Mari Jones’ official title at Emeritus Vineyards is ‘President of Fun.’ She grew up spending weekends and summers camping, playing, working, and even learning to drive on the Sonoma–Cutrer wine estate with her dad, Brice Cutrer Jones. Together, she and Brice (and their talented team) produce some of the most elegant expressions of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. Here she credits her dad for inspiring her incredible work ethic and passion (and sometimes need) for wine.
By Mari Jones
Working with Brice Jones can at times be (in no particular order): exhausting, inspiring, frustrating, hilarious and wonderful. I have now had the privilege of working with my father for the past 3 +/- years, although I have been learning from him my whole life. There’s no better time than Father’s Day to reflect on our relationship – and working together has made that so much richer.
Brice is a perfectionist. He will take nothing but the best from everyone he works with, because he knows what people are capable of and won’t take less than their full potential. He passes out grammar and wine books, old seminar materials from his ‘Focus on Chardonnay’ events in the 80s and 90s, anything to get the people around him to learn, to better themselves and to make a better product. Brice inspires everyone around him to be better – and that shows in the company he’s built and the wine that bears its name.
Not to say it’s always easy – many times we’ll go back and forth via email, text message, phone call, in meetings you name it for days on end. It could be about something as mundane as grammar in an internal document (like where to use an ‘m-dash’ or an ‘n-dash’ – most people have never thought about this), or something as important as the label on our bottle. He is stubborn (a trait I inherited) but he’s stubborn to make you consider about all options, all possibilities and then to come to a decision together as to what is best. He won’t let you just go with the status quo or the ‘industry standard’. Brice’s stubbornness and refusal to cut corners is one of his best qualities as a boss and a leader of a company.
These are some of the qualities that made me want to work with him. To see his vision for this very special place and to push it even further, to push him in the way that he pushes me. And of course to keep him in line – anyone who’s met him knows he can be a handful!
All the Swirl is a collections of thoughts and opinions assembled by the staff and industry friends of Charles Communications Associates, a marketing communications firm with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. We invite you to explore more about our company and clients by visiting www.charlescomm.com.