Earl Ault and Linda Ault are the owners of Cedar Mountain Winery. The Winery combines the creative interests of Linda and Earl - wine, food, and art. Earl is the winemaker and he is also an accomplished sculptor, watercolorist, and large format photographer. Linda has been a recognized amateur chef for over 20 years and studied at the Great Chefs at Robert Mondavi (Julia Child, Mark Miller, Martha Stewart, Alice Waters, to name a few) and attended the California Culinary Academy. Linda was featured in Diablo Magazine as one of the five Best Amateur Chefs in the East Bay Area of San Francisco. Together, Earl and Linda manage the farming activities and operate the winery.
Trained as a physicist, Dr. Earl Ault became interested in the wine industry when he lived in Eastern Washington State in the mid 1970s. Linda's formal college training is in Physics and Computer Science, but her avocation was for wine and food. Earl and Linda moved back to California in 1981 settling in the Livermore Valley for both professional career and viticultural reasons.
After several years of study, scouting for property, and numerous wine related classes and tastings, the Aults purchased a 20-acre farm already planted to Chenin Blanc. In the years that followed they grafted the vineyard to Cabernet and Chardonnay, selling all the fruit to local wineries. By 1990 they had started Cedar Mountain Winery with the first vintage Estate Cabernet and Chardonnay. As Cedar Mountain grew in stature and production it consumed all the fruit grown on the estate and the Aults now supplement their wine making with grapes from local growers.
In 1993 Earl began teaching himself fortified wine production resulting in some very successful Vintage Port wines. The traditional Vintage Port is made from grapes by a premium grower in the Amador county, Shenandoah Valley, and a Cabernet Port made from Ault's vineyard in Livermore. In 1998 CMW introduced two new Port wines the Chardonnay del Sol and the Viognier Port. They both were instant hits and still continue to sell out quickly. Since their inception Port production has steadily increased. Earl's goal is to produce fine fortified wines in the style and quality of the European originals. Fortified wines will remain an important part of Cedar Mountain's portfolio, but table wines are the mainstay.
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