Come along with us below as two of the Traveling Winers, with Grandkids and dog in tow, tour Early Mountain Vineyard.
Early Mountain Vineyard is located in Madison, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountain. The vineyard is located on a beautifully scenic drive and is only 90 miles Southwest of Washington DC; 85 miles Northwest of Richmond; and 27 miles North of Charlottesville. It is 300 rolling acres of what appeared to be classic horse country. The grounds of the vineyard are immaculate and every bit as breathtaking as the surrounding countryside.
What does wine and AOL have in common?
The owners are Steve and Jean Case. Steve, (one of the co-founders of America on Line) and his wife Jean (another power house from AOL) purchased the property in 2011 and opened the vineyards for business in 2012. The property was already a vineyard, and of the original 300 acres, there were 40 acres in vines. Jean is busy not only at the vineyard, but does an enormous amount of philanthropic work throughout the community and state. Her goal is to ‘leave the earth a little better place’. You could have worse goals.
So family friendly, even the staff’s family were hanging out
We have always heard that AOL is a fun environment to work in and this has certainly appeared to carry over to the vineyards. Here’s an example: on our ramble around the property, our escort, Rachel Caggiano, the Director of Marketing, took us to the terraced hillside, filled with chairs and tables. She pointed out a couple of people who were employees of the vineyard, there on their off time to enjoy the wine and the atmosphere they work in every day. Pretty damn sure we never did that at our old jobs.
The excellence of Virginia wines; community, not competition
We met Heather Carbonneau, Tasting Room Manager, and got ready to do the business of the day. The kids were starting to doubt the point of this whole family friendly wine trip and were, as only a six and seven year old can, finding ways to make our eyes twitch. Heather immediately took the kids off to an area to play some games and have a snack, while we settled into a table of our own.
Heather asked us if we were going to be visiting more vineyards to get a real taste of Virginia wines and we told her “only to the family friendly places this trip”. She then informed us that the Case’s were striving to bring to light the Virginia brand of Southern hospitality and pride in their viticulture.
The bombshell was this. Early Mountain offers what they call ‘The Best of Virginia’. This is a selection of what they consider the best wines made in the state… and they are offered for tasting at Early Mountain. We had never heard of such a thing. A place that offers their wines AND other vineyards’ wines too. How refreshing.
Well, let us just say that Early Mountain is a gem. The serenity of the setting, the taste of their wines, added to the skill and knowledge of the staff, make it really something special. Kid friendly. Dog friendly. People friendly. If you get up towards the Shenandoah, it would be well worth your time to stop in and sample a glass or two and just……enjoy being.
The Winer’s Experience
|AMBIANCE||GROUNDS & SCENERY||TASTING ROOM|
|Very ‘Horse Country’. Relaxed atmosphere in a ‘spare no expense’ operation.||Beautiful rolling hills, fields and patches of woodland draw the eye to the mountains in the distance.||HUGE! A long bar with plenty of open space so there was no cramped feel. Two sided fireplace inside and another fireplace on the patio. Very comfortable.|
|WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE||CUSTOMER SERVICE||TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE|
|Superb. The setting was excellent with a nice selection of dry cheeses, ham and salami.||Excellent. Very courteous and generous with both their time and knowledge of the wines and facility. Like talking to friends.||The tour of the facility, including the winery, was very, very nice. The people obviously take pride in their facility and the product they produce.|
Vineyard & Winery Information.
|Early Mountain Vineyard||6109 Wolftown-Hood Rd.Madison, VA 22727|
|MON:11AM-6 PM; WED:11AM – 6PM; THUR:11AM – 6PM; FRI:11AM – 8PM; SAT:11AM – 6PM; SUN:11AM – 6PM TUE:CLOSED|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||http://earlymountain.com/||(540) 948 9005|
|MUSIC||WINE CLUB||TASTING FEE|
|Yes||Members Club Level 1 and 2|
|Yes||Yes||Too much to mention|