Premier Winery Experience participant
When you’re putting together your itinerary to mine the riches of Russian River and Dry Creek Zinfandel, be sure to make Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg a high priority! Rodney Strong is way more than just another winery, this is a groundbreaking, innovative vineyard-towine portfolio that over 60 years ago was instrumental in elevating the quality and overall reputation of Sonoma County wines – and California wines in general.
Rodney Strong left his career as a dancer on Broadway and in Paris in the 1960’s to turn his full attention to his passion for wine and winemaking. He would go on to establish new estate vineyards according to microclimates: Chardonnay in Chalk Hill and Pinot noir in Russian River. Three new Sonoma County AVAs (Chalk Hill, Russian River, and Alexander Valley) were established due to Strong’s leading efforts. The innovative new production facility was built in 1970 near the Strong River West estate vineyard and today features an expansive garden terrace, amphitheater, sprawling lawns -and just opened- a beautifully refurbished (by-appointment) modern tasting room that is perched above the winery and cellars.
In 1989 Tom Klein and family, who Strong worked with for years, assumed ownership and reinvested in the acquisition of additional prime vineyards and in improvements of the winery such as new equipment, solar power, sustainability programs, and water conservation. Under winemaker Justin Seidenfeld’s direction, Rodney Strong produces a series of impressive Zinfandels from Sonoma County, and when you visit, (make a reservation in advance) ask about tasting one of the special old vines bottlings from Dry Creek Valley. A hot tip for a locally-sourced picnic lunch – arrange in advance for one of the winery’s cheese and charcuterie picnic boxes. which include a selection of locally cured artisan salumis.