Rodney Strong, the former Broadway dancer whose forty-year career in the wine business made him one of the most respected vintners in
He was 78, and had been in failing health for years.
Strong’s first winery (in 1961) was the old Tiburon Vintners, which over time morphed into Windsor Vineyards and then Sonoma Vineyards. The idea was for the varietal wines to be sold as gifts with labels that read “Personally selected by (name of giver).” These were popular as wedding gifts and for other special occasions. In addition to his duties at Sonoma Vineyards, Strong also became winemaker for Piper-Sonoma.
With the desire to create a more upscale expensive wine, The Rodney Strong brand was established in 1982. With no formal enological training, Strong had an instinctual feeling of what grapes to plant. His Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon, which was first released in 1974, was in its day one of the top examples of that variety in
Strong’s wife, Charlotte Strong, died in 2003 and they leave no children.
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