Sojourn Cellars 2009 Ridgetop Vineyard Pinot Noir
From the vineyard to the tasting room, the Sojourn team strives to produce exceptional wines and make them available to people who feel as passionately as they do about wines that are meticulously produced from California’s finest fruit. Beginning with the selection and management of exceptional vineyard sites, through the application of natural winemaking methods that showcase the character and personality of the fruit, to the welcoming environment of their Tasting Salon, Sojourn Cellars provides the wine enthusiast with a casual, yet luxurious experience of the best wine country has to offer. Known for their critically acclaimed wines, Sojourn has distinguished itself by offering excellent, high-end, products that are also a good value and by delivering their wines to customers through a buying experience that also displays the accessibility, authenticity, and care that have become trademarks of their winemaking process.
We invite you to our Tasting Salon located in downtown Sonoma!
- Life is but a Sojourn. Enjoy the best of it. - Plato
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A native of Palo Alto, California, Erich became interested in wine while helping his family develop their vineyard on a small ranch in Sonoma Valley. Prior to that, Erich studied Bio-chemistry at the University of Chicago and Philosophy and Modern European Intellectual History at the University of California at Irvine. This led him to an initial career as high school teacher and tennis coach. Since moving to Sonoma in 1998, he has studied winemaking at the University of California at Davis and viticulture at Santa Rosa College. He has also benefited greatly from the mentoring of winemakers Richard Arrowood and David Ramey.
In 1999, Erich worked as a harvest lab technician at Arrowood Vineyards and Winery, a position that extended into Assistant Enologist through 2002. Erich left Arrowood in January of 2003 to become the Winemaker for Audelsssa Estate Winery in Glen Ellen, a position he continues to hold today. Erich also spent two vintages as Winemaker for Hop Kiln Winery and has consulted on various winery projects in Sonoma and Mendocino throughout his winemaking career.
When Erich takes time away from winemaking and the vineyards, you can usually find him on the golf course or in his kitchen cooking up French and Italian country classics for his friends and family.
Founded by Craig and Ellen Haserot together with winemaker Erich Bradley, Sojourn Cellars makes wines that reflect a heartfelt commitment to producing carefully handcrafted wines for individuals who appreciate sophistication without pretension. Launched in 2001 with 100 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sojourn remains today a boutique artisan producer of Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon wines sold on allocation to their mailing list members and a select group of restaurants, retailers, and distribution partners.
Founder and Proprietor
Craig Haserot is co-founder and proprietor of Sojourn Cellars. He oversees sales, marketing, and operations, and he also plays important roles in the finance and winemaking functions of the winery. And while he enjoys his work in all of these different facets of the winery, his favorite part of his job is spending time with customers at release parties, wine events, and Tasting Salon gatherings.
During his nearly ten years in the wine business, Craig has immersed himself in all the aspects of the winery business. On the winemaking front, he has served as unofficial assistant winemaker, planted our estate vineyard (Home Ranch Vineyard), and managed grower relationships at a total of 14 vineyards in 2009. Craig’s main responsibility, however, has been to lead Sojourn’s sales and operations, and his success in these areas has enabled Sojourn’s production to grow to 5000 cases.
After growing up in San Marino, California, Craig attended Humboldt State University and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. He began his 16-year sales and sales management career in computer software with Ashton-Tate and left it in 2001 after working at Micromuse. Sojourn produced its first Cabernet Sauvignon in 2001 and Craig planted the Home Ranch Vineyard in 2002.
Craig lives in Sonoma with his wife Ellen and their two daughters, Natalie and Julia.
Ellen Haserot has been working with Sojourn Cellars since its founding. While primarily responsible for maintaining the finances for the winery, Ellen also plays important roles in sales, marketing, and business strategy. She oversees much of the daily operation of the business and also occasionally conducts tastings or pours at trade shows.
Ellen spent her childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her teen years in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has lived in California for 20 years. She holds a BA in Economics from Duke University and an MBA from Stanford University and is a rabid college basketball fan. Ellen’s career began as an Assistant Buyer for the May Department Stores Company. She spent her post-MBA years consulting for financial services, health care, and biotech companies, and her most recent position prior to committing full-time to Sojourn was with Fair Isaac Corporation leading a global analytic pre-sales consulting team.
Ellen lives in Sonoma with her husband Craig and their two daughers, Natalie and Julia.
General Manager & Associate Winemaker
Randy Bennett started as Sojourn’s Assistant Winemaker in 2008. He is now responsible for making all the Sojourn wines and overseeing cellar operations and vineyard management activities. He works closely with our growers and cellar crew to achieve Erich’s vision for the wines each vintage. Randy is also Sojourn’s General Manager, running the day-to-day operations of our production, marketing, and business operations.
Randy’s introduction to winemaking came under the tutelage of Thomas Brown and Mike Smith while working in the wine caves of Nicholson Ranch in Sonoma. Randy was introduced to the art of making distinctive high-end wines during his time helping Thomas and Mike, as they produced wines for Schrader Cellars, Rivers-Marie, Myriad Cellars, Tamber Bey, and Nicholson Ranch.
Before entering the wine business, Randy received a degree in Business Information Systems from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and worked for 13 years at Accenture, leading large-scale business transformation projects for major financial services firms. Although a very different career, this experience prepared him to pursue his passion for wine and to manage successfully the myriad of challenges that face an enterprising young winery. Randy, his wife Lindsay, and their two children live in the town of Sonoma.
Director of Marketing
Sherrie joined Sojourn as their Director of Marketing in July 2013. Sherrie is a seasoned marketing professional with 20 years of progressive leadership experience in marketing, and 15 years expertise in consumer driven brands and digital marketing. Sherrie’s Chicago advertising roots have laid a good foundation for her work here in wine country.
She has worked with the largest and smallest of advertising agencies and clients, ranging the full spectrum of B2B and B2C industries, including top wine industry clients. After leaving the world of large advertising agencies in 2004, Sherrie has since started two marketing companies as well as started a second career in travel journalism, all whilst working in the marketing field.
This passion for travel tourism and wine is what lead Sherrie to wine country and ultimately to Sonoma and to us. You can follow Sherrie’s travels in publications such as Digital Community News, 7x7 Magazine, The Washington Times, and AmericanWineryGuilde.com. Sherrie lives in Sonoma with her husband Dan and their fun-loving, cork-chasing kitty Blaze.
Megan joined Sojourn in January 2014. She previously worked at Adobe Road Winery as the Wine Club and Tasting Room Manager for six years and has taken on a new role for Sojourn as our Office Manager. Megan was born and raised in Sonoma but left Sonoma to attend college at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she played Division I Volleyball as a Lady Vol for two seasons. She then transferred to New Mexico State University where she finished playing and graduated with honors. She married her best friend from high school in 2009 and has two beautiful daughters, Charlie Grace and Kylie Brooke.
Tasting Salon & Wine Club Manager
Sarah joined the Sojourn team in July, 2014, and brings experience in writing, editing and teaching, as well as a background in culinary arts, having formerly instructed at a cooking school and cooked professionally at high end Maui and Lake Tahoe restaurants.
She received a M.A. in Writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 2010. Following graduation, Sarah’s interest in wine and travel landed her in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, where she worked for a super-premium Shiraz producer, Two Hands Wines. After nearly two years downunder, Sarah ventured to Walla Walla, Washington, to gain a few more years experience in the wine industry.
Sarah has now joyfully returned to her home state of California and is excited to share Sojourn’s small production Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay wines with visitors in the tasting salon. When she is not hosting appointments in the salon, Sarah enjoys cooking, skiing, yoga, and spending time with her winemaking husband and two Australian Cattle Dogs.
The wonderful and friendly voice you hear when you call Sojourn Cellars belongs to Kim Zeigler. Kim joined Sojourn Cellars in February of 2013 as our Office Assistant. Kim wears many hats, as we all do, including order and shipping management and the everyday operations of our office that keep us all organized and efficient.
Kim was born and raised in California. After graduating from Chico State with a degree in Agricultural Business, she decided that the wine industry was where she was meant to be. Kim spent over 11 years at Beringer Vineyards in the Marketing and Public Relations departments. Although passionate about her work in the wine business, Kim took a few years off to stay home with her wonderful children, Karson and Kylie.
A pleasure to have in our office, Kim also somehow finds time to volunteer at her children’s school as a PTO member. Kim enjoys cooking with friends and family and spending time in the beautiful Sonoma Valley outdoors with her kids.
Tom Gendall became part of the winemaking team of Sojourn Cellars in August 2013. He works closely with Erich and Randy to help create our spectacular wines. He aids Randy in the day to day operations of cellar work and planning out the future of the vineyards and wines. You may also bump into Tom at events and the Tasting Salon.
Tom’s background hails from New Zealand where he graduated with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology in 2007. Tom has worked in New Zealand, Germany and more locally in Napa for Bryant Family Vineyards and Sonoma for Arrowood Vineyards. He has managed vineyards and run cellars and brings enthusiasm and fun to the job. His knowledge and experience are big assets to our team.
Tom is married to a local Sonoma woman and moved to Sonoma with her in 2011. He and his wife enjoy cooking, eating out and live music. They live in Glen Ellen on a Ranch with their dog where they raise an unusual array of farm animals.
Sales & Marketing Manager
Kristie joined the Sojourn team as the Consumer Sales and Marketing Manager in September, 2014. She recently moved from New York to pursue her passion within the wine and hospitality industry. While in New York, she worked in the Finger Lake region as the Director of Sales for a startup winery, and also had a hand in harvest and winemaking. Once she helped establish the winery, she decided to expand her horizons and head west to California.
Her love and passion for the hospitality industry has led her to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Service Management from Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to entering the wine industry, Kristie began her career in the event industry planning memorable life moments. Her charisma and drive for the hospitality and wine industry radiates from the moment you meet her.
Kristie can be found enjoying the California lifestyle to the fullest, either wine tasting, taking scenic drives along the Sonoma coast, or running around town.
The Love Dog
Ziggy is our 10-year-old Fox Red Labrador. Currently responsible for retrieving tennis balls, guarding the office door, and keeping track of which pocket the FedEx guy keeps the treats in, she can be found trailing Craig wherever he goes, riding in the truck, and occasionally, lounging in the Tasting Salon.
Ziggy spent her puppyhood training learning to sniff out TCA in oak staves destined for the wine industry. After an intensive, two-year program, she was adopted by Craig and Ellen, who occasionally call on her to show off her sniffing skills. Ziggy has been featured in Wine Business Monthly and Food and Wine magazines.
Ziggy lives in Sonoma with Craig, Ellen, and her pals Natalie and Julia.
Practices & Techniques
Above all, Sojourn undertakes to express vineyard and vintage in the bottle. We source fruit from properties that we believe have the capacity to produce wines of distinction, thanks in large part to unique and specific combinations of soil, climate, and exposure.
Farmed by Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon growers who share our commitment to low crop yields and high quality, our fruit is sorted extensively in the field throughout the growing season as well as in the winery post-Harvest to ensure that only the most sound, perfectly ripe fruit makes its way into our fermentation tanks.
In the cellar, we are zealous proponents of minimalist winemaking. All Sojourn wines are fermented and barrel-aged in small lots and attended to when necessary by hand from the vineyard to the bottle to best manage tannins and mouthfeel and to preserve the maximum amount of personality and soul.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Sangiacomo Vineyard on Roberts Road near Cotati is Sojourn’s flagship Pinot noir vineyard. We have been sourcing fruit from this vineyard since the 2004 vintage and feel very grateful to the Sangiacomo Family for their longstanding commitment to realizing the potential of this special site. The vineyard was originally developed in 1998 on an old creekbed. Several factors combine to make this an extraordinary site for growing world-class Pinot noir: well-draining soils, climate, and clonal diversity. The vineyard is located in a depression at the western base of Sonoma Mountain where cool air and fog from the Pacific Ocean get trapped, especially in the summer and fall, allowing for uncommon hangtime without sacrificing acidity and balance. Dijon clones 115 and 777 combine with Pommard and Swan to consistently produce distinctive wines.
Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III
Rutherford, Napa Valley
Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III, located on the legendary Rutherford Bench, is a reference point for world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. It was the third vineyard developed by Georges de Latour back in 1928, hence its name. The vineyard’s proximity to Conn Creek and the well-draining soils of the old creek bed combine with spectacular, western exposure to produce wines of richness and pedigree. Sojourn is honored to source fruit from this magical property that has been in the hands of a litany of rock star winemakers since Georges de Latour and Andre Tschelistcheff.