Cover: Rodney Strong Vineyards, Sonoma County, California
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull
I knew I couldn’t be an old dancer, but I could be an old winemaker.”
– Rodney Strong
In 1959, after a successful career in dance, Rod Strong married his partner, Charlotte Ann Winson, moved to northern California, and became a winemaker. The couple purchased an old boarding house and began making their first wines using bulk wine Strong purchased, then blended to his taste.
In 1962, Strong acquired a 159-acre vineyard and winery in Windsor, California, acquired additional vineyards in the Russian River Valley in 1968, and then, in 1970, began construction on a winery.
Strong was one of the first to plant vineyards in Sonoma, where fruit orchards were prominent at the time. An early advocate of single vineyard wines, his wines were were both of high quality and an excellent value.
That winery is now the site of the tasting room for Rodney Strong Vineyards – a beautiful location where visitors can sample the world-class wines for which Rodney Strong has become known over the decades, take a tour of the winery or attend one of the many events held throughout the year.
In 1979, Rick Sayre, the winery’s current head winemaker, joined Rodney Strong as a winemaker.
Tom Klein, who had met both Rod Strong and Rick Sayre in 1979 as a consultant to the winery, acquired the winery in 1989. Since that time, they have installed state of the art facilities and employed leading edge winemaking techniques in their pursuit of crafting world-class wines.
The Klein family also has a commitment to protecting the environment and operates the winery with a carbon impact of zero, making Rodney Strong Vineyards the first carbon-neutral winery in Sonoma. Additionally, the winery was officially certified by the California Sustainable Winegrower’s Alliance for its continuous improvement in the adoption and implementation of sustainable winegrowing practices.
Rodney Strong Tastings
From complimentary tastings to the estate and reserve tastings, Rodney Strong Vineyards offers visitors a wide variety of options for sampling their wines. Friday through Sunday, The Terrace’s tranquil setting is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy wine flights or food & wine pairings (reservations are recommended).
Rodney Strong Events and the Summer Concert Series
Throughout the year, Rodney Strong hosts a variety of events from its harvest party and grape stomp to the highly acclaimed Summer Concert Series.
For over two decades, the Summer Concert Series has entertained wine and music lovers in a spectacular, intimate vineyard setting. Learn more about the Rodney Strong Summer Concert Series »
Rodney Strong Tours
Rodney Strong offers a complimentary tour of the vineyards and winery, subject to availability. The tours are a perfect way to learn about the winery’s history and catch a behind-the-scenes view of how the wines are made. Tours are offered daily at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.
Getting to Rodney Strong Vineyards
Rodney Strong offers tastings and tours to its visitors daily throughout the year. Check the Rodney Strong Vineyards website for hours, events and to schedule reservations.
Rodney Strong is located just off the 101 near Healdsburg, California.
11455 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg, CA 95448
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