Celebrating the Harvest With Iron Horse Vineyards
It was a perfect day in Sonoma Wine Country as we drove past grapes ripening on the vine on our way to the Green Valley appellation and Iron Horse Vineyards for their Harvest Party. Zinnias in Iron Horse bottles lined the pathway, where we were greeted by staff and offered a glass of their sparkling wine with a splash of (new harvest) Pinot Noir juice. It was an auspicious start to a lovely afternoon.
A bruschetta station was laid out under the shady oak trees with a selection of Iron Horse wines nearby. Tables were arranged in a V-shape with white cloths. Each table setting contained a beautiful china plate with a lavender tied napkin and fresh-cut zinnias.
A grand piano was arranged under the trees on a stage, adding elegance to the rustic setting. Guests were encouraged to stroll the garden, a glass of bubbly in hand, prior to the start of the festivities.
Later, we were summoned to a bountiful meal, ceremoniously served at tables overlooking the garden. We enjoyed a salad made entirely from garden-harvested greens, corn, and radishes, along with chevre and a herb vinaigrette. It was served with a choice of Thomas Road Pinot Noir, Rued Clone Chardonnay, or the Russian Cuvée.
A grilled quail was cooked to perfection, served with Swiss chard and sausage stuffing and charmoula and accompanied by estate green beans, confit of garlic and lemon with farro.
To satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth, we were offered a summer fruit trifle and a selection from a candy table: chocolate dipped marshmallows, caramel corn, fleur du sel caramels, and chocolate truffles. Chef Ciara Meaney created a delicious meal, enhanced by our close proximity to the garden.
While we were dining, Barry, Audrey, and Joy Sterling graciously greeted guests. We felt privileged to be included in the harvest celebration as part of their extended wine family.
Some of the festive touches included a plein air artist painting a canvas, guests were afforded the opportunity to draw or paint on a mural, and an open mic and seat at the piano encouraged soloists to perform.
Iron Horse Vineyards makes delicious sparkling and still wines from their bucolic Sonoma County winery. Their award-winning sparkling wines consistently achieve 90+ Wine Spectator ratings. Their Chinese Cuvee was used in a toast at the U.S. Department of State with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and their wines have also been served at the past five presidential administrations.
Iron Horse Vineyards makes eight bubblies, five Chardonnays, one rose, and three Pinot Noirs. The winery is a family affair, with founders Barry and Audrey Sterling, daughter Joy, and brother Laurence and the third generation, Barrie joining the team.
Details: Iron Horse Vineyards is open for tasting daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is no charge for tasting for wine club members. Located at 9786 Ross Station Road Sebastopol, CA 95472, Telephone: (707) 887-1507, Email: info @ ironhorsevineyards.com, website.
Tours are by appointment, Monday through Friday at 10 am. The tasting room is perched on a hillside overlooking their 350 acres of vineyards with views of the valley below.