Early Mountain Reopening Policies and Procedures
Welcome Back to Early Mountain
Policies and Procedures for your visit
We are thrilled to welcome you back to Early Mountain! The safety of our guests and our employees is our top priority. We have enacted a series of guidelines that we are confident will allow us to host you with both exceptional hospitality and utmost safety. We appreciate your visit and your understanding of these protocols.
Hours of Operation
Curbside pick-up: Monday to Thursday 10 am – 4 pm, Friday-Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
On-site service: Friday & Saturday 11 am – 7 pm, Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
-We are pleased to welcome parties up to 10. There is no fee or minimum spend for your reservation, but we kindly request that you cancel 48 hours in advance if your plans change.
-When you make your reservation, please select whether you would like to be seated indoors, outdoors, or in the back lawn picnic tables. Our outdoor seating includes umbrellas and sunshades, but is not fully protected from rain so may require cancellation pending inclement weather and availability of indoor seating.
-Children are welcome, but we ask that they be kept in your table area and follow all the protocols outlined here. We ask that you not bring lawn games or outdoor toys that would extend beyond your area.
-Leashed dogs are welcome in our outdoor area. We are licensed as a restaurant so are unable to have them indoors.
-Enjoy our seasonal menu, Early Mountain wines by the glass or bottle, as well as a curated selection of “Best of Virginia” wines. We cannot allow outside food in the patio or indoor seating or alcoholic beverages anywhere on the property.
-For our Picnic Table / back lawn reservations, you are welcome to bring your own food and we will have a walk-up bar available for bottle or glass purchases and to-go food options.
-Upon arrival, please check in with our host stand at the front of the tasting room. If there is a party in front of you, please maintain 6 foot spacing at this point and throughout the property.
-All patio and indoor tables will be serviced by our Early Mountain team. Our back lawn/picnic tables will be serviced by a walk-up bar.
-Wine club members will receive a complimentary glass of wine for up to two guests (in lieu of tastings) for each visit to Early Mountain. They will receive a 15% discount on all purchases of Early Mountain wine.
-Our Wine Club will have preferential seating placements pending availability.
Safety & Hygiene
-For the safety of everyone, our service team will be wearing facial coverings and gloves at all times. We require that our guests also wear facial coverings while moving around the common areas of the property, including the restrooms and while arriving and leaving. We will have disposable masks available for use if you need one, or branded cloth masks for purchase.
-We will have single-use menus. We will be using single use eco-friendly dishware for our food service and stemless glassware for our wine service in the picnic area. You are welcome to keep your glass with our compliments.
-All tables will be spaced a minimum of 8 feet apart in the outdoor space and 6 feet apart indoors.
-We ask that you follow designated traffic patterns while moving through the property and request that you respect barriers and marked spacing.
-We will have hand sanitation stations available upon arrival and throughout the property.
-Restrooms will be serviced at the top of every hour and the cleaning will be detailed on a log sheet. All high touch surfaces will be sanitized thoroughly throughout the property. We will have gloves available next to every restroom door if you would like to use them.
-All guest tables will be cleaned, sanitized, allowed to air dry, and pre-set prior to your arrival. We use certified disinfectants against corona viruses.
-Each employee is required to take their temperature daily and successfully answer a series of health screening questions before beginning their shift
-We will be logging a contact for every party that assist with contact tracing if necessary. We ask that you inform us if anyone in your party tests positive for Covid-19 within a two-week period of your visit.
While our service and offerings are adapted in response to COVID-19 to protect your health and safety, as well as our other guests and our team members, our hospitality remains the same. We are committed to providing you with a great experience and cannot wait to serve you!
We will continue to listen to you and to improve the experience on a daily basis, so we can continue to accomplish our mission: providing you with the best wine experience in Virginia, in a fun, beautiful and safe environment.
Early Mountain's Commitment
In the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, Early Mountain muted all marketing and sales and postponed all planned activities to allow other voices to be heard and to start a period of reflection on how we can use our privilege and platform to create sustainable changes at our winery, in the wine industry and in the state of Virginia.
We have listened and thought deeply as a team about how we can be active participants in fostering racial equity and driving change at our winery and in the wine world. There is much that can be done. As a Virginia winery and a social enterprise that has committed that all profits will go to supporting the Virginia wine industry, we know that denouncing racism and celebrating diversity is not enough and we are committed to actions to make an impact.
We will share more information as we roll out new initiatives in this area.
Update on Early Mountain - Phase 1
Dear Early Mountain Community,
We are incredibly thankful for your ongoing support throughout this challenging time. It is wonderful to see so many of you join our virtual tastings, purchase wine through EarlyMountain.com, and support the many fine wine stores that carry EMV wines. We are proud of the way that those who have visited us in the past and those who have discovered us through our virtual events, and through recommendations from friends and wine merchants, have bought EMV wines to drink while they “Stay At Home”.
While we are eager to reopen the tasting room at Early Mountain, we continue to put a priority on the safety, health and well-being of guests, employees and community. Virginia is allowing some establishments to open on a limited Phase I basis; however, we have determined that a further period of evaluation prior to opening our doors to the public is warranted. We are currently planning on opening for an exclusive wine club member pick-up weekend on June 12th-14th. We will be posting further updates as to any planned opening of the Tasting Room in the coming days.
We believe that patience and care need to be prioritized and will be monitoring this changing situation very carefully to ensure that Early Mountain continues to be the special destination that you know and love. In the meantime, our attention will remain on our vineyards and production facilities where our focus on quality is unwavering and making sure our wines are available to you through our online shop and curbside pickup. We will also continue to craft thoughtful virtual tastings for our community to enjoy and are working on additional offerings to highlight craft Virginia products as well as sharing some special additional discounts as our way of saying thanks for your support.
I hope you are staying safe and well and I look forward to raising a glass of wine with you soon.
Dave Kostelnik, General Manager
Trevor Noah & José Andres highlight Early Mountain Rosé
In case you missed it, check out last night's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. His guest, Chef José Andres, highlighted the amazing work being done by World Central Kitchen to combat hunger during the Covid-19 Crisis.
We're proud to be a Rosé that helps power José and his work. Here is an excerpt or check out the full clip here.
Early Mountain Biscuit Brunch
While my quarantine cooking regime started with elaborate doughs that required three separate rises and two days of planning, I quickly settled into a routine of reliable, delicious recipes that require far less planning or time. These biscuits have become a fixture in my kitchen – within 20 minutes, I can pull a tray of warm goodness from the oven, perfect on their own, or topped with honey, chutney, or one of my favorite sweet or savory recipes below to complete the brunch, meal or snack. The heavenly aroma and joy of wrapping them in a fresh tea towel was the inspiration behind this “Biscuit Brunch” gift pack. It includes the dry ingredients for Cathead Biscuits, named for the supposed size comparison, though my daughters call them Kittenhead Biscuits. We also included some locally crafted add-ons (Elysium honey! Virginia Chutney!) as well as a hand-stamped tea towel from local Charlottesville artist Emily Ruth Prints to wrap the warm biscuits. And no gift would be complete without some delicious bottles of Early Mountain wine.
We hope that this gift brings joy to each recipient! Please share pictures of how you dress them up or enjoy them just as they are, fresh from the oven.
Aileen Sevier, Director of Marketing (aka Biscuit Fanatic)
Adapted from "Secrets of the Southern Table" -Virginia Willis
Dry Ingredients (included in the Ball Jar):
3 cups White Lily flour + 4 T to roll
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Fresh Ingredients (Not included)
6 T. cold unsalted butter - cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, use 1 ½ cups milk +1 ½ tablespoons fresh
lemon juice or white distilled vinegar
Preheat Oven to 500°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the jar ingredients with the cold butter and cut together with a pastry cutter or two knives until it resembles course meal.
Add buttermilk and combine until just mixed. It will be a shaggy mass.
Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead 4-5 times gently.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin (or empty wine bottle) roll out to about 1 inch thick. Using a 3-4 inch cutter (or large glass), dip it in flour and then cut out biscuit shapes. Transfer to baking sheet with about 1 in. spacing.
Bake until golden brown 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm and fresh with jam or honey. Makes 6-7 biscuits.
Or if you’d like to turn your biscuits into a full meal, top with a delicious savory dish. I love Lee Bailey’s Tarragon Creamed River Shrimp & Chicken, simplified below:
Creamed Shrimp, adapted from Lee Bailey’s recipe in Southern Food & Plantation Cooking
¾ cup butter
½ cup chopped green onion (or sub small diced yellow onion)
Small bunch of fresh herbs such as tarragon (my favorite!) or thyme
1 cup chopped red pepper (yellow or orange are fine too! I don’t like green)
2 cups thick sliced fresh mushrooms (or if you or your children dislike mushrooms, peas are a delicious substitute)
¾ cup dry white wine (Pinot Gris is delicious!)
2 cup shrimp, smaller sized (or crawfish tails – Costco has frozen langoustine that is also delicious in this recipe).
Chopped chicken breast can also work)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups Half and Half (or Whole milk, which is what I usually use)
Dash of nutmeg or paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt ¼ cup butter in a large saucepan and add the onion. Sauté until softened (1 minute for green onion, 4-5 minutes for yellow onion). Add the mushroom and red pepper and continue to sauté a few minutes. Add ½ cup of the white wine and turn up the heat. (Pour yourself a glass if you haven’t yet! Cooking deserves a reward ;)) Once the wine is half evaporated, add the shrimp (or chicken, or crawfish, or a combination). Sauté until cooked through. If you are using peas instead of mushrooms, add once the shrimp is almost done cooking. Remove from heat.
In a new saucepan, add ½ cup butter and melt over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbly, add the flour and whisk. Turn to low and let cook, continuing to whisk, until the flour smells slightly toasty. Whisk in the milk or half and half, continuing to whisk. If it starts to clump, just keep whisking until it smooths. Keep over low heat until there are some lazy bubbles and the sauce thickens. Add the remaining wine (1/4 cup) and some fresh chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper, a few grates of fresh nutmeg (optional) or some sweet paprika. Whisk again. Combine the seafood/veggies with the sauce and warm through. Serve over fresh Cathead Biscuits with a sprinkling of paprika and fresh herbs on top.