Iron Horse Blog
Dear Friends and Family,
Happy Chinese New Year, celebrating the “Year of the Rat”.
The Rat is the first sign in the 12-animal cycle of Chinese Astrology, a portent of new beginnings. Rats are said to be clever and wise, symbols of wealth and abundance. Rat years include 1924, 1936, 1948 , 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, making this is the perfect gift for anyone expecting a baby (Us! My eldest niece Justine is due this summer) … and for those celebrating a milestone birthday, like turning 60 (namely, our brilliant, handsome label designer Mark Berry).
Here is a line up of our Chinese New Year labels of the past five years.
The endearing creature on this year's label, a Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana), is sadly endangered. Fewer than 250 adults are left in the wild. This “studio portrait” is part of National Geographic’s Photo Ark, created by photographer Joel Sartore ( Click here for more information), a biblical effort to document 12,000 species before they disappear and to get people to care, even about a little rat, while there’s still time. We are very proud that licensing the photo for our label helps the cause.
Yesterday, one of our wonderful Wine Club members told us the origin story of the Chinese Zodiac that he learned as a child. It’s a story of a great race, deciding which animals made it into the 12 year cycle, and in what order. The animals had to cross a river, so the Ox had the advantage, but the clever rat jumped on the Ox’s back and once across, jumped ahead to be the first. The Ox is second.
We are pouring "Rat" in our tasting room. Please make a reservation (or order online).
Wishing you great prosperity and double happiness!
After a very long, cold, very wet winter, I have decided to start chronicling the gardens again ... and wines releases, starting today. I firmly believe the beauty of our place is integral to our terroire. The vineyards are the gardens. The gardens are the vineyards. They are of one piece.
Sunday April 21, 2019
This is an absolutely perfect time of year at Iron Horse, especially this year, after all the rain. Just driving here on the Gravenstein Highway (aka Hwy 116) with the apples in bloom is a pleasure.
My father planted this cherry in front of the winery our first spring, 1976 – before the winery was even built. It is a favorite Instagram backdrop, but with a very limited window of opportunity.
This was yesterday (Saturday) afternoon behind my parents’ home. The profusion of calla lilies has been amazing. And, the roses are about to burst.
One of my greatest pleasures is walking in this garden with my father and watching it evolve.
I picked these shots because they convey a very special space in time and tell the story behind our wines in this shipment. I am firmly convinced that the beauty of the place is part and parcel of our terroir for the grapes and all the beauty that grows here. The grapes know they are in a perfect spot and they are not going to disappoint.
We are featuring three beautiful wines in our May Wine Club Shipment:
2015 Rainbow Cuvee - Our toast to diversity. We are relasing the new vintage May 9, so you can have it on hand Pride Month. 400 cases.
2016 Native Yeast Chardonnay - The grapes for this wine come from the furthest knoll behind the bottle in this photo. 220 cases
2016 Home Block Pinot Noir - Small production, from this beautifully sheltered, three-acre site, behind the iris bed, planted to the Calera Clone. 250 cases.
I hope you are planning to come visit. Our Under the Palms Tastings are now underway. This is a new experience for you to enjoy Wednesdays through Fridays - a private, seated tasting, twice daily, for two to four guests, at a “ringside” table, under the palms, facing our gorgeous view, where you can see the individual vineyard blocks while tasting the corresponding wines, with cheese. And, yes. You get to sit down!
Brace yourself. Memorial Day is coming.
With all my very best,