Rodney Strong Vineyards (RSV) was founded by professional dancer Rodney Strong in 1959 and he was one of the pioneers responsible for transforming Sonoma County’s reputation from that of rustic farmland into that of one of the USA’s premium wine-growing regions. RSV was sold to the current owner, Tom Klein, in 1989 but Strong remained on as as a consultant until retiring in 1995. Today RSV owns vineyards ranging from the northern stretches of the Alexander Valley. to the ends of the Sonoma Coast, to Sonoma County where the core of the 12 estate vineyards are located. Tom Klein is a passionate believer in Terroir and says, “Place is not everything. But place is the most important thing. When you discover a passion for something, whether it’s golf or jazz, politics or poetry, you want to live it and breathe it.
Rodney Strong’s wines are made with carefully selected, mostly estate grown, fruit from their various vineyard sites.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
100% Cabernet Sauvignon with a pure, mineral blackcurrant backbone and cocoa notes. Lots more black fruit (cherry, berry) on the palate. Very good.
Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma County
100% Chardonnay. Plenty of toasty vanilla and spice from barrel fermentation. Very creamy, spicy, fennel notes. Good fresh palate. Citrus-y, mineral finish.
Knotty Vines Zinfandel, Northern Sonoma
100% Zinfandel made from fruit sourced from vines planted in 1904 located in Westside Road behind the RSV winery and from some fruit sourced from Alexander Valley. Jammy, spicy black pepper nose. Rich, round and smooth on the palate with dark chocolate flavours and a pure, clean finish.
Sustainability is high priority at RSV and is incorporated into all aspects of the business. In 2001 they became the first winery to build a solar panel array, whilst becoming fish friendly farmers along the way. Rodney Strong was also a key player in the “Sustainability Certification” pilot programme in conjunction with the California association of Wine Grape Growers and the California Wine – they were one of the first wine companies to be certified for both winery and vineyards. What else? Oh, they are also Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery, practise soil and water conservation and have wildlife friendly areas and corridors in their vineyards.
Find out more at Rodney Strong Vineyards.