Emmitt-Scorsone Wines is a partnership between winemakers Palmer Emmitt and Michael Scorsone. At our small artisan winery off the beaten path near Healdsburg, passion for making great wines is the singular motivating force.
We bottle wines under two labels – Judge Palmer and Domenica Amato – each expressing different interests of ours within the world of wine and honoring members of our respective families. Please come and spend some time with us on your next trip to wine country.
Judge Palmer produces Bordeaux varietal wines from both Napa Valley and Sonoma County with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon. Our vineyard sources range from the revered to the remote, but all share the capability of profound expression of their varietal and place of origin, which we encourage with native yeast fermentations and minimal intervention. Try a bottle with a jury of your peers.
Judge Palmer is named for Palmer’s grandfather James Palmer, who served as a judge in El Dorado County, California in the 1960s and 1970s.
Domenica Amato produces distinctive wines inspired by the grape growing regions on the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean Sea. Sourced from small, family-owned vineyards, and hand-made with passion and authenticity using old-world methods, these wines are available in extremely small quantities and are best enjoyed with your loved ones around the Sunday dinner table.
Domenica Amato is named for Michael’s grandmother who was born in Sicily and emigrated to America along with Michael’s father and grandfather in the 1960s.
Growing up in an Italian family in Philadelphia, Michael’s first passion was food, and he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York straight out of high school. It was while at the CIA that he was introduced to and fell in love with wine. After getting a bachelor’s degree from UNLV, Michael moved to Napa to begin his journey in the wine world with a harvest job at Neyers Vineyards. He stayed on for several years as cellar master at Neyers, then worked harvests in Italy and New Zealand before settling as assistant winemaker at Failla Wines under Ehren Jordan, where together they produced a wine named Wine of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2008. After Failla, Michael consulted for Fred Schrader of Schrader Cellars on a vineyard development project on the Sonoma Coast, and then landed as head winemaker at Adobe Road Winery. For seven years there (the final three with Palmer as his assistant winemaker), Michael produced a wide variety of highly rated and award winning wines from grapes grown all over Sonoma and Napa, including Cabernet Sauvignon from the Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard.
Palmer followed a series of passions in his life that ultimately led him to wine. A world-class alpine skier in his youth, Palmer competed in NCAA Division I for Bowdoin College and continued his skiing career post-college on the international level racing all over the world. Next he pursued a passion for filmmaking, attaining a Master of Arts degree from NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, and later moving to Hollywood to embark on a ten-year career in feature film production. During that time Palmer pursued another of his passions in his spare time – wine – taking sommelier courses at night to receive advanced certification with distinction from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). Eventually wine surpassed film as Palmer’s chief passion and he transitioned full time to the wine business, inspired in no small part by his introduction to Michael Scorsone a few years earlier by a mutual friend of theirs. Palmer moved to wine country in 2011 to attend Sonoma State University’s Wine MBA program, and a few months later Michael said, “Hey, do you want to make some wine together?” And here we are…