Iron Horse Vineyards Joins Global Partnership with National Geographic to Help Save the Ocean
September 16 (Sebastopol, CA) - Iron Horse Vineyards is launching a vintage Sparkling Wine called Ocean Reserve in partnership with National Geographic and other organizations to help restore the ocean's health and abundance.
The wine is now available and posted on National Geographic's website www.nationalgeographic.com/ocean. Iron Horse is contributing $4 a bottle to promoter marine protected areas and reduce over-fishing around the world.
"We have a direct connection witht he ocean" says Iron Horse CEO Joy Sterling. "The ocean creates the special micro-climate - the fog that makes our wines so distinctive."
The Sparkling is a 2005 vintage Blanc de Blancs designed by Iron Horse Winemaker David Munksgard and Washington D. C. chef Barton Seaver, Esquire 2009 Chef of the Year, now a
National Geographic Fellow and champion of sustainable seafood.
“As someone who has been preaching sustainable seafood practices for over 20 years, I’m proud to be
associated with Iron Horse and its Ocean Reserve and applaud their efforts to help save our oceans,”said
Chef Rick Moonen, chef/owner of Rick Moonen’s rm seafood in Las Vegas. “Iron Horse’s sparkling wines
have a refreshing crispness that pairs absolutely perfect with the variety of fresh, sustainable, seafood
we offer daily at rm.”
Iron Horse has created three labels, making them collectible as a set. The labels feature National
Geographic underwater photographs and a high tech element on the back label that, when
scanned with a free mobile phone application, instantly links to a video explaining the creation of
the cuvee, the ocean's essential role in the winery's micro climate and providing sustainable
“The flavors are bright, crisp, and exciting, expressing Iron Horse’s proximity to the ocean,” says
winemaker Munskgard. “It really speaks to how the ocean affects the special taste and quality of
Iron Horse is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery in the aptly named Green Valley,
a special growing region that lies entirely within the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County,
California, 13 miles from the coast. They are best known for their Sparklings, which have been
served at the White House for five presidential administrations beginning with the Reagan
Gorbachev Summit Meetings ending the Cold War.
To date, early adopters of Ocean Reserve include chefs Eric Ripert from Le Bernardin in New
York, Rick Moonen of RM Seafood in Las Vegas, Providence in Los Angeles, Black Salt in
Washington D.C., Masraff’s in Houston, Shinsei Restaurant in Dallas, select Whole Foods stores
in California, Texas, Louisiana and Florida, and Lindblad Expeditions’ cruise ships.“Ocean Reserve is a sip of hope,” says Sterling. “Who knew saving the ocean could be so
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SCHEDULE INTERVIEWS, PLEASE CONTACT:
Joy Sterling, Iron Horse CEO
707 887 1507
Glynnis M. Breen, Missions Programs, National Geographic
202 857 7481
David Munksgard, Iron Horse Winemaker
707 887 1507
Available materials include sample bottles, bottle shots, jpegs of the labels, computer animation of
the incursion of the fog into Green Valley, National Geographic video on the creation of the
cuvee, sustainable seafood recipes that pair with the Sparkling.
Holiday Greetings from Iron Horse Vineyards 2009
Click on the following link to view a YouTube video greeting from Iron Horse Vineyards:
Click here to for the Brussels Sprouts recipe featured on the video.
State of the Winery Annual Letter 2009
Dear Friends & Family
It has become my tradition to write an annual state of the winery letter following the President's State of the Union. This year, Barack Obama's Inaugural Address, raises the bar considerably. However, as the man said, "The challenges will be met."
Our vision is to carry on as a prestigious, trusted, estate bottled, family owned, sustainable, dynamic, Green Valley brand. We remain committed to the highest quality - investing in the vineyard, garnering excellent press, actively involved in green initiatives, and perfectly positioned for the times as a trustworthy brand.
The research says consumers are "risk averse" right now and established brands like Iron Horse are selling.
Job #1 for us is the vintage. Iron Horse is first about the wines and achieving excellence.
We are now four years into our replanting program - an absolutely astounding investment. This spring, the two blocks (A & B) leading up to my house will be budded to Chardonnay and we will erect the trellising and install the irrigation in "New Q". I can practically taste the great wines that will result.
Thanks to our winemaker David Munksgard, the accolades are already rolling in. -+
I am delighted to announce the official release of our 2006 Estate Chardonnay. There are just 7,000 cases of this delicious wine to be followed very quickly by two even smaller, also very delicious vintages - '07 and '08.
I highly, highly recommend you treat yourself to our 2007 UnOaked Chardonnay with fresh cracked Dungeness crab. The pairing is so perfect; you don't need condiments and is the epitome of an "affordable indulgence".
The 2007 Estate Pinot Noir is fantastic. Trust me. You are in a foot race with my family and me for this wine, as we are merrily drinking it up. 2007 is a great, great vintage for the Russian River and Green Valley in particular. Only 1800 cases were produced.
I am very excited about Celebrate Earth Day with Green Valley to take place Sunday April 19 - the Sunday prior to official Earth Day. Iron Horse is one of at least five local wineries (Marimar Estate, Dutton Goldfield, DeLoach and Hartford Family Winery) that have already committed to hosting an informal, come and go as you please, no charge, wine tasting and food pairing from 11am to 2pm. At our venue, we are planning to have an eco-art show, focused on recycled materials, roving musicians and a small farmer's market, displaying the exceptional quality of this unique AVA that we are lucky enough to call home.
A great point of pride is the growing number of wineries who now brag about sourcing grapes from Green Valley. Jordan cites Green Valley as a core quality element in their Chardonnay. DeLoach, DuMol, Gary Farrell, Lynmar, Martinelli, Patz & Hall, Paul Hobbs have Green Valley bottlings. Hess is releasing a Green Valley Pinot Noir.
My parents bought Iron Horse 33 years ago in February. 2009 will mark the 30th anniversary of the opening of our winery, officially on my father's birthday, October 25. We are planning on producing a limited edition commemorative jeroboam and hosting a series of events beginning in August.
Most exciting is that my niece Justine represents the third generation to become involved with Iron Horse. She will be writing a blog on our website with news items about restaurants and retailers that carry Iron Horse, covering their special events, great pairings, and all the other terrific experiences a young woman in wine can have in New York City.
Our history and prestige are very valuable assets in a tough economy. I have been reading history books and business articles comparing today's economy with the Great Depression. It sounds like it would be discouraging, but you know what they say: those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
I am most interested in stories about people and companies who succeeded during the depression. I want to learn as much as I can about them - what they did, how they thought.
My conclusions thus far are to avoid negativity (it shuts down creativity), stay focused, continue to promote the brand, and take no friendship for granted.
To that end, we are planning to stick with the fundamentals of pulling samples, presenting the wines and following up with staff trainings and in-store tastings.
For me, the most important goal is ensuring our distribution. Tried and true brands like Iron Horse can and should be able to hold our own in this environment. The key is maintaining market share.
My big goal for 2009 is re-affirming our relationship with you personally ... preferably here at our home place. Looking out from the winery at our view is all you need to know why I am so motivated.
Please let me know when you are coming to visit.
With all my thanks, as always,