Raising a glass to 40yrs of Iron Horse Vineyards and 4th of July Weekend in Sonoma
July 4th, easily one of our favorite holidays to celebrate and as such this year we had a whole lot of celebrating to do. Our dear friend and longtime business collaborate with The Nyman Group, Joy Sterling of Iron Horse Vineyards filled us in on plans to celebrate 40 years of Iron Horse we knew exactly where Independence Day would take us. Joy has shaped the vision of Iron Horse within the Hospitality Industry and her wines are regularly served at the White House and great restaurants around the country.
Sonoma is truly one of those perfect places in America and currently there is so much good happening from incredible juice being bottled and ready to drink to fantastic, fun restaurants to a housing and economic boom, the whole county is firing on all cylinders. If you have the ability to travel to the region, go now!
Our visit started out on July 2 with us heading to Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley to visit Bill Smart, VP and GM of Lambert Bridge Winery. First off, Bill is the consummate host and what a lovely experience in our first visit to the winery. The tasting room at Lambert Bridge is gorgeous and you feel right at home the minute you step foot inside (if you haven’t fallen in love with the winery upon driving up). We tasted the range of wines and marveled at the delicious juice winemaker Jennifer Higgins has cared for.
Next, it was heading south to Santa Rosa for an afternoon in the sunshine with Rose and Bubbles over at Inman Family Wines. We’ve been big fans of the winery for some time and it was a pleasure having Jon as our host for the day and making sure our glasses were always full as we relaxed next to the vineyard. If you make the trek this summer make sure to ask for Jon and pick up a bottle or three of their Endless Crush Rose.
Being a bit famished after two fantastic tastings it was off to Zazu for dinner. This was also our first time at the new location inside The Barlow. The true definition of Farm-to-Table is exemplified by what Duskie Estes and her husband, John Stewart continue to do at Zazu. On this evening we started with a smorgasbord of salumi, antipasti and some black pig bacon wrapped dates. All tasty and delicious as was the homemade pasta used in the stroganoff followed by a perfect char and crust on the 30-day dry aged rib-eye. The wine list at Zazu is also filled with gems for you to select from and if you want to know what real Caesar salad should taste like, look no further!
The following day was what the whole trip was planned around, celebrating 40 years of Iron Horse Vineyards. As a family that has been there from the beginning it is with profound joy and admiration we celebrate the amazing accomplishments of Iron Horse and the sensational job Audrey, Barry and of course, Joy, have worked tirelessly on to make the winery an icon in the business and in the world. On this day we were all enjoying Spirit of ’76 Cuvee and wow what a firework! Just an absolutely delicious and perfect sparkling wine while enjoying it in the Iron Horse garden. In typical Joy fashion there was always a ‘next stop’ and on this celebration day it included following “Uncle Sam” and a 20-person brass band called The Hub Bub Club to a 1920’s corral where the bubbles were flowing and everything from New England lobster rolls to bison sliders were being served. The highlight of the celebration however came inside the corral where Joy had assembled a collection of impressive and unforgettable memories over the past 40 years of Iron Horse. A perfect soiree for the holiday weekend.
Like all good things, our trip had to come to an end but not before cruising down to San Francisco for a few hours to visit our good friend Nick Floulis at Hole In The Wall coffee. It’s amazing what he’s doing with 27 sq-ft of space (yes, that’s correct, 27). The pour over coffee is strong and tasty, four blends to choose from, and his personality may just keep you there for hours! Don’t believe us? Go experience for yourself!
A weekend in wine country flies by too quickly but we’re blessed to have the opportunity to see friends doing great things and we can’t want to be back and enjoy even more memorable experiences.