Our Team

People are at the heart of everything we do. From our winemaker and the crew that tends to each vine, to our chef and our team in the tasting room, we aim to provide a stellar experience

  • Ben Jordan, Winemaker

    Ben Jordan, Winemaker

    Ben Jordan oversees all aspects of winemaking, vineyards and production at Early Mountain Vineyards. A native Virginian who began his winemaking career in the Russian River and Dry Creek Valleys of Sonoma County with Dutcher Crossing Winery and C. Donatiello Winery, Ben most recently held the position of General Manager and Winemaker with Michael Shaps Wineworks.

    In addition to his experience, Jordan brings to Early Mountain a winemaking philosophy representative of our mission to craft high quality wines that showcase a commitment to the vineyard and the truest expression of place.Ben also helps run his family’s vineyard in the Shenandoah Valley and makes an aromatized wine called War & Rust. Outside of the wine world, Ben enjoys playing his banjo, collecting Burgundy and spending time with his wife and two daughters. Ben is a graduate of Duke University and received his master's from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Ryan Collins, Executive Chef

    Ryan Collins, Executive Chef

    As Executive Chef of Early Mountain Vineyards, Ryan Collins showcases the agricultural bounty of Virginia and ensures the Tasting Room’s seasonal menu complements the vineyard’s wines. Collins was most recently with José Andrés’s ThinkFood Group, where he served in many capacities ranging from cooking at the gastronomy-driven, four-star restaurant Minibar and at the Latin-focused Oyamel to more operational roles where he oversaw the R&D of new restaurants. 

    Through his role leading special events, Collins oversaw live cooking demonstrations for Chef Andrés at world-class culinary events such as the Aspen Food & Wine Classic and Cayman Island Cookout where . Born and raised in the Washington, DC area, Ryan is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. When he’s not roasting a pig or pickling the season’s first ramps, he enjoys biking, making fresh pasta for his wife and watching Star Wars with his two daughters. 

Who We Are

  • Jean Case, Owner

    Jean Case, Owner

    Jean Case is an actively engaged philanthropist and investor, and a pioneer in the world of interactive technologies. Jean spent more than two decades as an executive in the private sector, where she led marketing and branding efforts for AOL, before she and her husband, Steve, created the Case Foundation in 1997. 

    A Virginia resident for 30 years and chairman of the National Geographic Society, Jean believes strongly in the potential for the state to be amongst the world’s top wine regions. Jean opened Early Mountain Vineyards in 2012 to showcase her passion for the best wine and food that Virginia has to offer.

  • Peter Hoehn, CEO

    Peter Hoehn, CEO

    Born and educated in Switzerland, Peter Hoehn is a true world traveler. He’s managed hotels and resorts around the world for 30 years, from the Caribbean to California to Virginia, to North Carolina. Virginians, however, know Peter as a former executive at the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, where he fell in love with and promoted Virginia wines. 

    Having grown up near vineyards experiencing the magic that transforms delicate grape buds into complex wines, Peter is driven by a sense of purpose to advocate for the Virginia wine region and the beverage that fascinates him.

  • Dave Kostelnik, General Manager

    Dave Kostelnik, General Manager

    Dave Kostelnik has been enamored with Virginia wine since relocating to the area more than a decade ago. He previously served as general manager of Charlottesville's specialty food store Feast, and understands the vibrant local food and wine landscape and its significance to Virginia. 

    Before entering the world of food and wine, Dave spent time in marketing and public relations for tech start-ups and financial companies in Silicon Valley and Manhattan. In his role at the vineyard, Dave's goal is to ensure that each visitor experiences top-notch Virginia wines in an exceptional atmosphere. When not at the winery, Dave enjoys cooking for his wife and keeping his two sons out of trouble. 

  • Rachel Caggiano, Director of Marketing

    Rachel Caggiano, Director of Marketing

    With a passion for wine and desire to help write Virginia’s story as a rising world-class wine region, Rachel leads the brand strategy, marketing and communications for Early Mountain Vineyards.  

    Formerly a senior executive with Ogilvy & Mather, Rachel brings more than 18 years of marketing and communications experience to an industry she loves. In her 'spare' time, Rachel helps edit a Charlottesville food blog, Pen + Knife, all while making sure her husband and two sons eat all their vegetables. 

  • Maya Hood White, Oenologist & Vineyard Manager

    Maya Hood White, Oenologist & Vineyard Manager

    With an excitement for environmentally low-impact viticulture, wine chemistry and sensory, Maya manages the vineyards at Early Mountain and supports wine production in the cellar.

    Born in California, Maya has found a new love of wine in central Virginia. She earned an M.S. in Viticulture and Enology from U.C. Davis, with her research focusing on time-dependent sensory profiles and bubble nucleation of sparkling wine, as well as studies of Viognier wines from France, California and Virginia. She gained previous experience at several local boutique wineries around the state. Before getting into wine, Maya studied mathematics and engineering.

  • Patrick Eagan, Director of Sales & Distribution

    Patrick Eagan, Director of Sales & Distribution

    Patrick oversees Early Mountain's wine distribution in Virginia, Maryland and D.C., as well as recent expansions into Georgia and South Carolina. He also oversees custom wine projects with partners such as Farmers Restaurant Group and George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. 

    A native Marylander, Virginia has become Patrick's adopted home for nearly a decade. A graduate of the University of Richmond, Patrick interned with the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office his senior year, and spent two years working on Early Mountain's winemaking team.

    Besides his love for food and bev, Patrick is an avid singer-songwriter. His second full-length album, Interstate Lines, was recorded in Brooklyn, NY, and released in 2013.

  • Jenna Ford , Tasting Room Manager

    Jenna Ford , Tasting Room Manager

    Jenna oversees all the day-to-day operations in the Tasting Room with a focus on advancing the overall quality of service for guests. Jenna grew up in the restaurant industry locally - her father is a respected chef in the area and she began her service career at The Bavarian Chef as a young woman before joining Early Mountain in 2014. 

    A native of Madison County, Jenna's husband is also from Madison Country. Together they have two spunky kids and a lively house where you're likely to find upbeat music or the latest Disney hit playing. When not in the tasting room at Early Mountain, Jenna enjoys cooking and attempting to bake. 

  • Melissa Rice, Director of Events

    Melissa Rice, Director of Events

    Melissa oversees the sales and execution of Events at Early Mountain, including weddings, private events and vineyard festivals. Having 14 years experience in the events space, Melissa was formerly with University of Virginia Darden School of Business and Farmington Country Club

    Born and raised in New York, Melissa attended University of the Arts in Philadelphia as a dance major. Married to a local chef, she has two of the best kids a mom could ask for. Tragically, she is allergic to red wine, but Melissa will never pass up a glass of Virginia bubbles!

  • Jenna Wedding, Accounting Manager

    Jenna Wedding, Accounting Manager

    Jenna oversees Accounts at Early Mountain Vineyards including all finance and administrative work streams. With over 10 years experience in accounting, Jenna never misses a deadline or an opportunity to build positive relationships. With an excellent work ethic and strong attention to detail, Jenna is one of the core people running the business at Early Mountain.

    A graduate of Virginia Tech with advanced degrees from the University of Virginia, Jenna and her husband reside just down the road from our Quaker Run vineyard in Madison County.