About Us

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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History

CEDAR MOUNTAIN WINERY was established in the Livermore Valley in 1990. Earl & Linda Ault bought their property at 7000 Tesla Rd in 1988, at the time the entire vineyard was Chenin Blanc vines. In 1989 they grafted the Chenin Blanc vineyard to a mixture of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The first CMW release was the 1990 Estate Chardonnay. The same year they made a small lot of Cabernet Sauvignon, which was released in 1993. Recently in 2005 they grafted some of the Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc and released their first estate Sauvignon Blanc in early 2007. Cedar Mountain is rapidly gaining national attention for their Gold Medal Cabernet Sauvignons and Ports. These wines are available in fine restaurants, wine shops, directly from the winery tasting room and online or by mail order.

The Aults believe that quality wines begin with the grapes in the vineyard. The Winery specializes primarily in Livermore grown and produced wine. They produce Estate Chardonnay, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Duet (a Cabernet/ Merlot blend), as well as nationally recognized Port wines from their very own vineyard and from the Sierra Foothills. 

BLANCHES VINEYARD is situated at the East end of the Livermore Valley, (Linda Ault’s nickname is Blanche) and lies on a south-facing hill of mixed gravel and clay loam. At a mean elevation of 700 feet and with prevailing westerly breezes coming from San Francisco Bay, this Region II microclimate ripens the grapes late in the year. Severe pruning limits the yield of the vineyard to three tons per acre giving intense varietal characteristics to Cedar Mountain wines. The vineyard has developed a reputation for the quality of its fruit.

THE LIVERMORE VALLEY WINE REGION is one of California’s most historic wine areas. Journalist Charles Wetmore brought the first European varietals Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, from France in the late 1800’s. Soon the Valley began producing Bordeaux style wines of world-class quality and recognition. Since then several other European varietals were first introduced to California by winegrowers in Livermore. These include Chardonnay, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The gravely soils and moderated climate favor both Burgundy and Bordeaux varietals. Livermore Valley continues to develop some of the best wines in the state.
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