Love of the land
Iron Horse is our business and our home. Three generations live on the property, ranging in age from 19 to 84. In the vineyards, the winery, the gardens, our lifestyle and community life, we strive to put back more than we take out. Anyone who comes to Iron Horse can see and feel our love of the land.
The core of our endeavor is to grow the highest quality grapes, which express our unique location in Green Valley. We do this through "precision farming"; this means all pruning, canopy management, irrigation, cover crop and even harvesting decisions are determined on a block-by-block (and sometimes vine-by-vine) basis. We consider both the vintage and the long term needs of the land. In both our older vineyards and new plantings, we use the best tools technology provides and employ the latest viticultural practices, balanced by 30 years of experience and passion.
An upcoming initiative will be installing an acre of solar panels capable of powering the entire vineyard and winery operations.
For erosion control, we seed the hills with cover crop and then overlay with fresh hay - the bales are broken down by hand and spread in a thick golden layer. We let the creek beds revert to their natural state to support integrated pest management. We chop and mulch our grape prunings into the soil.
We irrigate and frost protect with advanced treated wastewater from neighboring Forestville, recycled water from the winery and accumulated rain water. Green Valley Creek, which runs across the property, is now being restocked by California Fish & Game with steelhead trout.
We strike a balance in our packaging and shipping. We have foresworn Styrofoam. We ship in recycled corrugated cardboard boxes. All of our logo dies for branding wood boxes are heirlooms. We choose lighter glass bottles.
We recycle our glass, cardboard, household newspapers, office paper, and plastic bottles. Our extensive gardens are maintained with re-cycled water. We try to source our food from the estate or from local farms.
We adhere to the UC Davis definition of sustainable farming, a holistic effort to protect and nurture the environment, our community and all natural resources. "Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, stewardship of both natural and human resources is of prime importance. Stewardship of human resources includes: consideration of social responsibilities such as working and living conditions of laborers, the needs of rural communities, and consumer health and safety in both present and future. Stewardship of the land and natural resources involves maintaining or enhancing this vital resource base for the long term." - UC Davis