People are at the heart of everything we do. From our winemaker and the crew that tends to each vine, to our chef and our team in the tasting room, we aim to provide a stellar experience

Who We Are

Jean Case, Owner

Jean Case, the Chairman of the National Geographic Society and CEO of the Case Impact Network and the Case Foundation, is a philanthropist, investor and internet and impact investing pioneer who is a passionate believer in the power of business to do good and advocates for the importance of embracing a more fearless approach to innovate and bring about transformational breakthroughs. Her career in the private sector, including as a senior executive at AOL, spanned nearly two decades before co-founding the Case Foundation in 1997.

A Virginia resident for 35 years, she has led a movement to showcase the best foods and wines from across the Commonwealth. She opened Early Mountain Vineyards in 2012 and since then the vineyard has elevated to one of the most celebrated in the state with recognitions from USA Today, Food & Wine Magazine, Wine Enthusiast and more.

Peter Hoehn, CEO

Born and educated in Switzerland, Peter Hoehn is a true world traveler. He’s managed hotels and resorts around the world for 30 years, from the Caribbean to California to Virginia, to North Carolina. Virginians, however, know Peter as a former executive at the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, where he fell in love with and promoted Virginia wines.

Having grown up near vineyards experiencing the magic that transforms delicate grape buds into complex wines, Peter is driven by a sense of purpose to advocate for the Virginia wine region and the beverage that fascinates him.

Aileen Sevier, VP Strategy & Marketing

Aileen combines her passion for wine with a love of business strategy and storytelling while overseeing marketing, sales and public relations for Early Mountain. She previously managed a global portfolio of iconic family-owned wineries at Terlato Wines International and directed the beverage program at Legal Sea Foods, a multi-unit restaurant group renowned for its wine program.

Aileen graduated with honors from Kenyon College with a BA in Anthropology and Asian Studies and Brandeis University’s International MBA program. She is currently a student in the prestigious Masters of Wine program. She loves to travel, especially now that her twin daughters, Elodie and Muriel, can come along for the adventure.

Tim Moore, Executive Chef

Tim oversees Early Mountain's culinary program, including our Tasting Room, catering and festival events. He brings the Virginia Table to life, reaping the benefits of living near local farmers and purveyors, while applying his classical technique to develop a modern and accessible menu.

After gaining kitchen experience in Richmond Tim knew his true calling was to become a professional chef. In 2012 Tim began working at The Inn at Little Washington where he acquired skills that fueled his passion and progressed steadily through the kitchen hierarchy. Tim drew inspiration from Chef O’Connell’s expertise as well as its focus on exceptional hospitality and was proud to be part of the team that gained two Michelin stars in 2016, 2017, as well as gaining the ultimate honor of a third star in the 2019 guide. Raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, Tim loves fishing and spending time outdoors with his family.

Melissa Rice, Director of Events

Melissa oversees the sales and execution of Events at Early Mountain, including weddings, private events and vineyard festivals. Having 14 years experience in the events space, Melissa was formerly with University of Virginia Darden School of Business and Farmington Country Club.

Born and raised in New York, Melissa attended University of the Arts in Philadelphia as a dance major, and has two of the best kids a mom could ask for. Tragically, she is allergic to red wine, but Melissa will never pass up a glass of Virginia bubbles!

Dustin Wade, Vineyard Manager

Dustin Wade joined Early Mountain Vineyards in 2012 as property manager and was promoted to Vineyard Manager in 2019 after years of hands on learning. Together with our Viticulturist Maya and the rest of our team, Dustin ensures every single one of our vines and grapes receive the utmost care.

When not in the vineyard, Dustin loves cheering on his favorite sports teams and learning to play golf. His desert island wine- definitely Riesling, especially if its German.

Jeremy Mersch, Assistant Winemaker

Jeremy’s path in wine began when working in fine dining restaurants during college and after a stint in healthcare administration. With a leap of faith, he joined Early Mountain as a harvest intern in 2017 and was drawn to the intense physicality and intensity of processing grapes into wine. He was hooked and progressed to Cellar Master and now Assistant Winemaker, learning along the way.

In the world of wine, Jeremy loves Virginia Petit Manseng and Pinot Noir from Burgundy and Oregon. His interests are vast and include baking, cooking, woodworking, and playing guitar.