I must say I was more than a little awed when seated for the Russian River Valley Winegrowers’ Paulée Dinner with Joy Sterling (Iron Horse Vineyards), Charlie Palmer (chef and restaurateur), and Lisa Palmer (Limestone) some of our local celebrities even among the prestigious winemakers from Arista Winery, Bacigalupi Vineyards, Benovia Winery, Bucher Vineyard, C. Donatiello Winery, Davis Family Wines, DeLoach Vineyards, Hartford Family Winery, Iron Horse Vineyards, La Crema, La Follette, J. Vineyards & Winery, Joseph Swan Vineyards, Kosta Browne, Merry Edwards Winery, Russian Hill Estate Winery, Siduri Wines, Thomas George Estates, Trione Vineyards and Winery, and Williams Selyem.
In the tradition of the Paulée, everyone came to our table to share stories and wine, but the lasting impression I had of the evening was of my dinner-mate Joy Sterling, the woman with an infectious smile and a natural graciousness.
Jean-Charles told me laughingly that she speaks better French than he does (Jean-Charles was born and raised Burgundy, France), but I am impressed but her humbleness. Because her accomplishments are so vast, I don’t want to understate them. Please read more in her biography, but I quote a small piece of her still mounting achievements here.
Joy represents the second generation at Iron Horse. She is the CEO of the winery and the author of four books: A Cultivated Life, published by Random House, Vintage Feasting, Vineyard: A Year in the Life of California Wine Country with photographs by Andy Katz and A Vintner’s Guide to Red Wine published by Simon and Schuster. At the age of 29, Joy was Deputy Bureau Chief for ABC Network News in Los Angeles. She was given numerous special assignments including coverage of the first Space Shuttle landings in California, coordinating producer for several Presidential trips, and the high point of her career, Assignment Editor for ABC’s 1984 Olympic coverage. She is an adventurer, having climbed Kilimanjaro, run white water rapids on the Bio – Bio River in Chile and the upper reaches of the Yank Sing River in China, trekked in Tibet and Bhutan, and completed a road trip to Timbuktu.
This is truly an amazing woman and a wonderful representation of the caliber of women in the wine industry today. Having said that, she is an easy conversationalist that seems genuinely interested in everyone around her and the kind of person with whom you want to enjoy a glass of wine.
Joy joined the prestigious Board of Trustees of The Leakey Foundation in 2007. One of her major initiatives is hosting an annual fundraising and awareness raising event in partnership with National Geographic celebrating Earth Day held at Iron Horse Winery.
Iron Horse’s Ocean Reserve supports National Geographic with Iron Horse donating $4 to establish marine protected areas and reduce overfishing around the world with every bottle you purchase.
I hope that you get the opportunity to meet this active woman admist all of her many obligations and activities. Joy will surely smile and greet you warmly; she is just that way.
#JoySterling #IronHorse #DiscoverRRV