RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, Calif. – June 18, 2020 – Emeritus Vineyards is excited to announce the appointment of Michael Burton to the role of national sales manager. Burton joins an acclaimed leadership team that includes second-generation President Mari Jones, Winemaker David Lattin, and Vineyard Manager Kirk Lokka. A distinguished industry executive, with a quarter century of experience in almost every facet of the wine industry, Burton will oversee the in-house sales program for the acclaimed Russian River Valley winery. Founded in 1999 by legendary vintner Brice Cutrer Jones, Emeritus is exclusively dedicated to making estate-grown Pinot Noirs from its Hallberg Ranch and Pinot Hill estate vineyards.

“It is a rarity when a winery dedicates itself to doing one thing exceptionally well,” says Burton. “Having represented wineries like Dujac and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, I find the commitment that Emeritus has made to focus exclusively on dry-farmed, estate-grown Pinot Noir inspiring. It is something I am proud to be a part of, and a story I am excited to share.”

Burton began his career at Chef Todd English’s Olives Restaurant in Boston and went on to become the beverage manager at Olives Las Vegas, before joining the team at Las Vegas-based distributor Breakthru Beverage Group. Following his tenure at Breakthru, Burton spent a decade at Wilson Daniels, where he served as a divisional vice president representing an elite portfolio of clients, including Schramsberg, Silverado, Ponzi, Royal Tokaji, Salon, Biondi Santi, Dujac and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. In recent years, Burton focused his talents on the winery side of the industry as the general manger for Oregon’s Rose and Arrow Estate, and as the general manager and head of national sales for Walla Walla Vintners. Burton holds an MBA from California State University, Fullerton and is a certified specialist of wine, and a certified sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers.

“With the retirement of our long-time VP of sales, Michael Lavenson, we are thrilled to have Michael Burton join our team,” says President Mari Jones. “Michael understands and embraces our vision for Emeritus. He is also a great leader, who brings the kind of creativity, insight and experience to his role that will be invaluable to our trade and distributor partners as we all chart the course for the future of our businesses during this difficult time.”

Founded by wine industry icon Brice Cutrer Jones, Emeritus Vineyards is dedicated exclusively to crafting estate-grown Pinot Noirs from its two remarkable estate vineyards: Hallberg Ranch in the Russian River Valley and Pinot Hill in the Sebastopol Hills. Totaling 150 acres of Pinot Noir, both Hallberg Ranch and Pinot Hill are dry farmed, making Emeritus the largest dry-farmed estate in Sonoma County.

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