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Rodney Strong Vineyards has been producing wine for 60 years. After four decades, the brand has undergone a rejuvenation with winery upgrades, vineyard upgrades, new packaging, a tasting room renovation,...

Last November on a trip to Sonoma County, I visited Rodney Strong Vineyards in Alexander Valley. Touring the property with winemaker Justin Seidenfeld, we stopped by a The Boneyard, an area of the winery that had once been a storage area for founder Rod Strong's items, including his old piano. Justin was telling me that he had converted this space into a state-of-the-art winery for his newest project, Rowen Wine Company. This week the wines were launched and Rowen Wine Company is the Please The Palate Pick of the Week. Rodney Strong Vineyards was established in 1959 by dancer Rod Strong and purchased by the Klein family in 1989. They own 12 estate vineyards in Sonoma Country. In 2002, Rodney Strong Vineyards signed a long-term lease for the Cooley ranch, a 20,000 acre property north of Dry Creek Valley. Actually, 16,000 acres sit inside Sonoma County and 4,000 of the acres are in Mendocino. The Rodney Strong Vineyards team spent seven years studying microclimates, charting elevations and digging 200 test pits in order to determine the best spots to plant vineyard blocks. By 2010-2011, they selected 200 acres that sit on top of metamorphic, iron-rich greenstone and volcanic soils and began planting.They planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Syrah and Viognier, which is inter-planted with the Syrah.