Rodney Strong

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My family's commitment to craftsmanship

“There are no shortcuts when it comes to making world-class wines. It requires great vineyards. It demands a committed, passionate winemaking team. And it calls for an investment in craftsmanship. We’ve gathered it all here at Rodney Strong. No Shortcuts. It’s my family’s commitment.” - Tom Klein, Proprietor

It starts in the vineyards

Top quality sites & advanced viticultural practices

The Klein family knew from the beginning that this is the most critical step in the winemaking process: it is impossible to make great wine from mediocre grapes. Starting with top quality sites and advanced viticultural practices, we pursue excellence in every grape, ensuring ideal ripeness and picking only then, even if it means just a row at a time.

  • Growing Fine Wine

    Matching the right grape with the right soil

    “Crafting fine wine means matching the right grape with the right soil, rootstock, trellis system, row orientation, slope, and pruning regimen. After that, although there’s plenty of nurturing to do throughout the year – it’s nature that does the rest.” – Doug McIlroy, Director of Winegrowing

  • A Matter of Taste

    Experience drives our intuitive winegrowing

    No measurement or lab tool can be trusted outright to make a decision as crucial as harvest time; it must be done, literally, by taste. Pick too early and risk hard tannins, puckering acidity, and green flavors; pick too late, and risk overly high alcohols, deficient acidity, and raisin-like fruit character. Only the knowledge learned from experience can judge what flavors will ultimately result after fermentation. It is amongst the most critical variables in making fine wine.

  • Artisanal Winemaking

    Our Steadfast Pursuit & Commitment to Excellence

    “I see myself as a steward of wines. I guide each wine throughout the process, dutifully monitoring fermentation, carefully choosing barrels, and diligently tasting along the way, all to ensure we bottle the very best wine possible.” – Rick Sayre, Winemaker

Crisp & Aromatic Wines

Crafting Cool Climate Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc

When our Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc arrive at the winery, they are immediately delivered to a gentle grape press. Only the juice expressed will undergo primary fermentation, in either small barrels or stainless steel tanks, depending on the style to be created. Barrel fermented whites tend to be richer, spicier, and more complex, while steel fermented whites are brighter and fruitier. Both will be fermented at cool temperatures, and may be encouraged to undergo a secondary process, called malolactic fermentation. Malolactic fermentation adds additional complexity and softens the acidity of the wine. Some of our white wines are a combination of both.

Bold & Full-bodied Red Wines

Bordeaux Varieties with a Sense of Place

When red wine grapes arrive at the winery, the grapes are separated from their stems in a machine called a destemmer, and then directed to a stainless steel fermenting tank. The skins, seeds, pulp and juice all ferment together, the juice gaining all of its color and much of its character from the skins. The fermentation temperatures are kept warm to facilitate flavor and color extraction, and the tanks are pumped over twice daily to further enhance this process. Within a couple of weeks, the primary fermentation is complete, and the wines are drained and gently pressed off their skins and seeds. The wines are then sent to small barrels, where secondary malolactic fermentation will be encouraged in every barrel.

Blending & Aging

Barrel aging for complexity, concentration, and grace

Throughout every wine’s time at the winery, it is constantly under assessment by the winemaking team. Even the lightest and freshest styles of white wine benefit from at least some aging time. Wines that are barrel aged soften, concentrate, and pick up a broad array of complexity depending on the age, toast level, wood source, and barrel maker. As each lot ages, the winemakers systematically taste every tank and barrel to evaluate the wine’s progress. It is then up to the winemaking team to assemble the lots into harmonious unity, anything from combining different varieties, blending one variety from within an appellation, or highlighting a single vineyard from lots representing just one specific vineyard sites. This is done entirely by taste, and represents the culmination of innate ability and years of winemaking experience.