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Iron Horse

The California winery "Iron Horse Vineyards" 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 the reason for the winery a weather vane was found, which (instead of the usual cock) graces a horse. This is the logo shown on the label. In 1978, Forrest Tancer joined as a partner (then retired in 2005). The vineyards covered at this time 44 hectares. The first Chardonnay was produced in 1978, the first Pinot Noir in 1979. From 1980, it was also started to produce sparkling wines. Today, the company is run by the children of the retired couple, who have retired. Daughter Joy Sterling is responsible for sales, marketing and public relations, and 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". Half of them produce still and sparkling wines. The sparkling wines were served at the White House in Washington in the last 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, was also served a sparkling wine from the house. Robert Parker classify them as the best in California. It is all about 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) matures for seven to eight years. In the case of still wines, one is particularly anxious to emphasize the terroir. There are, among others, different varietals, a "Rosato di Sangiovese" and the Cuvées "Benchmark" and "Cuvée R" produced.

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