future profits would go toward strengthening the Virginia wine industry. Over the years, they have committed tens of thousands of dollars to educational programs for Virginia winemakers and also recently sponsored The Virginia Table, a book by Andrea Hubbell and Sarah Cramer Shields that explores the commonwealth’s food and beverage industries through six lenses: cheese making, butchery, cider making, brewing, grain farming and winemaking. This beautiful book, celebrating the work of Virginians who have elevated the profile of Virginia as an artisan food, craft beverage and popular wine region, proved to be an amazing project for the Cases to support, as it matches up perfectly with their mission. Dedicated to celebrating all of the wonderful Virginia wines in its tasting room alongside its own wines, Early Mountain features a curated selection of the Commonwealth’s finest wines. Blenheim Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards and Muse Vineyards along with many others can be sampled alongside the vineyard’s own wines. This makes Early Mountain unique in its effort to showcase wines available throughout Virginia. The Cases have worked hard to create a winery that makes a difference and that is apparent when you set foot on their grounds. Claude Thibaut with Thibaut-Janisson Winery has worked with Early Mountain to create a Brut that became available in October of this year. At the winemaker’s supper, they began their evening with a short stroll up the hill where they took in the spectacular mountain views and enjoyed a glass of Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay NV. Ben Jordan, the winemaker at Early Mountain Vineyards, came on board June of 2015. He plans on continuing the “thoughtful viticulture” approach developed by former vintner Jonathan Hollerith while bringing his own experience and perspective. A native Virginian, he fell in love with winemaking. “I enjoy the sequential flow of wine growing and the fact that we find our focus on different, individual points as we move through the year,” he says. He began his winemaking career in the Russian River and Dry Creek Valleys of Sonoma County California before returning to the East Coast, where he held the position of General Manager and Winemaker for Michael Shaps Wineworks. Jordan has an adventurous approach, experimenting with wines and blending. He is well-known for his War & Rust Quinquina, an infused wine popular for ending a meal, as it did at Early Mountain’s winemaker’s supper.
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Charlottesville Wine & Country Living Fall 2016