You will find alters throughout town as well as here at Ironstone honoring some very special people.
Ironstone has chosen George Wendt to honor. Having a very special place in all our hearts, George was an amazing human being and very much missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
|George doing what he loved most|
“Wine on the River”
A collaboration of O.A.R.S. and Ironstone Vineyards
|Stephen Kautz on a "Wine on the River" trip with OARS|
Story by Stephen Kautz:
"I have always had a love for the outdoors in any form. When I was a kid I got my first taste of rafting down the Stanislaus River with OARS in those early days before the dam was built. I kept that love of rivers and fishing in them, but had moved away from the rafting part. Then my grandmother (moms side) invited me to go on a rafting trip with her through OARS, down the Alsek River in the Canadian Yukon. Yes, the story is true, it was for her 80th birthday. Well, I was again hooked on rafting. I came home and bought my own boat and started running rivers across the 11 western states. The only problem I had is a common one for rafting folks like me – work kept getting in the way. I was doing a lot of winemaker dinners and tasting events across the country and one day was sharing that with George Wendt and his marketing guy Eric Grathwal, somewhat complaining that I wasn’t getting enough time on the river. They both looked at me and asked if I would do something like that on a river trip for OARS. Let me see - wine, good food, river rafting and getting paid to do it!!!!! YES, dream come true.
The first Wine on the River trip, started in 1997, was down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho through the Frank Church Wilderness area, one of the most beautiful trips you can take. I took along my executive chef a bunch of good Ironstone Wine and away we went. Some of the best memories in my life have come during those trips. I can remember 12 of our group huddled under a tarp, sitting in the raft on a beach in the pouring rain. We were laughing at my description of our Symphony Wine when Chef Clyde pops underneath the tarp and starts passing out hot broth, asking what wine paired best with it….I think we tried them all. The Middle Fork of the Salmon, the Main Salmon, The Rouge River, The American River, The Tuolumne River, or any river where you can enjoy nature, great food and wine and the experiences of life, that is what Wine on the River is all about."