Sonoma County Vintners New Gen Committee Leads Virtual Happy Hour in Celebration of National Pinot Noir Day

SANTA ROSA, California – August 4, 2020 – In celebration of one of the world’s most popular light-bodied red wines, vintners from across Sonoma County will come together on Tuesday, August 18 at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST for a virtual panel discussion entitled, “A Family Affair,” on National Pinot Noir Day. Hosted by Sonoma County Vintners, participants will dive into their unique backgrounds and their family history in the wine industry, and share insights as to why Sonoma County is able to make some of the world’s best Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast to the Russian River Valley.

Panelists of “A Family Affair” include Will Phelps of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Hilary Cline of Gust Wines, Mari Jones of Emeritus Vineyards, Jake Martini of Taft Street Winery and Matt Duncan of Twomey Cellars. Participating individuals have wine recommendations for National Pinot Noir Day that will be featured in the webinar, and will discuss the past, present, and future endeavors of their family vineyards. The webinar, sponsored by Wright Contracting, a local family-owned Sonoma County business since 1953, is free to join and open to media and the public. Those who register are encouraged to purchase the wines in advance to taste with the panelists.

All panelists are part of the Sonoma County Vintners New Gen Committee which is composed of 10 New Gen vintners that play integral roles in each of their respective wineries across Sonoma County. The goal of the New Gen Committee is to foster a collaborative environment for family-owned wineries and to build awareness of the craft through philanthropy, education and stewarding the land of the future. All members can be found below:

Further information on the participants and their recommended Pinot Noir selections can be found below. All showcased wines are available for purchase online.

  • Phelps, a third-generation vintner, started his career in the wine industry in 2008 working a harvest at Domaine E. Guigal in the Northern Rhone Valley of France. He fell in love with wine and when he returned from France, he was encouraged to gain experience outside of his family’s winery. His passion brought him to various positions around the world from Napa to South Africa, acquiring knowledge in both sales and winemaking. He was welcomed to Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 2012 as a Sales Representative and now oversees the winery’s direct-to-consumer business. Joseph Phelps was founded in 1973 when grandfather, Joseph Phelps, purchased a 670-acre former cattle ranch to develop Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards
  • Cline began her career as a member of the wholesale sales team at Cline Family Cellars in 2015. In 2017 she worked her first harvest at Sojourn Cellars, however her curiosity and excitement with the wine industry brought her to New Zealand and Napa before she returned to Sonoma to rejoin her family as the Operations Manager in 2019. Cline and her sister launched their own small-production Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brand named Gust, sourcing grapes from their family’s property in Petaluma Gap.
  • Jones was born on the first day of harvest at her father’s Sonoma–Cutrer Vineyards in 1987. She fell in love with Pinot Noir on one of her father’s annual trips to Burgundy to purchase barrels. In 1999, Emeritus Vineyards was born when her father, Brice Cutrer Jones, closed a deal on the 115-acre parcel. Today, Jones runs Emeritus Vineyards to produce the most elegant expression of Pinot from their treasured vineyards.
  • Martini is a second-generation winery owner and producer working with his family at Taft Street Winery in Sebastopol, California. For almost 40 years, Taft Street has partnered with exceptional growers in Sonoma County to produce authentic, high-quality wines without pretense, mainly focusing on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot.
  • Duncan is a third-generation vintner from Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars, managing wholesale in Northern California. His grandfather Ray, co-founded Silver Oak in 1972 and Twomey in 1999. Today, Duncan is joined by his dad, sister and uncle keeping Silver Oak & Twomey family owned and operated for nearly 50 years. Silver Oak is known for its Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Twomey is Russian River Valley focused with Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot as its main varietals.


About Sonoma County Vintners
Sonoma County Vintners is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, which was named Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2019. Sonoma County Vintners represents over 260 wineries throughout the county. The organization actively promotes Sonoma County through educational programming; advocates for its members at local, state and federal levels; and contributes to the local communities through our Sonoma County Vintners Foundation. The Sonoma County Wine Auction, its annual fundraiser, has raised over $36 million benefitting non-profit organizations throughout the region. To learn more about Sonoma County Vintners, visit


About Webinar Sponsor Wright Contracting
Wright Contracting, a family-owned and operated local Sonoma County business, has built a reputation as the leading commercial construction company in the North Bay since 1953. A tradition of craftsmanship has earned the company the opportunity to build notable North Bay landmarks including schools, hospitals, wineries, hospitality, commercial buildings and more. Approximately 80% of Wright Contracting’s projects are with repeat, long-term clients who know they can rely on Wright Contracting’s commitment to integrity and unyielding dedication to a job well done. For more information, visit Offices in Santa Rosa and Napa. Phone: 707-528-1172

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