Joy Ann Sterling

A pioneer in the Green Valley appellation within the Russian River area of Sonoma County, the Iron Horse family is building a legacy of prestige sparkling wines and estate-bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir within a “holistic” environment of natural balance, cultivation and love of the land.

Joy represents the second generation at her family’s winery, Iron Horse Vineyards. She is the CEO of the winery and the author of four books. After growing up in Paris and being influenced in very French ways, Joy traveled, attended Yale and rose in ranks at ABC as a journalist.

In 1985, Joy left her corporate life and joined the family business, embarking on a new era of woman winemakers in California. Significantly, she made news headlines for the winery with her first achievement at Iron Horse. In November 1985, the White House selected Iron Horse Sparkling Wine for the President’s toast to peace at the first summit meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva.

Iron Horse is best known for it’s Sparkling Wines which have been served at the White House for over 25 years, continuing with the Obamas, making this the fifth consecutive presidential administration to serve Iron Horse.

Joy has climbed Kilimanjaro, trekked in Tibet and Bhutan and run white water rapids on the Bio – Bio River in Chile and on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River in China. Her most recent adventure was a road trip in West Africa to Timbuktu. She sits on the Board of Trustees of the Leakey Foundation and the Steering Committee for a National Geographic Society California Educational Fund. She spearheads an eco-fundraising event: Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley, raising awareness and much needed funds for green non-profit organizations.

But Joy’s real purpose in giving back is to help maintain wildlife and protect marine areas. As an avid hiker and adventurer, Joy combined her passion for wildlife and business by launching a vintage Sparkling 2005 Ocean Reserve in partnership with National Geographic this fall. The winery is contributing $4 a bottle to help establish marine protected areas and reduce over fishing.

You can find out more about Iron Horse Vineyards on their website at or email at

Join them on Facebook at Iron Horse Vineyards. or follow them on Twitter at @IronHorseVyds.

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