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10th Anniversary: Founder's Features

October 19, 2022

We invite you to celebrate Early Mountain Vineyards' 10th anniversary with us! We have come so far thanks to the amazing talent and hard work of many, and we are honored to continue this journey with our exceptional team and all of you. In celebration and appreciation, we will be offering special "Founder's Flights" in the Tasting Room beginning October 20th, as well as delicious dishes inspired by foundational contributors here at Early Mountain. We hope you can join us to raise a glass (or two)!

We’re so pleased to highlight Neal Wavra for our first set of features, available October 20th-24th. Neal is the proprietor of award-winning Field & Main restaurant in Marshall, VA and a long-time wine educator who helped lay the groundwork for the strong knowledge of our hospitality team. 

News & Awards

#EMVRoséParty

May 17, 2022

Summer is here and Early Mountain Rosé makes every gathering a party! This summer, we want to see photos or videos of your #EMVRoséParty. All #EMVRoséParty photos or videos will earn the chance to win a personal Rosé party. Post your  favorite Rosé photo via Instagram feed, and we’ll pick our favorite three to win one of our Insta-worthy prizes. Prizes include a Rosé brunch for you and 7 friends in the Early Mountain Meadow ($500 value), a curated Rosé Party Set ($250 value), or a voucher for two 2021 Rosé Magnums ($110 value).

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Post your #EMVRoséParty inspired photo or video on your Instagram feed prior to Wednesday, June 15th at 11:59 pm EST
  2. Use hashtag #EMVRoséParty on all posts and tag @earlymountain
  3. Tag three friends that you would invite to your Rosé party
  4. We know how fantastic you are behind the camera, and it might be hard to choose just one pic. You can post multiple entries but each must feature a different photo or video.

(US Residents Only. Must be 21 years old to enter. Contest is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Instagram. Winners will be contacted by June 17th at 5 pm EST.)

All photos must be original work, taken by the entrants. All persons included in submitted photos must be 21 or older. No third party may own or control any materials the photo contains, and the photo must not infringe upon the trademark, copyright, moral rights, intellectual rights, or rights of privacy of any entity or person.

  • Violators will be removed from the contest, stripped of any prize(s), and banned from entering future contests.
  • Entries will not be accepted unless submitted via Instagram feed and following the contest rules. Entries not submitted through the proper channel will not be counted.
  • Entries will be judged by Early Mountain Vineyards. All decisions are final. The Company reserves the right to disqualify any entry that is deemed inappropriate or does not conform to stated contest rules.
  • By entering the contest, entrants agree that photos submitted can be used by Early Mountain for advertising purposes.
  • Submissions will not be accepted once the deadline lapses.
  • The prize must be collected by the winner and is non-transferable.
  • The winner will be contacted via the Instagram messenger account used to submit the photo. If no response is received after two business days, a new winner will be selected and the previous winner will forfeit all rights to the prize.
  • The contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

News & Awards

Early Mountain Announces New Winemaker, Maya Hood White

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.”  

Wines

The 2022 International Women's Day Selections

March 7, 2022

Bold. Exciting. Memorable. Three words that describe not only the bottles in this wine set, but the women who picked them. In honor of this annual holiday, we are pleased to present Early Mountain's 2022 picks for the International Women's Day Set. We are also excited to partner with The Women's Initiative, a local non-profit organization in Charlottesville dedicated to providing women with effective counseling, social support and education so they can transform life challenges into positive change and growth. You can read more about them below!

 

Jean Case, Owner

2019 Eluvium

Each year, Eluvium sets a new high bar for excellence. Based on mountainside Merlot, Eluvium offers plush and layered black fruits that bring so much pleasure. Adding to this immediate "wow", is an intensity and power that’s especially dramatic in the 2019 vintage, reflecting the ideal growing season. It’s a wine that I open to celebrate a special moment with family and friends or to enhance a holiday meal. I hope you love Eluvium as much as I do.  

Aileen Sevier, VP of Strategy and Marketing:

‍2020 Shenandoah Valley Cabernet Franc

When I think about our wines, I always have an extra attachment to those that tell a bigger story. Ranging from black fruited and broad shouldered when planted in denser soils and with more sunlight (south facing slopes can add to the ripeness) to elegant with delicate red raspberry fruit with soft, velvet structure when planted at high elevation on cooler sites with limestone soils, Cabernet Franc is especially expressive of its vineyard site. 

In 2020, we bottled five different Cabernet Francs; we just couldn't bear to blend away the unique characteristics. And of the five, our Shenandoah Valley regional expression is my favorite. It is the most ethereal, most delicate of the group, but still brings complex layers of herbal and tea leaf notes that make Cab Franc so delicious. As we continue to explore what different regions and different vineyards offer us in Virginia, Cabernet Franc will be a delicious way to tell these unique vignettes. 

Lee Campbell, Estate Ambassador, NY:

‍2020 Madison County Chardonnay

As Estate Ambassador for Early Mountain, I have a blast introducing consumers and sommeliers up and down the East Coast to all of the interesting work we are doing at EMV. And most who have known me for a while know that I am naturally drawn to the new and the off-beat. But what a lot of people don't realize is that as much as I love the quirky stuff, I JUST ADORE CHARDONNAY!

For a long time, I had convinced myself that it was really just French Chardonnay that I liked. But over time, as my own silly, self-imposed prejudices fell away, I realized, NOPE...I love the American stuff, too! And here's what I enjoy so much about our Madison County Chardonnay: While the outline is delicately drawn with minerality and a even a touch of salt, the middle is exuberantly filled with ripe peach and pear...and a touch of toasted brioche. In other words, it is a mouthwatering midpoint between the Chardonnay styles of Europe and California. This is an unabashedly American Chardonnay, which still displays restraint and elegance. There's something here for everyone...so just go ahead and give in to it. You'll be glad you did!

 

Jenna Ford, Director of Hospitality:

2021 Pur

2021 Pur is a beautiful expression of steel fermented Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. It’s lively lemon and crisp apple aromas sing Springtime in a glass. Pur’s bright acidity makes it a lovely compliment to a fun seafood spread. This is one of those wines that speaks volumes about the elegance of simplicity. It isn’t overly blended or a test run of new techniques. It is pure and simple, elegant yet vibrant. 

 

Maya Hood White, Associate Winemaker & Viticulturist:

2021 Soif

The 2021 Soif is possibly my favorite to date!  It is more fruit forward than 2020 and showcases the dynamic nature and freshness of whole cluster Merlot.  The 2021 Soif is nearly 70% whole cluster fruit, the most to date.  While we always farm specific blocks of Merlot and Cabernet Franc at EMV for Soif, the 2021 bottling is also a perfect example of reacting to the vintage.   One of the vineyards we work with was carrying a bit more Merlot than expected and it made sense to harvest a bit of the fruit early (leaving the remaining to successfully ripen for the heavier reds) and ferment it entirely whole cluster.  This early picked Merlot ended up being one of the most playful lots we had in the winery and doubly fun as it was not an initially planned lot.  

 

Meghan Raynes, Community Manager

2021 Rosé

It’s funny, but before I started at Early Mountain I was a strictly red drinker, with very few exceptions. It speaks to how talented our wine-making team is that not only have I majorly expanded my wine preferences in the last year, but that the 2021 Rosé is my go-to recommendation now. I love how fresh and fruity it is while still maintaining it’s dryness, how many styles of food it can hold up to and complement, and how beloved it is by so many. Our Rosé truly has become an announcement that Spring has arrived when the latest vintage is released, and is a bottle absolutely worth celebrating.

Events

Ode to the Chesapeake

February 18, 2022

We’re bringing the bounty of the Eastern Seaboard to you, paired with our award-winning wines for this special long weekend (March 3rd-7th). Chef Tim Moore has crafted a delicious seafood menu sourced from the coast 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) or Patio reservations (pending weather). No entrance fee, reservations strongly recommended and can be made HERE.