Owner's Welcome

The Five Pillars

As we open our doors for the first time at Early Mountain Vineyards, we do so with a sense of gratitude for the many who have joined us on this journey. We've been mentored and encouraged along the way by some of the pioneers of the Virginia wine industry - and we've benefited from having a remarkable team that has worked tirelessly to bring this special place in Madison, Virginia, to life.

We are often asked what we are trying to accomplish, so I thought I’d use this occasion to share some thoughts on five pillars that are driving our efforts at Early Mountain Vineyards:

Place.

Located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Early Mountain Vineyards sits on land with a deep and rich history. It was Revolutionary-war veteran Lt. Joseph Early, the first landowner of this property, who learned of a stranger traveling through the region in search of shelter and sent word that the stranger was welcome in his home for the night, only to discover it was General George Washington, under whom he had served at Valley Forge. So, yes, George Washington slept here. Now these gracious rolling hills have become home to vineyards that enable great wine to be crafted here, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that same spirit of warm welcome and hospitality to those who come through our doors.

People.

People are at the heart of everything we do at Early Mountain, beginning with the spirit of welcome we hope you will find here. From our winemaker, to our teams in the tasting room and market, to hands that carefully tend to the vineyards that enable great wine to be made, our people aim to provide warm hospitality and delectable offerings in an extraordinary setting that will lead to memorable experiences.

Passion.

Passion guides all that we do. We’re passionate about making the best wine this great land and climate can produce. We’re passionate about offering the best selections of wine and food, the best setting, and the most memorable experiences. We’re passionate about our team, about the communities we serve, the history of this land, and about our partners whose wine and food selections we proudly feature. And perhaps most importantly we’re passionate about the promise of Virginia as it seeks to establish itself as one of the top wine regions in the world.

Portfolio.

It is with great pride that we showcase and share some of the finest wines that Virginia has to offer. In addition to serving our own estate-grown wines, our tasting room will feature a selection of some of the most celebrated and best-loved Virginia wines from award-winning wineries, including: Barboursville, Breaux, Chatham, King Family, Linden, and Thibaut-Janisson. Because many of these wines will be available on a limited-time basis, we will also spotlight a “Best of Virginia” collection from time to time that will feature a selection of wines from a particular varietal such as Viognier, or from a specific region in Virginia, such as the Monticello AVA. Our goal is to champion and celebrate the best Virginia has to offer – a virtual Virginia wine tour under one roof. We’ll also feature “eat local” offerings from surrounding farms – charcuterie, cheeses, sweets, and more – to complement our wines and showcase the premium quality of Virginia-grown food.

Purpose.

Early Mountain Vineyards is a social enterprise – as such, all profits will go toward strengthening Virginia communities and encouraging continued growth, innovation, adaptation, and learning in the Virginia wine industry. Our goal is not to make money but instead to make a difference, with a particular focus on enabling Virginia to compete with the leading wine regions around the world. We have lived in Virginia for most of our lives, built AOL here, started the Case Foundation here, and raised five children here, so Virginia is an important part of who we are. We are honored to have the opportunity to give back to a place that has given us so much.

It is with great pleasure that we will welcome neighboring communities to Early Mountain this weekend as we open our doors. We hope you’ll come for the wine, but linger for the experience this beautiful land and setting has to offer. And we hope you will join us on this journey, as we seek to spotlight the best Virginia has to offer. We welcome your ideas and suggestions, as we know this is just the beginning of our adventure.