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Iron Horse Vineyards

Iron Horse Vineyards Descending the crest of a knoll on Ross Station Road, the three hundred acres of land comprising Iron Horse Ranch and Vineyards opens to rolling hills covered with grape vines. Passing across a bridge, up a winding oak lined drive, between a row of alternating palm and olive trees brings you to the charming Iron Horse Winery. Care was taken to preserve the natural beauty of the picturesque area by erecting buildings at home with the land. Founding partners Audrey and Barry Sterling and Forrest Tancer shared the conviction that Iron Horse could, and therefore would, produce great wines. Once a railroad stop for which it was named, the site was re-discovered by Sonoma Winemaster, Rodney Strong. He found the location with its unique climate and location ideal for vineyards. Iron Horse Winemaker, Forrest Tancer, was hired by Mr. Strong in 1971 to plan and develop the vineyards. Before he could complete the plan, the vineyard ownership had changed hands. Barry and Audrey Sterling had searched for a winery site in Europe for seven years. Upon their return to the United States, they resumed their quest in Sonoma County. In spite of first viewing Iron Horse in a driving rainstorm and the partially developed condition of the property, the Sterlings quickly recognized it was precisely what they had sought for so long. As the former Vineyard Manager, Forrest Tancer, took them around the property. They instantly appreciated his viticultural knowledge, his dedication to the land and his desire to see Iron Horse developed into a premier California vineyard. Within a few weeks in early 1976, the purchase of Iron Horse was made and Forrest Tancer agreed to continue as Vineyard Manager, eventually becoming a partner in the winery and then a son-in-law.

From San Francisco: take Highway 101 North to Santa Rosa. Take the Steele Lane/Guerneville exit. Drive West on Guerneville Road to Highway 116. Turn right on Highway 116 one mile to Ross Station Road. Turn left on Ross Station Road to end. Alternate route: In the case of flooding or roadwork, enter on private drive off Thomas Road (triple axles not advised). From Napa: From Calistoga take Highway 128. Left on Petrified Forest Road. Right on Porter Creek Road to Mark West Springs Road. Cross Highway 101. Drive West on River Road to Mirabel Road. Left on Mirabel to Highway 116. Left on 116 through Forestville to Ross Station Road. Right on Ross Station Road.

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Address Web Social
9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol, CA, US, 95472 Email:
Phone: 707-887-1507 Web:
Fax: 707-887-1337
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  Blanc de Blancs
The most elegant and sophisticated of the Iron Horse cuvées, made from 100% Chardonnay, this vintage is aged an average of six years on the yeast. It is ethereal - like drinking a cloud. It seems to effervesce away in your mouth and tastes like, among other flavors, a perfectly browned, lightly buttered slice of sourdough toast.
  Brut Rosé
The wildest of the Iron Horse Sparklings and surprisingly the driest. Bold and vibrant in both color and taste, it is pure exuberance. The color and richness come from cold soaking the Pinot Noir on the skins.
  Classic Vintage Brut
The most traditional of the Iron Horse Sparklings. A classy blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, aged an average of four years on the yeast in the bottle. Wonderfully rich and creamy, it sends all kinds of memory bells that say "champagne", though the fruit is unmistakably Sonoma County-Green Valley. It is vintage quality in every sense of the word.
  Corral Chardonnay
The grapes for Corral Vineyard Chardonnay come from 18 acres planted in 1987 along the backside of an old 1920s redwood corral in the far, southeast corner of the Iron Horse estate, where the fog first touches the vineyard at dusk and is also naturally the last place where the fog recedes in the morning. It tastes sublimely like creme brulee.
  Estate Chardonnay
2002 was a perfect vintage for Sonoma Chardonnay, especially from Green Valley, because the mornings were so perfectly cool. The fruit came into the winery during harvest at 55ºF - the ideal temperature for retaining the layers of complexity, finesse and most importantly all the zingy flavors we love so much in our wines. The result is an exceptionally bright, exciting Chardonnay that makes you saw “Wow!” when you taste it.
  Estate Pinot Noir
The most distinctive character of Iron Horse Pinot Noir is that it goes beyond the bright fruit character typical of the Russian River area, showing deeper, more earthy flavors that are special to Green Valley. This is a very expressive, stylish wine. It has extraordinary depth of character and yet the weight and texture of the wine are so light and silky, it just glides across the palette.
  Late Harvest Viognier
This is our first effort at a dessert-style wine. The grapes come from the T-bar-T Vineyard in the northeast foothills of the Alexander Valley. It is wonderfully bright, clean and fresh. Rich, yet superbly elegant.
  Rosato Di Sangiovese
An exciting, vibrant rosé made from Sangiovese bled off the fermentation tanks. It has an intense strawberry bouquet, followed by rich, full-bodied, fruity flavors. This is wine you will want to drink by the bottle.
  Rosé de Pinot Noir
This is the most intense experience of wild strawberries imagineable. The 2003 was featured in Savor Magazine as a "holiday wine" to celebrate spring. Also written up in the Wall Street Journal as "interesting and different, with a little bit of an edge. More serious than most."
  Russian Cuvée
The same base wine as Classic Vintage Brut, but with a richer dosage, which makes it more opulent, slightly sweeter and heightens the fruit. Originally designed for the historic Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meetings ending the Cold War. According to USA Today, "an intertwining of the arts of diplomacy and gastronomy".
  T-bar-T Benchmark
Benchmark is our finest achievement. The first word that comes to mind to describe this wine is luscious. It has exquisite fruit and soft, silky tannins. The blend is Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot - all grown on the T-bar-T Vineyard in the northeast foothills of the Alexander Valley. This release is made entirely from the finest barrels, cherry-picked from the vintage.
  T-bar-T Cabernet Franc
This is a rare and exciting release. We only bottle T-bar-T Cabernet Franc in exceptional vintages. So far, there have been four bottlings in 30 years. Production is very limited.
  T-bar-T Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a luscious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It is regal in color - a nearly black, purple beauty. The first smell recalls dark berries, figs, ripe pears, cedar, vanilla, peper and dark toasted oak. These deep full flavors generously fill and coat the mouth. It is both juicy and mouthwatering. The tannins are smooth, balanced and silky. 2002 is a superlative vintage.
  T-bar-T Cuvée R
This unique blend of Sauvignon Blanc and 18% Viognier is dedicated to partner and chief winemaker Forrest Tancer's mother, Renee Tancer, whom he credits for giving him his love of wine and the land. It is the proprietary wine white of T-bar-T and smells exactly the way the vineyard smells in the spring.
  T-bar-T Merlot
This Merlot is true to its hillside roots. It is dark, intense and gutsy. It shows sweet plum and cherry with a smoky oak nuance.
  T-bar-T Sangiovese
Another special niche for Iron Horse, made from five acres planted at T-bar-T in 1988. This vintage is blended with 10% Merlot, also from T-bar-T. It is intensely fruity and silky.
  T-bar-T Viognier
Iron Horse produces a very small amount of Viognier. The grapes are grown on the T-bar-T Vineyard in the Northeast foothills of the Alexander Valley. Much of the fruit is combined with Sauvignon Blanc from the same estate to make a maverick blend called Cuvee R. A few exceptional lots are held out in some vintages for special bottling. The 2003 is especially bright, fresh, floral and exquisitely aromatic. It is like pure perfume.
  Thomas Road Chardonnay
This is the first vintage that Iron Horse has bottled the Chardonnay from the Thomas Road vineyard separately from the Master Blend. This section of vineyard sits on the highest, most westerly ledge on the property. The resulting wine is lean, crisp, and stylish.
  Thomas Road Pinot Noir
The Thomas Road Pinot Noir vineyard sits high enough to catch the early morning sun and ocean breeze in the afternoons, producing distinctly concentrated wines with deep black cherry fruit, with an underlying earthy and mushroom quality. It combines power and refinement. Flavors are bright and dry and have lots of ripe fruit, with oak, toast and spice flavors. The wine is drinking wonderfully and will continue to unfold if one chooses to cellar it for a few years.
  Wedding Cuvée
This is Iron Horse's Blanc de Noirs, made from predominately Pinot Noir. It has a beautiful, pale-peach hue. Rich and creamy, like pure strawberries and cream, this is without doubt the most romantic of Sparklings. It is dangerously easy to drink. A favorite for many, Iron Horse is probably best known for this cuvée.


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