Team Favorites

Posted on 

March 8, 2021

In celebration of International Women's Day, we asked some of the women leaders at Early Mountain to share their favorite wine picks. We hope you love these wines as much as we do!

Jenna Ford, Tasting Room Manager:

Cabernet Franc - all of them!

Ben's expression of Cabernet Franc is forever my go-to bottle of choice. His approach to focus on single vineyard sites allows for the true characteristics of the terroir to shine through while showcasing the versatility of the grape. I am always correlating my wine choice with my dinner plans and Cabernet Franc never lets me down. Ample fruit and a nod to classic earth driven qualities always has me wanting to pop open another bottle.

Melissa Rice, Events Director:

Bubbles, especially our new Traditional Method sparkling wine. Everything I do at Early Mountain is around creating special moments and celebration and the sound of a cork popping gives me so much joy. It doesn't hurt that our Brut is truly mouthwatering - it's bursting with lemon and green apple fruit with a salty finish.

Kristen Hall, Sous Chef:

Eluvium: It is a red that has softened with its age and it's nice to indulge in a glass or two on cool evenings after work with its dark berry flavor and hints of woody spice.

Maya Hood White, Associate winemaker & viticulturist:

Intention: Our white wine production has been constantly evolving, and over the last several years, the use of extended lees aging on higher acid varieties has become integral in the production of Petit Manseng and Intention.  My fondness for these wines stems from both the vineyard as well as their dynamics in the cellar.  While Petit Manseng is known for its hardiness in the vineyard and unique sensory attributes, I had not expected Sauvignon Blanc to demonstrate such a great affinity for the site.  

In 2017 we produced the first Intention blend with a coferment of Petit Manseng and Sauvignon Blanc; with Sauvignon Blanc elevating aromatics and Petit Manseng bringing the core and structure to the wine.  Twenty-two month lees aging in barrel, heightens the structure and texture even further and develops unique secondary and tertiary aromas.  

While admittedly I have a bias, as a consumer enjoying high acid and wines with high lees-impacts, seeing the natural progression towards this style with two varieties that appear so well suited to the EMV site has given me even more appreciation for the diversity of wines that can highlight a single site.  

Lee Campbell, Winery Representative, NY:

Petit Manseng: This is the wine that opened my eyes about the possibilities for winemaking in Virginia. Tasting it completely caught me off guard, and quite honestly, took my breath away. To tell you the truth, I was probably completely primed to love this wine. When I worked as a sommelier, I had developed a long-time love affair with the wines of Jurançon, the coastal Atlantic wine region in France from which the Petit Manseng grape hails. These wines are packed with gastronomic verve, and were some of the most compelling food wines I had ever experienced. Twenty years later, and I'm trying my first-ever Virginia Petit Manseng at Early Mountain, and it was almost as though my (tasting) life flashed before my eyes. I was suddenly tracing an electric line between the very first Jurançon I had ever tried (I still remember it...at a satisfying dinner I treated my very-much-on-a budget-self to at a French bistro in New York's Theatre District—where I had the audacity to pair this curious white wine with steak frites, and it worked marvelously), and the Petit Manseng at EMV. Needless to say, I've never looked back.

Aileen Sevier, VP of Strategy and Marketing:

Rosé: I love how seriously we take this not-so-serious wine. It has everything I enjoy in a bottle of wine- crisp, aromatic fruit, a range of flavors, versatile food pairing abilities. And it has the magical ability to evoke warm weather, joyful memories, and relaxing with friends.