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A Summer Like None Other

by Joy Sterling | Published June 25, 2020

Dear Friends and Family, This is proving the be a summer like none other, but there are silver linings.

Most exciting is the arrival of a new member of the family, my grandnephew Calvin.

Parents: Justine and Mike. Grandparents: Laurence and Terry. Great Grandparents: Audrey and Barry

Our other “babies” – the grapes are maturing, starting to build up sugar. And, the vines, just got a haircut, which many of us at Iron Horse could use right now.

We have a shiny new “toy” – a Leaf Remover that mechanically removes excess leaves from the canopy of the vines. This allows more sunlight to filter through to the grapes, freeing our vineyard crew to work on other essential, more detailed, and precise vine management tasks, like removing selective shoots off the vines, which requires judgement. We feel you will taste the difference in the 2020 wines, taking them up another notch in color, perfume, richness, texture, flavor, and lusciousness.

We are also benefiting from the silver lining of having remarkably clean, clear air. It is making a palpable difference for the exuberance of flowers in my father’s garden, which is hydrangea heaven right now. There is every reason to believe that will translate to the grapes, as well.

Lastly, I am extremely proud of our ability to adapt. Our team has come together beautifully. We are all working to provide a truly wonderful, safe, and welcoming environment. It has now been a month since we re-opened for tasting. And it has been heartening, on every level.


My family and I are very excited Iron Horse is named one of the Top 50 producers in Sonoma County in the June 30th issue of Wine Spectator.

We are not yearning to go back to “normal” but excited about the prospect of continuing to move forward.

Sending all best wishes, as always,