Vinous, 92 points

"The 2016 Chardonnay The Jester Fallenleaf Vineyard is a gorgeous wine that shows the Ernest style at its best. Lemon confit, crushed flowers, slate, white pepper and chalk are all laced together in a brilliant, nuanced Chardonnay that hits all the right notes."

    Sonoma Coast, California
  • SIZE

Named after owner Erin Brooks' late father, Ernest shared a similar personality to that of a jester and always elevated peoples spirits and put a smile on thier face. That is just what this wine did to our faces when we tasted it. Fallenleaf Vineyard is located on the top of the Eastern slope of the sonoma ridge overlooking the town of Sonoma and is planted to old vine Wente clone Chardonnay. These wines are super complex, with amazing intensity and elegance, with notes of lemon confit, ripe yellow apples and crushed flowers. It is a wine that checks off all the boxes and reminds us to enjoy the simple things in life!


“Since we know you’re wondering: Yes, there was a man named Ernest. He was an entrepreneur, a risk-taker and a role model for his grandson, Todd Gottula, who founded our winery with his wife, Erin Brooks, back in 2012. Today, the “Ernest” in our name stands for more than one man. It’s about integrity in the fruit we use and the people we know. It’s about restraint, about how ego drives nothing we do.

Todd and Erin are not only co-founders and co-owners of the winery; they touch every single aspect of the business. They connect with growers. They interact with distributors. They respond to customers. They deliver wines. They tackle paperwork. Just about the only thing the couple doesn’t do is make the wine—they leave that to Ernest’s winemaker, Joseph Ryan. A byproduct of all this hands-on leadership is an acute personal connection to the people behind the brand. Neither Todd nor Erin plans to change that anytime soon.

Both Erin and Todd hail from agricultural families, and they believe in relationships with small farmers. Ernest works with 15 different farmers overall—winegrowers who represent 17 different sites across Sonoma County. Our wines tell their stories as much as they tell ours. We consider these farmers part of our extended family.”