Like many on Rodney Strong’s team, Doug McIlroy grew up in Sonoma County agriculture. With a B.S. in Plant Science and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Davis, Doug has more than 30 years of winegrowing experience, and has honed his knowledge and skills as a grower relations representative at some of Sonoma and Mendocino counties’ finest wineries. Doug joined Rodney Strong Vineyards in 2001 and now oversees all viticultural practices at our fourteen estate vineyards as well as grower relations and long-term contracts with neighboring vineyards.
Doug’s relentless pursuit of quality has him out walking the vineyards on a regular basis. A constant evaluation of wine lots with winemaker Rick Sayre allows him to work closely with the winemaking team to assess the fruit, quality benchmarks and adapt growing practices. “Every vineyard site has a maximum potential for quality and I’m driven to achieve that through viticulture,” he shares. “I believe that tending vines should be based on a strong understanding of plant physiology, which in turn will produce significant and meaningful increases in wine quality.”
Doug is also the winery’s quiet champion in the area of sustainability. He has instituted numerous green practices in our estate vineyards, initiated grower sustainability compliance and helped lead the winery to carbon neutrality in 2009.