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's Commitment
In the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, Early Mountain muted all marketing and sales and postponed all planned activities to allow other voices to be heard and to start a period of reflection on how we can use our privilege and platform to create sustainable changes at our winery, in the wine industry and in the state of Virginia.
We have listened and thought deeply as a team about how we can be active participants in fostering racial equity and driving change at our winery and in the wine world. There is much that can be done. As a Virginia winery and a social enterprise that has committed that all profits will go to supporting the Virginia wine industry, we know that denouncing racism and celebrating diversity is not enough and we are committed to actions to make an impact.
We will share more information as we roll out new initiatives in this area.
Update on Early Mountain - Phase 1
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 EarlyMountain.com, 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
Trevor Noah & José Andres highlight Early Mountain Rosé
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
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)
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.