On a rural hillside ridge is the rustic home of Iron Horse. High-quality sparkling and still wines are produced here using traditional winemaking techniques. Fruit from their estate vineyard and the warmer Alexander Valley T-Bar Vineyard provide Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes for their traditional cuvées. The winery offers seven sparkling wines, five Chardonnays, two roses, three Pinot Noirs, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The winery operation is a hodgepodge group of buildings at the end of a long driveway, with their tasting room in the back overlooking the valley. The covered tasting bar area has a gravel floor that doubles as a dump bucket, as well as a tasting counter made from old rough-sawn wooden planks over oak barrels. Bring a coat, as this is all alfresco tasting. Check out the metal sculptures near the palm trees that stand out in this rural landscape.
The bubbly is made using extended aging - from three to seven years - of the yeast in the bottle, which imparts a rich creaminess to the finished product. None of the cuvées undergoes any malolactic fermentation. Still wines make up half the production at Iron Horse.