Dancer, Winemaker, Leader

Rodney Strong Died.

Many of you may know the wine brand that carries his name. But there was a real, and very impressive, person behind the brand.

Rodney strong was a very important person in the Sonoma wine industry; a promoter of the industry and the region.

He started in wine in the late 1950s after a career as a Broadway dancer. He and his wife Charlotte, also a dancer, were a ubiquitous couple around Sonoma County and within the wine industry.

I had a chance to do a little bit of work with Rodney Strong when he was a client at an agency I used to work with. It was very little work as I wasn’t the account representative. However, it did give me the opportunity to see Rod in action entertaining people. Once at a small gathering to promote something, I watched him pull a colleague out of the crowd and begin dancing with her. Now, there’s no evidence that she was much of a dancer. But in Rod’s arms and not far from the huge smile that graced his face, she looked like the most important person in the room and appeared to be a great dancer. Of course it was all Rod. But he had a knack for making others around him feel very special.

He was a insightful, entertaining, visionary and important.

One Response

  1. a fool in the forest - March 8, 2006

    Ah! Bitter Dregs . . .

    Take care young ladies and value your wine.Be watchful of young men in their velvet prime.Deeply they’ll swallow from your finest kegs,Then swiftly be gone, leaving bitter dregs. Ah! bitter dregs! — Spock of Vulcan, Plato’s Stepchildren Sad news

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