Agencies | Governor
Search Virginia.Gov
left side bordertwitter iconfacebook iconinstagram iconflickr iconeva iconright side border
Press Releases

September 10, 2018
Wine Enthusiast magazine nominates its first Virginia winery as a finalist for "Best American Winery"
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686; Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office, Contact: Annette Boyd, 804.344.8200

For the first time, a Virginia winery, Early Mountain Vineyards, has been nominated as a finalist in the “Best American Winery” contest sponsored by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Each year, Wine Enthusiast honors the individuals and companies that made outstanding achievements over the past year in the wine and alcoholic beverage world. Nominees in 16 categories were chosen for the Annual Wine Star Awards. The winners will be announced in the Wine Enthusiast’s special “Best of Year” issue in February 2019.

Four other American wineries are competing for the national title along with Early Mountain Vineyards. The nomination list is available at

 “Virginia’s amazing wineries are gaining more national attention and the word is getting out that some vibrant, well-balanced, old-world styled wines are being made right here in the Commonwealth. We are, indeed, very proud to be recognized alongside top wine regions and wineries,” said Bettina Ring, Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. She added that Virginia’s wine industry contributes more than $1.37 billion annually to the state’s economy and employs more than 8,218 people.

“Along with our partners at the Virginia Wine Marketing Office and the Virginia Wine Board, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has done much to promote the growth of the Virginia wine industry. These efforts take place on both the national and international levels,” said Commissioner Jewel Bronaugh, Ph.D. “We are delighted to see a Virginia winery nominated for this prestigious award.”

Virginia is home to more than 300 wineries and vineyards statewide and is the nation's sixth largest American wine grape producer. The state continues to enjoy strong winery sales and consumer demand for wines. 

Early Mountain is owned by Jean and Steve Case. Jean expressed her pride in the entire Early Mountain team and said, “We are thrilled to represent the Virginia wine industry with this nomination.”

The Virginia wine industry attracts more than 2.2 million visitors annually. In 2015 Virginia wineries produced in excess of 700,000 cases of wine and provided $291 million in wages to Virginians.

Visit to learn more about Virginia wine or to request a 2018 Virginia Wine Guide, or download the Virginia Wine App for your phone.

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files.