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 Filed as : Winemakers

Former AOL Executives Steve and Jean Case Announce Their Latest Project

May 22, 2012
Former AOL Executives Steve and Jean Case Announce Their Latest Project
Early Mountain Vineyards set to open this spring

earlymountainThe husband-and-wife team of Steve and Jean Case is best known for their work at AOL – Steve, a co-founder and former CEO, and Jean, a former vice president. But they’re taking a totally different direction this spring, with a new wine venture in Virginia. Recently, the duo purchased the former home of Sweely Estate Winery in Madison, Virginia. It’s currently under renovation and set to re-open in mid-May as Early Mountain Vineyards.

For those unfamiliar with the region, Virginia may seem like a surprising choice for such an endeavor. But the Old Dominion State’s wine industry has seen explosive growth in both quality and quantity in recent years. In 2005, Virginia was home to 107 wineries. In just seven years, that number has jumped to 206.

“A common question I get is, ‘Why didn't you guys buy a winery in France or California? Why did you choose Virginia?’” says Jean. “For us, it was simple—we love Virginia, and we believe that our state’s wine has the potential to compete with some of the best wine regions in the world.” And having witnessed firsthand the swift rise of the Internet, explosive growth is something these former AOL executives are perfectly used to.

Do you think Virginia wine has the potential to compete with the best in the world? Tell us below.


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