I don’t know about you but every now and again I enjoy getting together with adult friends for an evening of wine and conversation. It doesn’t happen very often, often times it’s just for a short while following a birthday party, get together or other family event. I can only imagine what it would be like to take a night like that and have it help a good cause. Well, that’s basically what Rodney Strong Vineyards is doing this year on Saturday, September 20, 2014.
Rodney Strong Vineyards was founded in 1959 by former ballet dancer and wine pioneer, Rod Strong. Rod put Sonoma County on the world map of wine as the first to produce and release a single vineyard cabernet sauvignon from Sonoma County, the first to produce and release a Chalk Hill appellation chardonnay and one of the first to plant pinot noir in Russian River Valley.
In 1989 Tom Klein and his family purchased Rodney Strong Vineyards. A few years earlier, with a keen eye for agriculture from farming in California for three generations, the family recognized Rod’s contributions and foresaw the winery’s potential to lead Sonoma County to its inherent world-class wine quality recognition.
Along with the family’s purchase, came investments in land, winemaking facility upgrades and a push for talent across the board. Existing vineyards were either sold or upgraded within a few short years and new vineyards were acquired along the way. The renowned cabernet sauvignon vineyard, Alexander’s Crown was replanted. Rockaway vineyard, located in the middle of Alexander Valley was purchased in 2003. Brothers vineyard, acquired by Klein in 1999, located in northern Alexander Valley and named in honor of Tom Klein’s grandfather Sol and great uncles Jack and George Klein, was nurtured for quality and refined for the 2005 creation of the winery’s Artisan Cellar, where boutique sized fermenters allow the winegrowing and winemaking teams to keep vineyard lots separate to evaluate and craft into world-class wines.
Rodney Strong Vineyards is dedicated to crafting world-class wines that capture the essence of Sonoma County. Rodney Strong sustainably farms 14 estate vineyards and produces wines from Sonoma County’s finest appellations – Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and Sonoma Coast. The winery was founded in 1959 by Sonoma County wine pioneer Rodney D. Strong as the 13th bonded winery in the county. It was purchased by the Klein family, a third generation California farming family, in 1989. The company aspires to conserve and protect the environment in all its operations. The family’s dedication to Sonoma County and their pursuit of quality won them Wine Enthusiast’s American Winery of the Year in 2013. 2014 brings the celebration of a silver anniversary of family ownership. Look to Rodney Strong in 2015 and beyond for continued consistent great quality Sonoma County wines and more.
RodneyStrong Vineyards is celebrating their 25th anniversary with four simultaneous celebrity chef dinners in four different cities, which is called the Celebrity Chef Tour.
The Celebrity Chef Tour began in 2004 as a way to bring the unique experience of dining at New York City’s historic James Beard House to cities around the country. At each Celebrity Chef Tour dinner, some of the nation’s top chefs come together to create a fantastic multiple course dinner. Each paired with some great premium wines. Enjoy authentic Belgian beers including Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe.
Like at the James Beard House, guests have the rare opportunity to interact with the participating chefs while enjoying the luxurious atmosphere of our nation’s finest restaurants. Each Celebrity Chef Tour meal is a work of artistry and craftsmanship that you won’t soon forget.
The Celebrity Chef Tour travels to cities around the country bringing once-in-a-lifetime dinners to venues in Hawaii, Seattle, New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, just to name a few.
These celebrations will benefit the James Beard Foundation, a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City.
The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher, James Beard was a champion of American cuisine who helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by offering a variety of events and programs designed to educate, inspire, entertain, and foster a deeper understanding of our culinary culture. These programs include educational initiatives, food industry awards, an annual national food conference, Leadership Awards program, culinary scholarships, and publications. In addition to maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs, the Foundation has created a robust online community, and hosts conferences, tastings, lectures, workshops, and food-related art exhibits in New York City and around the country.
In conjunction with the Celebrity Chef Tour and benefitting the James Beard Foundation, the multi-course dinners will take place in Healdsburg, CA; New York, NY; Miami, FL; and Austin, TX on Saturday, September 20, 2014.
A live video feed from each location will link the cities together through an online broadcast with multiple viewing screens in each restaurant. The event can also be viewed online at RSV25.com.
“This is a once in a lifetime event that acknowledges our pride and passion of being in the wine business,” says Klein. “The shared dinner will be a fantastic celebration, bringing together partners, friends and fans we’ve come to know over 25 years of running Rodney Strong. Wine is what brings family and friends together at the table and there is no better way to show our appreciation than hosting these special dinners that will bring people from across the country together on one spectacular night.”
The evening’s emcee, author and wine personality Leslie Sbrocco, will greet guests and others around the country from Rodney Strong in Healdsburg, California. She’ll be joined by Food & Wine executive wine editor, Ray Isle in New York at Oceana restaurant, Food & Wine contributing editor, Anthony Giglio at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami and radio show host, Ziggy the Wine Gal at Uchi in Austin, as they connect live to share the evening.
Each dinner will feature multiple celebrity chefs, each creating an original dish to accompany Rodney Strong wines. The dinners will have five courses, one from each attending chef.
The dinners will be held on Saturday, September 20, 2014, starting at 5:00 p.m. in California, 7:00 p.m. in Austin and 8:00 p.m. on the eastern seashore. Tickets are $225 per person and available for purchase at the winery, restaurants or online at www.celebritycheftour.com.
RODNEY STRONG VINEYARDS, HEALDSBURG, CA
- Duskie Estes& John Stewart, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Sebastopol, CA
- David Varley, RN74, Seattle, WA
- Adam Sobel, RN74, San Francisco, CA
- Mary Dumont, Harvest, Cambridge, MA
- Bruce Bromberg, Blue Ribbon Restaurants, New York & Las Vegas
OCEANA, NEW YORK, NY
- Ben Pollinger, Oceana, New York, NY
- Gunnar KarlGislason, Restaurant Dill, Reykjavík, Iceland
- Esteban Villalpando, Lofoten Fish Restaurant, Oslo, Norway
- Dan Kluger, formerly abckitchen and abccocina, New York, NY
- Colleen Grapes, Oceana, New York, NY
UCHI, AUSTIN, TX
- Tyson Cole, Uchi&Uchiko, Austin, TX
- To Be Announced
BILTMORE HOTEL, MIAMI (CORAL GABLES), FL
- David Hackett, Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, FL
- Giuseppe “Beppe” Galazzi, Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, FL
- Gregory Pugin, Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, FL
- Olivier Rodriguez, Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, FL
Rodney Strong Vineyards has been contributing to the Celebrity Chef Tour for the past five years. The Celebrity Chef Tour is an extension of the James Beard Foundation and proceeds from the dinners will benefit the Foundation.
WINES TO BE SERVED
- 2013 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc
- 2012 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Chalk Hill Chardonnay
- 2012 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
- 2011 Rodney Strong Symmetry (Red Meritage), Alexander Valley
- 2010 Rodney Strong Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
- 2008 Rodney Strong “A True Gentleman’s” Port
I think this sounds like a fantastic event. If you’re interested in following along you can tune in to the live online broadcast taking place as part of the celebration at the Rodney Strong Silver Anniversary website, www.rsv25.com.
What’s your favorite kind of wine to celebrate with?