Bubbles, pumpkins, and palm trees
One rainy¹ pre-Halloween day in Sonoma, we were up in the Russian River Valley to pick up a shipment from Porter Creek. We buzzed through the current releases tasting and chose an additional case to take home, got everything packed into the trunk with the refreezable ice packs that we had finally learned to bring every time we go up to maintain temp in the trunk… and then it was noon. … So early.
We looked deep into each other’s eyes for a minute, during which our mutual willingness to compromise on the budget and pay for it later was somehow communicated non-verbally, and suddenly… we simultaneously suggested stopping by somewhere new.
We had been chatting with Jonathan throughout the tasting, and he recommended Iron Horse, saying it was one of the best tastings in the area. “A bit of a trek,” but well worth it. With a recommendation like that, we had to go see for ourselves.
Betty (our Android GPS lady) grudgingly (because she is actually named Evil Betty (yes, Kung Pow Enter the Fist)) directed us up a twisty hillside dirt road to the Iron Horse tasting room, which is located in the Green Valley AVA, one of the smallest designated viticultural areas in California. It’s known as the coolest area in the Sonoma Coast region because of the fog that usually hangs around, but this day, we had already experienced a bit more than fog. Given the earlier torrential rain, the trip up their driveway was pretty muddy and intense, but at the top of the hill, the rain let up and we were hella impressed by the view from the outdoor tasting bar.
Now you may be wondering… why is there no picture of this beautiful wood outdoor tasting bar setup? We can clearly see in the tasting notes that there is a lovely natural wood bar upon which all the bottles and champagne glasses rest. Well. Yes. While taking our label photos (to use for Vivino), I suggested that we take a shot of the long outdoor bar set atop several barrels. It was impressively long and well populated.
“Errrhhhmmmmm…. noooooo, no, not this time,” says my usually diligent photographer. I looked again down the bar and noticed all of a sudden that EVERYONE else at the bar besides us was boisterously in costume. There was the whole cast of Peter Pan, including a tipsy dude-Tinkerbell, a Captain Hook replete with giant wig, a Schmee limping around. There was a contingent of red-faced kilt guys being herded by a draconian Princess Ariel. Everyone’s costume was in a moderate state of disarray, makeup was smearing; this was clearly not the first stop of the day.
Okay, next time. Hella fun.
¹Yes, California is in a drought, even after a few rainstorms this fall and winter, but Marin and Sonoma counties’ reservoirs are all full and they both tend to have flooding every time it rains – at least this year. We would never let a little flooding come between us and the wine, though. Don’t worry. Oh, and on the way home, our car’s transmission went out. Tow truck in the rain!!!