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Rodney Strong Dinner at Sunset


Behind every bottle of Rodney Strong Wine is a family of passionate people committed to providing the highest quality wines from the very best AVAs in Sonoma County. With 60 years of family ownership and 1,158 acres of estate vineyards, we exemplify Cabernet at every price point and what it means to be world class Sonoma quality. From the cellar workers to the winemakers, from the office staff to the tasting room team, from our founder Rod Strong to our family owners, we are one big family. We are united by our passion for Sonoma County, Cabernet Sauvignon and the belief that nothing brings people together better than sharing superb experiences with a great bottle (or two) of Rodney Strong wine. Cheers!

Proprietor Tom Klein stands in between two rows of a lush vineyard in the afternoon with sun hitting the hills and mountains in the background

Tom Klein

A fourth generation California farmer, Tom earned a business degree from Stanford and spent the first part of his career as a management consultant at the San Francisco office of the prestigious global management firm McKinsey & Company. One project during this time was evaluating a small winery in the Russian River Valley called Rodney Strong Vineyards and, in a chance meeting, he was introduced to founder Rod Strong and winemaker Rick Sayre. Already developing an interest in wine, this encounter planted a seed that would grow into a lifelong passion.

AC bio photo
Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing

Anthony Capobianco

Anthony Capobianco, universally known as AC, is the Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Rodney Strong Wine Estates. AC has worked in the beverage industry for decades. Beginning in sales, representing famous brands the likes of Miller Lite, Guinness and Samuel Adams, he eventually moved to the supplier side of the business, leading the New York Tri-State area for Presidente Beer, the leading export beer of the Dominican Republic.

In 2004, AC joined Miller Brewing Company. During his ten years at Miller Brewing, SABMiller and MillerCoors, he held various leadership positions in various markets, including Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, and New Jersey. From there, it was on to sales and marketing for Kimberly-Clark representing the brands Scott, Huggies and Kleenex while leading the national broker business at Crossmark.

After making the move to fine wine at Treasure Wine Estates in 2013, AC joined Rondey Strong in 2015. After a year at Rodney Strong, AC briefly left the company, only to return in June 2017. “I was so blessed to be able to return,” AC remarks, “and blessed to be given a second chance. I realized simply that I really wanted to be here.” During his tenure at Rodney Strong, AC has served as Vice President of off-premise National Accounts and, most recently, Vice President of US Sales. Under his leadership in those roles, Rodney Strong Wine Estates has increased its national account footprint, improved its share of luxury business, and entered a national partnership with Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits.

AC lives with his family in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Capobianco family loves to travel, taking an annual cross-country road trip each summer. At home, you can find AC cheering for his kids at gymnastics and soccer or enjoying family game nights.

Director of Winemaking, Justin Seidenfeld, smiles in the barrel room at Rodney Strong Vineyards, resting a hand on a barrel and standing in front of a tall stack of wine barrels
Senior Vice President of Winemaking & Winegrowing

Justin Seidenfeld

Justin Seidenfeld serves as Winemaker for Rodney Strong Vineyards, the iconic Sonoma County Winery that was founded in 1959 by namesake Rod Strong. Justin’s winemaking career began in Sebastopol, California, where he was an intern at Iron Horse winery in 2005. He quickly rose from cellar hand to taking on winemaking responsibilities which led to a position in 2006 at the venerable Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley.

As a harvest enologist at Mondavi, Seidenfeld walked some of California’s premiere vineyards and gained a comprehensive understanding of quality land and viticulture. Continuing on to become an enologist, he took that experience into winemaking and supervised the winemaking of Estancia, Clos du Bois, Simi, and others within the Constellation portfolio. Additional responsibilities included overseeing small lot Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir winemaking.

Justin graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2006 with a B.S. in Viticulture & Enology. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Dena and daughters Madison, Lila and Reagan. Justin enjoys golfing, playing with his daughters and working on his home. As to his inspiration to a career in winemaking, Justin notes, “people recalling the occasions that wine makes better and memorable is the reason I make wine. Hearing about how and when someone enjoyed a wine I made inspires me.”

Winemaker, Greg Morthole, smiles while standing in a lush green vineyard in the middle of a summer day

Greg Morthole

As an Air Force brat, Greg moved around throughout his childhood. His family eventually settled down in Sacramento, where he spent his formative years. Greg’s love of nature led him the University of Wyoming where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences. After graduating and returning home, he considered his life’s many options. Initially turning away from dentistry and the Peace Corps, and fatefully moving to Sonoma County to join his girlfriend, now wife, Mary, he landed in Santa Rosa. Intriguingly, many local lab jobs were in the wine industry, a career path he hadn’t anticipated. Greg quickly landed a position at Vinquiry in 1999, working for renowned winemakers Marty Bannister and MaryAnn Graf, who owned Vinquiry at the time. Four years later, after a sleepless night thinking about his future, Greg left Vinquiry for the Enologist position at Chalk Hill Winery. Two years after that he left Chalk Hill to take a position at Rodney Strong. Since that fateful day, his position has progressed from QC Lab Manager to Associate Winemaker to Winemaker, and he is now winemaker for Davis Bynum Winery, and the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines for Rodney Strong.

Asked to describe his approach to winemaking, Greg responds, “Mostly low impact, with the thinking that 98% of the work is done in the vineyard and at fermentation.” That’s perhaps a more humble answer than an accurate one, but Greg had the rare fortune to work alongside and learn from three of the legendary winemakers in California history: Rick Sayre, David Ramey and Davis Bynum. What does one learn from such highly regarded winemakers? “From Rick,” Greg says,” I learned to be honest about the wine, but find the positive and lend a voice to that. From David I learned to relax, don’t be too reactionary. And from Davis, to be humble and real and avoid telling the bookkeepers the true story if you need to.” There’s wisdom in that for just about every occupation.

Greg lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Mary and their two children Lucas and Cora. He claims to be an amateur backyard birdwatcher because in the front yard, “You have to be careful where you point the binoculars.” An avid hiker and mountain biker, he hopes one day to hike the length of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. That’s 2650 miles over about five months no matter where you point the binoculars. But from lab tech to winemaker for Rodney Strong Vineyards and Davis Bynum Winery, Greg is used to dreaming big.

Winemaker, Olivia Wright, smiling between two rows in a green vineyard in the summer

Olivia Wright

“My desire is to make wines that are elegant and timeless,” states Olivia Wright. This is a lofty goal, but one for which Olivia is perfectly suited. Spending a few summers in Bordeaux as a child put her on the right path, if not the Right Bank, but it was attending UC Davis that launched her winemaking career for good. A 2009 freshman year visit to Spain and a tour of the Frank Gehry-designed Marques de Riscal winery in Rioja, led to her personal wine “Ah ha!” moment—a taste of Riscal’s famed Baron de Chirel bottling. Elegant and timeless. Watchwords for any aspiring winemaker.

Olivia’s winemaking path led her to working harvests at Mumm Napa and Isabel Estate in New Zealand, but it was in the Central Coast, at Dierberg & Star Lane Vineyards, “where I really learned and fell in love with winemaking and winegrowing.” Winemaker Tyler Thomas, Olivia noticed, “showed up every day to the winery genuinely SO excited to ferment stuff.” To anyone who knows Olivia, it’s apparent she shares Thomas’ excitement at fermenting stuff—usually grapes, but let’s not tie her hands. At Rodney Strong Vineyards, as Winemaker, previously Assistant Winemaker, as well as Winemaker for the Knotty Vines brand, she now works alongside Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld who “has definitely taken me under his wing and made sure I have opportunities to learn, grow, and have my voice heard.” With her talent and love of winemaking, one day it will be Olivia taking young winemakers under her wing.

Olivia has a passion for hiking, playing piano, show jumping, and a bit of kickboxing. But it’s wine that rules her passions, and her excitement to ferment stuff. “Half the fun of being in the wine industry,” she notes, “is that there is always something more to learn.” And the best part of being a winemaker? “Hands down,” Olivia says, “it’s getting to share the wines with family and friends.”

Winemaking Emeritus, Rick Sayre, smiles at the camera in front of a tall stack of wine barrels
Winemaking Emeritus

Rick Sayre

Rick Sayre joined Rod Strong at the winery in 1979 as a talented young winemaker who had trained under the tutelage of legendary winemaker, André Tchelistcheff. Over the next four decades, Rick’s contributions would be instrumental in bringing worldwide acclaim to Rodney Strong Vineyards, as well as Sonoma County.

For all of his many accomplishments and contributions to our winery, Sayre holds the title of Winemaker Emeritus for Rodney Strong Wine Estates.

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