meaningful. More than just sharing our wines, we want to share who we are, what we do, and why we love doing it. The more I focused on these goals, the more I knew that Emeritus was something that I wanted to be a part of for decades to come.
As the dedicated second generation to our family-run winery, Mari is active in the Sonoma County Vintners New Gen Committee. The committee works to create a collaborative environment for young winemakers and owners, and to promote Sonoma County to the next generation of wine enthusiasts. She also works on the International Committee to sell and promote Sonoma County wines all over the world.
At the winery, Mari works with the team to produce the most elegant expressions of Pinot Noir from our vineyards. These wines match the complexity and depth of the ones she first fell in love with in Burgundy, but with a style that’s all California (much like herself). She approaches her role with a long-term vision of sustainability in every sense, from the land to our Emeritus family and beyond.
When not at the winery or traveling the world to share Emeritus, you can find Mari snowboarding or hiking with her dog Mocha.