Bubbles, Iron Horse, Sonoma

Rumor has it that we can thank a fine bubbly for ending the Cold War. Imagine Reagan and Gorbachev toasting to that.

Iron Horse Vineyards

Iron Horse Vineyards

Some days you just pinch yourself. Can it really be this good? This past weekend we had the good fortune to experience just one of those days. It was sunny, a light breeze blew gently across the Russian River Valley. And there we found ourselves, in possibly one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

Now, before I get too gushy and soft, let me just that I’ve never–even in the most dreary of film-noir downpours –had a bad time in Napa, Sonoma, or Livermore. Quite possibly it’s the mindset. As I drive up to wine country, booting up 880, then across 12 and finally up 29, you can feel the Silicon Valley tempo fade. By the time you arrive, winding up a country dirt road to Iron Horse Vineyards on this particular morning, you can’t help but beam. I’m alive, and surrounded by great people–and overly sentimental before even tasting a drop.

Winners of the Grape to Glass photo contest hung in the barn.
Winners of the Grape to Glass photo contest hung in the barn.

All of this would foreshadow a malicious, manic Monday. It was as if the Web demons had spoken: have that much fun, and I will teach you to repent, one h@cked line of code at a time. Another day in the life of running a site like SSC. But that’s a story for another day, far in the future, when I can look back and laugh at it. For now, though, I prefer to remember the Sonoma weekend that was… Grape to Glass. Enjoying some sparkling wine, and some fine hospitality.

Sweeping views of the Russian River Valley
Sweeping views of the Russian River Valley

Loni will have more on the lunch that was served using produce from the garden, Plus, we’re cutting video that has some fascinating stories about wine and the White House. Joy Sterling, current CEO and representing the second generation, and her family have strong ties to the oval office thanks to several administrations that have called upon Iron Horse for their stellar wines.

BFF: Loni and Joy Sterling having too much fun.
BFF: Loni and Joy Sterling having too much fun.

Rumor has it that we can thank a fine bubbly for ending the Cold War. Imagine Reagan and Gorbachev toasting to that.

I wondered why Joy was so camera-ready. Turns out she had a successful broadcasting career, including a stint at ABC as Deputy Bureau Chief in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more on our conversation with Joy and the grounds in another WineTube TV wine country adventure.

For now I leave you with some of my favorite photos from that day. And, yes, it was another opportunity to go hog wild with my favorite gadget of the day: Canon T2i.

Shadows And Tall Trees
Shadows And Tall Trees
The Sparkling: Thankfully, not too sweet.
The Sparkling: Thankfully, not too sweet.
Contest winner. Shot by Joy's brother, Laurence. Wow.
Contest winner. Shot by Joy's brother, Laurence. Wow.
Another door opens...
Another door opens...
Never too early for the bubbly.
Never too early for the bubbly.
Grape to Glass celebrates Sonoma in style.
Grape to Glass celebrates Sonoma in style.
Later at the tasting room with Hardy Wallace and Ed Thralls (winetonite). Hardy is the guy to bump into at a tasting room. Knowledgeable, fun. Plus the "dirty south" factor.
Later at the tasting room with Hardy Wallace and Ed Thralls (winetonite). Hardy is the guy to bump into at a tasting room. Knowledgeable, fun. Plus the "dirty south" factor.
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