winery was founded in 1959, by Rodney Strong, one of the pioneers of the modern
wine industry in California and Sonoma County. After changes in ownership and
direction during the 1970's and 1980's, Rodney Strong Vineyards was acquired
by Klein Family Vintners in 1989, a family-owned farming-based business, and
returned to its vineyard roots.
Vineyards are the heart of every great winery and that's true with Rodney Strong Vineyards. Rodney Strong Vineyards was one of the first wineries in Sonoma County to vineyard-designate its wines and given it's resources, that shouldn't be surprising. The winery draws on vineyards throughout Northern Sonoma County for its Sonoma County varietals, focusing on the Russian River, Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys and the Chalk Hill appellation. The winery is best known for its estate-bottled, vineyard-designated wines.
An example of the key role vineyards play at Rodney Strong is the fact that winemaker Rick Sayre is responsible for overseeing all aspects of winegrowing from vineyard operations to the final blends of each wine.
Rick works to draw out and bottle the individual character of each vineyard. As a result, Rodney Strong is best known for its estate bottled, vineyard designated wines including Alexander's Crown Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Old Vines Zinfandel.
Rick grew up surrounded by vineyards and wineries in Sonoma County but never considered it a career until he met the late Andre Tchelistcheff, long recognized as the dean of American winemakers and a key to the rebirth of premium wine in California. Rick worked under Andre's tutelage at Simi then moved to Rodney Strong in 1979 as assistant winemaker, where he quickly excelled.
Rick established the winery's practice of keeping many vineyard lots separate, giving more control of the makeup and quality of blends for the Sonoma County wines as well as personally designing the barrel aging facility.
The vineyard still has the central role in winemaking for Rick. Dust-covered boots are the sign of an involved winemaker and Rick spends much of his time personally checking the progress of the vines.
Rodney Strong Vineyards / 11455 Old Redwood Hwy / Healdsburg, CA 95448 / 707 431-1533
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