The California “Iron Horse Vineyards” winery is located in Sebastopol in the west of the AVA area Russian River Valley
in the Sonoma County
(North Coast region) near the Pacific. It was founded in 1976 by Audrey and Barry Sterling. The name (Iron Horse) is derived from the formerly only railway station in this area. When digging out the grounds for the winery, a weather vane was found that adorns a horse (instead of the usual rooster). This is where the logo shown on the label comes from. Forrest Tancer joined as a partner in 1978 (then retired in 2005). At that time, the vineyards covered 44 hectares. The first Chardonnay was made in 1978, the first Pinot Noir in 1979. From 1980 onwards, sparkling wines were also produced. Today the company is run by the children of the retired founding couple. Daughter Joy Sterling is responsible for sales, marketing and public relations, son Laurence G. Sterling is director of operations.
The vineyards now cover 68 hectares of vineyards in the Russian River Valley sub-area Green Valley on mostly sandy clay soil. They are only 13 miles as the crow flies from the Pacific and are planted exclusively with the two varieties Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. There are more vineyards in the Alexander Valley
, where the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier are cultivated. These wines are marketed under the label "T-bar-T Iron Horse". Still and half sparkling wines are produced. The sparkling wines have been served at the White House in Washington in the past four US administrations on various official occasions. At the legendary summit meeting of the two state presidents Mikhail Gorbachev
(* 1931) and Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) on November 20, 1985 in Geneva, which led to the end of the cold war, a sparkling wine from the house was also served. Robert Parker
classified it as the best in California. They are all vintage products with long yeast storage. The "Wedding Cuvée" matures on average three, the classic "Vintage Brut" matures four to five and the "Blanc de Blancs LD" (Late Disgorged) seven to eight years. When it comes to still wines, there is a particular effort to emphasize the terroir. Among other things, there will be several varietals
, produced a "Rosato di Sangiovese" and the cuvées "Benchmark" and "Cuvée R".