Wine 101 | Early Mountain Vineyards | Central Virginia / by Christine Davis

Christine Davis has traveled extensively and explored the world of wine and food. Christine shares those adventures in her blog eatingfrench. You can also follow Christine on Twitter and Instagram.

Early Mountain Vineyards

Early Mountain Vineyards

Steve and Jean Case, of AOL and the Case Foundation, had a vision of Virginia vineyards showcased in one place—that special place is Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, Virginia. The couple's unique concept was conceived from a love of the area. In fact, the Cases are so enamored of the region that they donate all profits back to its wine industry; their benevolence benefits all. Just a few of the award-winning wineries represented on the list are Barboursville, Bluestone, Fabbioli, Granite Heights, Jefferson, and Thibaut-Janisson, along with Early Mountain.

Tasting Flight of Reds

Tasting Flight of Reds

A beautiful salad at Early Mountain Vineyards

A beautiful salad at Early Mountain Vineyards

Wine flights of four as well as wines by the glass are offered. Themes are as varied as simply reds, rosés, whites, or sparkling to assorted pours from one winery. Individual varietals with limited availability are often featured. A description card detailing aromas and flavors and grapes accompanies flights. In addition, if you feel the need to nibble, there is a separate menu with everything from artisanal cheese and charcuterie to zucchini panini. Pairings appear under each item. You can order something like hummus to share or single fresh salads, and local farms provide much of the produce. Consider it a one-stop shop for a taste of Virginia.

The vineyard venue is wonderful for weddings, and after all “Virginia is for lovers.” Views include rolling foothills and the Blue Ridge Mountains. A covered terrace complete with a chimney for inclement weather takes full advantage of the setting, and picnic tables and fire pits are scattered across the landscape. The winery is also pet-friendly. If all that were not enough, the indoor ambience is rustic and refined at the same time. Wood and metalworks marry well on the interior, including the reception hall downstairs. A double-sided fireplace sits adjacent to sofas and makes for warm and cozy surroundings while you sip. Live music serenades you on weekends, and special events, such as intimate winemaker suppers, are scheduled regularly.

For more information, go to: http://earlymountain.com/.