Thanksgiving Picks from Ben Jordan
You’ve got plenty to handle on your day of feasting and sharing special moments with your family; we’ll help out with the wine selection and getting these delicious bottles to you.
Ben's Thanksgiving Selections:
If you read our member club letters, you know that the holiday season is a special time for those of us who work with the rhythm of agriculture. All the labors of the growing season peak with the intense work of picking grapes and transforming them into wine. This season, with its record-long growing season and harvest and steady stream of curveballs was certainly no different. Come November, we are exhausted, maybe a little (blissfully) out of touch with what's going on in the world, and we are hungry. Whatever we lost during harvest, our bodies are set on regaining, and with the heat of the summer all but gone, we are primed for the feast ... and we crave time with our families and celebration, even if it will be a bit more intimate this year.
Since we make wine, we are excited to open bottles and toast this vintage with the bottles from past harvests. For Thanksgiving, we tend to want to drink American wine, which is easier now than it ever has been. I'll make the argument that Virginia's wine offerings are some of the more holiday flexible wines around. With moderate alcohols, an emphasis on poise over power, and a diverse selection of wine styles, we can make a go at complimenting the complexity of the Thanksgiving table.
And perhaps no bottle brings greater versatility than our Petit Manseng/Sauvignon Blanc blend, Five Forks – its vibrant fruit and racy acidity both brightens and wraps around the complex dishes on our Thanksgiving tables. With the added richness of the 2019 vintage, it can truly stand up to most any dish. For those seeking a red option Soif brings the same red fruit and versatility of Beaujolais, or other Gamay expressions. And our 2018 Chardonnay offers a balance of acid and fruit that makes us select this vintage over the riper 2019 for the table.
In the end, the most important wine pairing of the holidays is your guest and a glass of something they like, so there is never a better time to have an assortment on hand. In the interest of making the wine part of holiday meal prep a little easier, here are the bottles of Early Mountain wine that we think work particularly well with the coming feasts.
- Ben Jordan, Winemaker
Early Mountain Oyster Bar
We’re bringing the bounty of the Eastern Seaboard to you, paired with our award-winning wines for this special long weekend (October 8th-12th). Chef Tim Moore has crafted a delicious seafood menu and Big Island Aquaculture will be shucking their oysters, served on the half shell direct from the beautiful, pristine body of water nestled between the York River and the Mobjack Bay in Hayes, Virginia.
Come enjoy live music (Sat. and Sun.), mountain views, and exceptional Virginia wines enjoyed in your choice of Tasting Room (indoor), Patio, or Picnic Table reservations. No entrance fee, reservations strongly recommended.
The Oyster Bar menu includes:
Raw Oysters on the half shell with Champagne Mignonette and Cocktail Sauce, half dozen 14, dozen 24
Buttermilk Fried Oysters with Remoulade 14
Crabcake Sandwich with Route 11 Chips 16
Mushroom Cake Sandwich with Route 11 Chips 16
New England Clam Chowder 8
Maine Lobster Salad 24
Old Bay French Fries w/ Yum Yum Sauce 6
Pickled Mushrooms 6
Marinated Olives 6
Charcuterie & Cheese 22
Whipped Feta 12
Baguette: Whole 6 Half 4
Ice Cream Sandwich 6
RISE 2017: Vision and Vineyards
The Ultimate Virginia Wine Country Getaway
Looking to escape the monotony of quarantine and go on a COVID-19-safe trip this weekend traveling some beautiful country roads? We took care of the itinerary, you take care of the therapeutic getaway. We were NOT sponsored by any of these destinations, they are just incredible Virginia spots we wholeheartedly recommend. Whether escaping from Richmond, VA or Northern Virginia/Washington DC, may we suggest:
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 Wednesday 10 am – 4 pm, Thursday-Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
On-site service: Thursday - Sunday 11 am – 5 pm (with adjustments in the case of private events)
-We are pleased to welcome parties up to 10. There is no fee or minimum spend for your reservation (with the exception of our Lawn Tent seating), 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 tent seating. Our outdoor seating includes heaters, a fire place and fire pits, but is open air 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 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. To reserve this option, please email email@example.com
-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, lawn tents, and indoor tables will be serviced by our Early Mountain team. Our 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 and a 25% discount on all 12+ bottle purchases.
-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.