Stefen Soltysiak

Director of Wine Education

Stefen Soltysiak joined Rodney Strong Vineyards in August of 1992.  His wine career began several years earlier in the State of New Hampshire’s wine specialty shops, where he developed an avid retail clientele over several years.  A native of New Hampshire, Stefen relocated to California to continue his career in wine and settled in Sonoma County. 

After arriving in Sonoma County, Stefen completed his B.A. in English creative writing at Sonoma State University.  He has since earned a Certificate from the Guild of Master Sommeliers, an Advanced Certificate from Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and has achieved the Society of Wine Educators’ highest qualification, “Certified Wine Educator” (CWE). Stefen has recently been admitted to the second year program for the Court of Masters of Wine, and is currently pursuing his Master of Wine degree.

Stefen is a gifted communicator, and has taught wine classes at the Junior College in Santa Rosa for several years. He has been a featured speaker at events like the Epcot Wine and Food Festival, New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, Chicago Gourmet, Kohler Wine and Food Experience, and has educated trade, media, and consumer groups across North America.

Stefen lives in the Russian River area of Sonoma County and spends his free time hiking and backpacking, gardening, wild food foraging, and combining local foods with wine and the culinary arts.  He is also an enthusiastic non-commercial wine maker, and tends a small Zinfandel and Gruner Veltliner vineyard at his home.