Horse and Plow is the collaborative efforts of wife and husband team, Suzanne Hagins and Chris Sandos. Suzanne worked for some of the finest restaurants in South Carolina before crossing the Atlantic to Burgundy and landing at Comte Armand, one of the finest producers there. Chris studied enology at San Francisco State and UC Davis. Together they craft the wines.
Horse and Plow doesn't own any vineyards, so they have to depend on independent vineyards in the North Coast to provide suitably organic grapes from areas with a certification of authenticity. This would have been much more difficult in 2008 when they launched their winery, but today it is much easier as organic farming is becoming almost the norm instead of the exception.
Whether organic farming makes a better wine is hard to ascertain, but their goal is to nurture the land so that the grapes' natural flavors will shine through. And this we have noticed, as there's a freshness and a cleaner focus of flavors in their wines, as there is in most organic wines.
Of course, their skills in the winemaking process play an important part too. The team concentrates on a fine acid backbone to further extenuate the freshness. The wine is then aged in neutral oak barrels, so it picks up but a hint of spice and vanilla. The result is a finely tuned Chardonnay with pinpoint apple and guava flavors and a bright finish that could stand up to spaghetti with clams or eggplant Parmigiano.