Early Mountain Vineyards
Early Mountain Vineyards is located in Madison, Virginia and is part of the Monticello Wine Trail in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With a strong commitment to the vineyard as well as a fervent expression of place, its mission is to craft high-quality wines and to support Virginia's ascent as a world-class wine region. For additional information, please visit earlymountain.com.
Located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Early Mountain Vineyards was purchased by Jean Case and her husband, Steve, in 2010. Formerly the Sweely Estate Winery, the Cases renovated the property and reopened in June of 2012 with a mission to champion not just their own wines but the entire Virginia wine region. Named for the first landowner of this property - Lt. Joseph Early who served under General George Washington at Valley Forge - Early Mountain comprises 35 acres of vines in Madison, Virginia and another 20 acres of vines a few minutes down the road at our Quaker Run Virginia in Syria, Virginia. In 2016, we were chosen as the best tasting room in America and are proud to serve our award-winning wines and a full menu of products from local farms, dairies and ranches in our Tasting Room. In addition to serving a full portfolio of our own wines, we also offer a curated list of great wines from all over the Commonwealth through our "Best of Virginia" wine selections in the Tasting Room.
In a profession so steeped in history, it is inevitable that we look to the past for inspiration. While our work is informed by the knowledge and techniques developed in the 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 in the same sun as California. The vine's fruit is different than anywhere else in the world. To emulate Bordeaux or Napa would only trim the edges that give our wines character. When we understand grapes on their own terms, we create wines with identities that are compelling because the sun, the rain, the wine, the soil and the hands that touch these vines are unique to this place in Virginia.
This tactic of understanding pervades our winegrowing, and every year we learn from each block at each site. We take this to the cellar and do our best to make the wine that 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 wine culture.
Winemaker: Ben Jordan
Wines Typically Available:
Whites: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, White blends of Petit Manseng, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc
Rosé: Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc
Reds: Cabernet Franc, Red blends of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc
Tasting Room Hours:
Monday : 11am – 6pm
Wednesday: 11am – 6pm
Thursday: 11am – 6pm
Friday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm
(Private buy-outs of the winery are frequent. Please call to check our hours.)
Tasting fee: $12/person.
For groups of 15+ people, we require you book your own private event space with us at least a week in advance. We do accept tour buses for wine tastings, but request that you call us a few days in advance so we may staff accordingly.
Public: Every Friday we are open until 8pm and have live music (unless a private event has booked the venue). We hold an Oyster Festival each March and October; a Father's Day BBQ in June and a holiday Deck the Halls event the weekend after Thanksgiving. We also host seasonal winemaker dinners, painting classes, summer concerts and outdoor harvest festivals. Check our website for event details.
Private: We have a wonderful setting for a variety of private events ranging from corporate retreats, to team-building activities, to company picnics, to board-style meetings, to baby showers, to pre- and post- wedding events. We are proudly one of the premier wedding venues in the Charlottesville area.
Our restaurant has a full menu of locally-sourced wine-friendly foods including cheese and charcuterie boards, salads, sandwiches, seasonal pastas and specialty desserts. Due to regulations, we cannot allow outside food inside our building or on our patio where our restaurant serves food.
Leashed dogs are allowed on our Back Patio and outside in our Picnic Area.