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Happy New Year from Iron Horse

by Joy Sterling | Published December 22, 2022

Dear Friends and Family, I hope your New Year is off to a sparkling start. This is a golden time for Iron Horse. I couldn’t be more thankful for you and your part in getting us to this season. We are so very lucky and deeply appreciative.

This is a time for us to take stock and reflect on the year just ended. My unforgettable moments include lunch with my mother and playing with my grand nephews.

We were honored to be named the #1 American Sparkling Wine in Wine Spectator and the sole American bubbly in Wine & Spirits Top 100. The media on the release of our latest cuvee, Stargazing, has been outstanding – New York Times, Robb Report, Business Week, Forbes.com, The Press Democrat and possibly on the Weekend Edition of the PBS NewsHour Christmas Eve.

I am very proud that we are making our annual contributions based on $5 for every bottle sold of our 2018 Resilience to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund, the Redwood Empire Food Bank from 2018 Gratitude and Mission Blue thanks to your purchases of 2018 Ocean Reserve Blanc de Blancs.

In many ways we are already launched into 2023. We are pruning and tying the vines, which sets the framework for the new vintage.

Heading into 2023

The base wines for all the bubblies have been filtered and are ready for blending. We have 18 individual lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, destined to make about 18,000 cases of Sparkling Wine. There is very little Chardonnay for still wine and even less for Pinot Noir. 2022 is a superb vintage in quality, but lacking in quantity, again. This is our third short crop in a row.

So far, the November and December rains and rainbows have been wonderful. Everything crossed for more!

I am very excited that 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of Green Valley becoming an established, federally recognized American Viticultural Area – a special source of pride as my mother filed the application in 1983 with my father as her attorney of record. This coincided with the larger Russian River Valley being named an AVA and shows my parents’ extraordinary foresight. The value of our smaller, more tightly delimited area is critically important to defining the pedigree of our wines.

It is also the 40th anniversary of when Vineyard Foreman Manuel Briano and Tractor Driver Placido Godinez joined the Iron Horse family.

Tractor Driver Placido Godinez and Vineyard Foreman Manuel Briano celebrate their 40th anniversary at iron Horse

Year of the Rabbit

Our next new release to “hop” down the labeling line is “Year of the Rabbit” – a vintage Blanc de Blancs to celebrate Lunar New Year. The release date is January 6th. This label is sure to win as most loveable.

Please plan to come visit us. We are pouring Joy! and Stargazing in the Tasting Room in the run up to New Year’s Eve. And winter in Sonoma can be very romantic. It is the perfect time to cozy up with some bubbles.

We wish you and yours the most wonderful holidays, bubbling over with love and friendship.

Love, Joy


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