Iron Horse Vineyards

Fields full of fairytale horses? We passed them last week in Sonoma. I was certain that when we passed by again, the fields and the horses would be gone, but sure enough they were real. The field below housed  dozen, maybe more, lovely horses grazing under spooky trees. I thought it quite magical.

horses in sonoma

Our last day in California was kind of shapeless, much like most of our last trip. You see, I am a planner. I plan every meal, every tour, every tasting, meetups with friends, if it is a full calendar you want, I am usually the provider. But with my miserable flu which lasted minutes up until our trip, I kind of left life to chance. It was a first, and I learned that good times don’t always come from rigid schedules.

Take our visit to Iron Horse Vineyards, for example. I had always wanted to visit as I am a fan of their sparkling wine. When one winery we wanted to visit was closed, I grabbed the map and proclaimed that Iron Horse was where I wanted to end our trip.

And so we made our way up a windy, sort of one-lane road to the winery.

Iron Horse Vineyards

Now you might think of sparkling wine, and especially sparkling wine that has been served at White House functions as maybe a little pretentious. Their wine was served at Regan/Gorbachev summit meetings and frequently in the Clinton White House after all. . .

And yet, you pull up to the tasting “room” along a very bumpy dirt road to find that the entire operation is outside, with a corrugated roof to protect from the elements and a few gas heaters to keep wine tasters toasty warm. Your view from the front is this:

Iron Horse Vineyards

And your view from behind is this.

image

image

It instantly makes you thankful for the lack of walls around the tasting room.

We had the choice between a flight of still wines or a flight of sparkling wines. Some may have gone for the still, but who am I kidding? I would choose bubbly just about any day of the week. And that I did.

Iron Horse Vineyards

We tasted through a lineup of seven sparkling wines from the Ocean Reserve, which we ended up buying, to the 2005 Brut Rose. In the middle, our host snuck in a taste of Joy! from a limited-release magnum. Joy! is aged 10-15 years on the lees in the bottle, resulting in toasty, brioche-like aromas and flavors.

Iron Horse Joy

Iron Horse Vineyards

image

I can tell you that I had my favorites, the Ocean Reserve, the Joy!, and the Brut Rosé were among them. But I could easily drink any of the sparkling wines we tried any day of the week. C’est magnifique!

We received such a warm country welcome at Iron Horse, along with delightful bubbly, and, as you can see, gorgeous views, that I would not hesitate to return again and again on trips to Sonoma.

Are you a planner? Or, unlike me, are you able to enjoy spontaneity?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Share

Tags: Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma, sparkling wine, Travel, wine

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    I am definitely a planner. However, when it comes to vacations, I will look up places that I want to visit, eat, etc. but Bret will actually come up with the schedule because he is much better about that!

    Reply

  2. Daisy’s avatar

    Magnificent indeed! i can’t believe that view! this makes me excited for our bubbly tasting even though it won’t be half as cool.

    Reply

  3. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    Those horses under the trees definitely look magical.

    I’m a big planner but lately I’m trying to be less rigid and more spontaneous!

    Reply

  4. alicia’s avatar

    I am a big planner – HUGE.
    to the point that I get really upset when plans don’t go my way….I’m trying to work on being more spontaneous!

    Reply

  5. Eric King’s avatar

    highly recommended winery – the view and the sparkling wine are amazing.

    Reply

  6. casacaudill’s avatar

    I hear you on being a planner. I put together full briefing books for every vacation, with the exception of our last few. I had a binder I brought to Ireland. People laughed at me. :-D

    Iron Horse was the very first winery we ever visited in Sonoma and I remember driving up the long road to reach the outdoor tasting room. Such a lovely location to match superb sparkling wines. Glad you got to visit.

    Reply

  7. Emily’s avatar

    Those horses are great! I am a huuuge planner. Too much so. I get a little bent out of shape if a plan is derailed but my husband is the opposite, very mellow. So, he’s helping me loosen up which I appreciate!

    Reply

  8. Megan’s avatar

    I absolutely have to plan! And if things don’t go according to plan, watch out! Luckily, Jeff is pretty easygoing, so he helps me relax when things veer off course.

    Reply

  9. Christopher Pappe’s avatar

    I am glad you made it to Iron Horse. They are true pioneers in Sonoma and perhaps more importantly, Green Valley. It is an amazing place and Joy is one of the true ambassadors of the business.

    Reply

  10. Raija’s avatar

    Beautiful winery!! Your descriptions make me feel like I was tasting right beside you!

    Reply

The Foodie Blog Roll
new restaurant
WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera