OUR HISTORY

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Early Mountain sits on land with a deep and rich history. The first landowner of the property was Revolutionary War veteran Lieutenant Joseph Early, who served under General George Washington at Valley Forge. After Early’s death, Washington later visited the farm remarking in his journal about the warm hospitality provided by Early’s family.

In a profession so steeped in history, it’s inevitable that we look to the past for inspiration. While our work is informed by knowledge and techniques developed in more established wine regions of the world, we also know a vine in Virginia does not root in the same soil as Europe or spread leaves into the same sun as California. When we understand grapes on their own terms, we create wines with identities that are compelling because the sun, the rain, the plant, the soil, and hands that touch these vines are unique to this place in Virginia.

In 2005, Jess and Sharon Sweely planted the first vineyards on the property. Jean Case and her husband, Steve, purchased the property in 2010 and, after some renovations, re-opened it under the Early Mountain brand in 2012. In 2015, Early Mountain expanded its acreage to include Quaker Run Vineyard, 14 miles north of the Early Mountain estate in Madison County. That year, Early Mountain increased its acreage of classic Bordeaux-type varietals such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot and added new varietals including Malvasia Bianca, Sauvignon Blanc, and Tannat.

This tactic of understanding drives our wine growing, and every year we learn from each block at each site. We take this to the cellar and do our best to make the wines the grapes want to be. As our vines get older, so do we, and with that comes the wisdom of age and our contribution to the emergence of Virginia’s wine culture.

In 2016, Early Mountain Vineyards was voted the number one tasting room in the nation by USA Today in its 10Best Readers Choice contest.
Guests may visit our tasting room for our award-winning wines or to dine in our restaurant. Our Wine Club also allows customers to receive our wines quarterly and to attend special events at the winery.

Want to taste what makes our wines so special and be a part of each unique vintage? In joining our exclusive Wine Club, you will receive quarterly shipments of our newly released wines as well as be the first to be notified of our Allocation wines.