Iron Horse is located in Green Valley in the coolest, foggiest part of the Russian River Valley, just 13 miles from the Pacific as the crow flies. There are approximately 160 acres in vine, planted exclusively to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It is an exquisite estate-all gentle, rolling hills, with a spectacular view from the winery clear across Sonoma County to Mount St. Helena.
The predominant soil type is Gold Ridge soil-a sandy clay loam that has excellent drainage and is perfectly balanced in terms of its mineral elements, making it the most sought after soil type in Sonoma, especially for Pinot Noir. The property is divided into specific blocks, which are each farmed individually, harvested separately and then vinified as if each block was a "single vineyard".
Iron Horse Vineyard Map ( pdf)
Iron Horse Vineyard Descript ( pdf)
Iron Horse is in the process of re-planting 50 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This is a major undertaking, which will take its wines to an even higher level.
Our viticultural knowledge has advanced light years from what we knew when the original 110 acres were planted in 1970. What was once one block is now broken down into five, further honing in on the estate's unique characteristics-each being planted with specific rootstock, clonal selections, trellising, even, in many areas, a change in row direction, with the goal of pulling more distinctive flavors out of the ground.
Iron Horse is engaged in what's called precision farming under the guidance of the current leading viticultural expert, Daniel Roberts, PhD aka Dr. Dirt. It's exciting to look out at a beautifully rounded knoll, now a mound of fresh green cover crop, and dream about what's to come.