News & Awards

Update on Early Mountain - Phase 1

May 14, 2020

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, 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

News & Awards

Trevor Noah & José Andres highlight Early Mountain Rosé

May 6, 2020

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

April 28, 2020

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)

Cathead Biscuits

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.


Chef Tim and Dan's Family Recipes

April 11, 2020

Holiday's are when even Chef's pull out those stained recipe cards written out years ago and cook the dishes that evoke memories of holiday's past. Often the thread of heritage can be found in this cooking, for Tim, the Slovakian culture of his wife's family and for Dan, the Italian roots of his mother.

Chef Dan's Anise Easter Bread (From his mom)


  • 9 lbs Flour
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 T salt
  • 9 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 large yeast cakes or 4 packages dry yeast dissolved in 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups scalded milk
  • 2-4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 cap melted Crisco, cooled completely
  • 2-3 T anise extract or 1 T anise oil


  • Mix together dry ingredients and then add liquids.
  • Knead until smooth and bubbles form, use 4 cups of flour for this step.
  • Grease pan, cover with a towel and make the sign go the cross over the bread three times.
  • Let rise and punch down twice.
  • Form brands. Let rise again in greased pan.
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Brush tops of bread with egg whites and tuck in beautifully colored eggs.
  • Bake until golden brown.

Chef Tim's Slovak Stuffed Cabbage


  • 1 head green cabbage
  • ¾ C white rice
  • ¾ C water
  • 1 finely chopped medium yellow onion
  • 4 Tbl butter
  • 1 ½ lb ground chuck
  • 1/2 lb ground pork or pork sausage
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ C breadcrumbs or panko
  • 2 ea cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbl carraway seeds
  • 1 Tbl paprika
  • 1 ea 14 oz jar tomato sauce
  • 1 ea 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 20 oz beef stock (or water if not available)
  • To taste: salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350F

Core cabbage and place whole head in a large pot with salted, boiling water. Cover and cook 3 mins or until soft enough to pull off outer leaves. Remove leaves and return cabbage to pot for another 3 mins until next layer of leaves soften. You'll need approximately 18 leaves.
When leaves are cool enough to handles, use a paring knife to remove thick center stem from each leaf, cutting all the way through in a "V" shape.
Rough chop remaining cabbage and placed in the bottom of a large, greased Dutch oven.
Rinse rice and cook it in water until water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.
Sauté onion in butter until tender and cool.
In a large bowl, mix cooled rice, cooled onions, beef, pork, egg, garlic, carraway seeds, salt & pepper to taste, paprika, panko and 1/3 of tomato sauce and blend thoroughly. Don’t overmix as meat will become tough.
Place about 1/3 of a cup of mixture in each cabbage leaf and flip the sides to seal. Roll away from you to package. Add to dutch oven, seam side down.
Layer with remaining tomato sauce top with crushed tomatoes. Add enough beef stock to cover rolls.
Cover and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours & serve with sour cream (add juice and zest of 1/2 lemon to sour cream to brighten dish a bit)

Ben Jordan's Passover & Easter Wine Picks

April 5, 2020

Passover and Easter are probably the most dynamic holidays when it comes to weather, with some years still in the grip of winter and others calling for shorts and shade. This year, the timing is in the heart of Spring, and while we never really know what the weather holds, we're offering a trio of our wines that embody the season ... and that can also pivot into the unseasonable.

A survey into traditional Passover and Easter meals around the world will make a wine pairing professional run for the hills, but there are some ingredients (like potatoes and cheese, high five!) that are important to many tables. Like most holidays, the key to wine at Easter is flexibility. These are neither the lightest nor heaviest foods we will eat all year, but we definitely play in both spaces, and flavors are running in all directions.

Lightest to fullest, we recommend our 2019 Rose', our 2018 Madison County Chardonnay, and our 2018 Madison County Cabernet Franc. Maybe rose' hasn't always been in our wine drinking vernacular, but it has always been the right wine for this holiday. From its ability to function as apertif/cocktail on the lawn through whatever the meal throws at it (roast lamb, brisket, deviled eggs, gratin, ham), to its association with warming weather and longer days, then throw in a color that is downright Easter-like, and rose' might be the most important ingredient of the meal. The Madison County Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc function as nimble representatives of their types. Some folks want white wine, some want red, but everyone wants the fruit, charm, and juiciness that comes from these blends of the two vineyards we farm here in our home county.

As the grass and trees come to life with the electric, neon-green chlorophyl of new growth, we are excited and energized to share these wines with you. We look forward to Early Mountain wines gracing your holiday tables and carrying you through Spring into Summer.