A drive through wine country in spring affords views of flowers and vineyards coming to life. My destination was Iron Horse Vineyards to get away and to enjoy a tasting of bubbles. Driving back-country roads is the perfect venue to view fields of mustard in bloom and other flowering trees shaking off their winter doldrums in celebration of spring.
Iron Horse is located in western Sonoma County, perched on a hillside overlooking Green Valley. As I drove up the road lined with oak, palm and olive trees I was able to enjoy the flowering trees and verdant valley below. The winery and tasting room are at the top of the hill with panoramic views including 350 acres of vineyards. The tasting room is an indoor/outdoor location with rough hewn boards serving as the tasting counter. Everywhere I looked, there were daffodils and trees in bloom heralding spring's arrival.
Since I was purchasing sparkling wine for a soiree, I wanted to try their full range of bubbles to determine the perfect assortment. The 2007 Ocean Reserve, a collaboration with National Geographic helping to preserve the world’s oceans. The wine is made from 100% Chardonnay and is crisp yet full bodied, a definite. Next was the 2008 Wedding Cuvee, a pale rose with bright fruit flavors and so delicious, a favorite. The 2008 Fairy Tale Cuvee was a special treat, it is made from the same base wine as the Wedding Cuvee without the pale pink color. This is the sparkling wine served in the Magic Kingdom, no wonder it is the “happiest place on earth!”
Next was the 2008 Classic Vintage Brut, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, smooth and delicious, another favorite. I enjoyed the 2008 Russian Cuvee, named for the historic Reagan Gorbechev Summit where it was served, an amazing wine. The 2007 Brut Rose was a beautiful shade of salmon and fruity, yet dry, a perfect Easter wine. The 2008 Brut X is one of the smallest production wines they make, it was smooth and delicious.
A special treat was sampling some of their aged sparkling wine. The 2003 Chinese Cuvee was smooth and creamy and the 2003 Brut LD, their least dry wine was incredible. The additional aging makes a huge difference in the taste, giving it a smoother, yeasty flavor that lingers.
They offer still wines too, several exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which I love but today it was all about the bubbles. I purchased a half case to enjoy with a few special friends the following day. Now to find the perfect food pairings to serve with these exceptional wines.
Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley on Sunday April 21, 2013 at Iron Horse Vineyards. Enjoy walk around food and wine tasting showcasing Green Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Participating wineries include DeLoach Vineyards, Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Freeman Vineyard & Winery, Hartford Family Winery, Marimar Estate and Sequana Vineyards. Guest speaker Pulitzer prize winner, Jared Diamond will share findings from his recent book The World Until Yesterday. There are limited event tickets, purchase tickets here. Net proceeds benefit National Geographic, celebrating its’ 125th Anniversary.
Details: Iron Horse Vineyards is located at 9786 Ross Station Road in Sebastopol, CA. Visit their website www.ironhorsevineyards.com or call them 707-887-1507. They are available from 10 am to 4:30 pm daily for tastings. Tours are held by appointment only. It is a short 75 minute drive from San Francisco.
©Karla Erovick 2013 article, photos
Karla is a lover of sparkling wine and has made it her mission to seek out producers in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Looking for a romantic travel destination? Get inspired from over 375 articles covering food, wine and memorable places.
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