The tasting room at Early Mountain Vineyards.


Wine Country

Steve Case, founder of AOL, and his wife Jean have set their substantial sights on Virginia Wine Country with the purchase of a winery in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. After undergoing a major renovation by architects Jay Hugo and Jill Nolt of 3North and ILEX Construction, Early Mountain Vineyards finally opened its doors last year—for the first time since the Cases bought it. The results include a newly appointed tasting room (pictured), where ILEX Woodworking created a serpentine, 38-foot-long bar made of reclaimed oak and concrete, and a bluestone patio outside. The winery’s gallery and event hall received facelifts and space was made for a retail market showcasing wines and other local artisanal fare. Early Mountain Vineyards is open for tours every day but Tuesday.

ARCHITECTURE: JAY HUGO, AIA, and JILL NOLT, AIA, 3north, Richmond, Virginia. INTERIOR DESIGN: Janie Molster Designs, Richmond, Virginia. CONTRACTOR: DOUG HELLMAN and PAIGE GILL, project supervisors, ILEX Construction & Woodworking, Charlottesville, Virginia. PHOTOGRAPHY: ERIC KELLEY.