Rodney Strong gears up for another strong summer of music and wine
Rodney Strong, the stalwart and pioneering winery in Healdsburg, is gearing up for another summer filled with music, food and of course, incredible wine. With its refurbished outdoor terrace and concert space, Sonoma County’s cherished outdoor living is made easily accessible at the winery.
The Vine to Table Experience is a fresh way of pairing food with Rodney Strong wines. Created by resident chef Alejandro Garcia and served on the terrace, visitors can choose from a regular, library or vegetarian menu. Each menu offers bites of five foods paired with five wines, such as vanilla poached lobster, peas and carrots with a hazelnut crumble paired with 2015 Reserve Chardonnay or a wild mushroom croquette with smoked rye caraway dipping sauce paired with 2014 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir. The options are tantalizing, especially when combined with live music.
Reservations for the Vine to Table Experience are being offered every Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations can be made on VinoVisit or Open Table, but walk-ins are welcome if there is space available.
If music is more of what you’re after, and you want to kick back on the winery’s expansive lawn with a glass of wine and good company, Rodney Strong’s Summer Concert Series opens July 8 with a headlining performance by Michael McDonald. Also on the docket is Melissa Etheridge on July 22, the Temptations and the Four Tops on August 26 and Boz Scaggs on September 9.
The Concert Series, in its 28th year, is one of the most celebrated wine, food and music events in Sonoma County. Tickets are currently on sale online.
But if it’s wine you’re really after, Rodney Strong has new releases for the season, including a reserve Malbec, its first release of this varietal grown in Sonoma County. Summer is always a good time to drink rosé, and Rodney Strong has released a rosé of Pinot Noir, which pairs well with light dishes like fish and summer salad.
For a more low-key music experience, visit the winery once a month on Sundays, the winery brings in musicians to entertain on the terrace. The performances, called “Monthly Music on the Terrace,” go through October, 7.
New in the wine department is the Upshot Red Blend, which winemaker Justin Seidenfeld has created from grapes grown solely in Sonoma County vineyards. It blends Zinfandel, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot to create a rich and unique red that Seidenfeld says will “enhance the enjoyment of life in a fun and inviting way.”
Seidenfeld also serves as winemaker for Rowen wines, a venture of Rodney Strong that recently released its first vintage: 2014 Red Blend.
Rowen’s grapes are sourced solely from Cooley Ranch, a remote, wild vineyard in northeast Sonoma County, which harkens back to the wildness and creativity of California’s pioneering days.
To learn more about Rowen, taste it, or experience all Rodney Strong has to offer, take a tour at the Healdsburg winery. Tours occur daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and they run for about an hour. Visitors will learn about the winery’s detailed history delivered by a knowledgeable staff member, and they will see the winery’s small-lot artisan cellar and the estate vineyards.
A self-guided historical tour is also available and free of charge.
After the tour, be sure to indulge in a specialty tasting, like the single vineyard and reserve tasting or the wine and food pairing.
For more information on tours and tastings, visit rodneystrong.com or call (707)431-1533 for reservations.