Early Mountain Announces New Winemaker, Maya Hood White

Posted on 

April 28, 2022

Madison, VA, August 28, 2022 – Early Mountain announced the appointment of Maya Hood White as winemaker at the award-winning Virginia winery. After overseeing Early Mountain’s vineyards and playing an integral role in the development and production of multiple award-winning vintages asAssociate Winemaker, Maya’s promotion represents a doubling down on EarlyMountain’s commitment to quality, innovation and vision that have been the hallmark of the winery. 


“It is an exciting time at Early Mountain Vineyards as Maya HoodWhite steps up to become Winemaker. I am fully confident that Maya will leadEarly Mountain to even greater heights as we enter our second decade”, saidJean Case. “Our winemaking approach has been highly collaborative over the past5 years which will allow us to seamlessly transition under Maya’s leadership, while maintaining the extraordinary quality and style that has earned us significant recognition from the industry and from our treasured customers. All of us at Early Mountain are proud and grateful that we have reached such a high quality in our wines produced in Virginia and, I have no doubt with Maya as winemaker, we will continue to build on our successes and reach new heights.” 


According to long-time celebrated enological consultant PaulHobbs, “Maya brings the rare combination of detailed knowledge in both the vineyard and winery whereas most in this industry focus on only one. She is a thoughtful winemaker with serious analytical chops able to craft wines of texture, complexity, and beauty.”   


Maya has been an integral part of the Early Mountain team since2014 quickly progressing through the ranks to Vineyard Manager & Enologist and then to Associate Winemaker & Viticulturist for five harvests. She has contributed to winemaking across the portfolio as well as leading our sparkling wine program. Maya has also overseen our 55 acres of estate vineyards throughout her tenure bringing a philosophy of low intervention, sustainability, and ongoing experimentation to best bring the essence of our sites to bottle. According to Maya, “While I never planned to stay in Virginia wine country, the opportunity at Early Mountain to farm extraordinary vineyard sites like Quaker Run, while also being supported to use innovation and cutting-edge agricultural practices to respond to ever changing vintages, really drew me in. The ability to engage deeply in both viticulture and winemaking kept me here and I am fully sold on the bright future for Virginia wine.”


Maya has deep roots in wine with a childhood spent in Santa Barbara, California, and fond memories of exploring wineries together with her parents and grandmother. After a degree at Virginia Tech focusing on mathematics and a stint in engineering, Maya sought a career in which she could be hands-on in nature while also applying her tangible understanding of chemistry. She returned to her home state and achieved a MS degree at the prestigiousUniversity of California at Davis in Viticulture & Enology. Maya’s thesis work focused on bubble nucleation in sparkling wine, with her work published in The American Journal of Enology & Viticulture. A focus on the burgeoning Virginia wine industry came after a role as the first research coordinator at the Winery Research Exchange, a nascent group of young and ambitious Virginia winemakers who pool knowledge to quickly advance understanding of wine growing in this region.


Peter Hoehn, CEO, shares that, “We are deeply grateful to Ben Jordan, our winemaker since 2015, whose foundational work and leadership has helped bring Early Mountain and our wines to national attention. Early Mountain has been proud to incubate Ben's two partner wine projects and wish him well as he begins the next chapter of his career, building a new wine venture with his brother in the Shenandoah Valley.”