Lived my best wine country life during a fun-filled two day trip with Rodney Strong Vineyards to learn more about their new wine brand, Upshot.
Rodney Strong Vineyards is well known as an iconic Sonoma County staple, but the winery has introduced a more youthful, easygoing, and approachable line to wine drinkers with the creation of Upshot. Upshot is sourced exclusively from Sonoma County vineyards, chosen specifically to make these wines.
Current offerings include two wines - A white blend and a red blend. Upshot White Wine Blend is made from Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc, whereas the Upshot Red Wine Blend is a combination of Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot, and Riesling.
Our first day of the trip began with a glass of rosé before sitting down for a beautiful lunch prepared by the talented Rodney Strong Vineyards culinary team, completely surrounded by vineyards. After lunch, we took a private tour of the winemaking facility to see where Rodney Strong, Upshot, and their other wines are made.
Following the tour, we ventured over to The Terrace with winemaker, Justin Seidenfeld, to taste through barrel samples of the six varietals that go into the Upshot Red Wine Blend. Justin discussed the characteristics of each varietal and where the individual vineyards are located within Sonoma County. We even experimented with blending to replicate the Upshot Red Wine Blend - Needless to say, I'll be leaving the winemaking to the actual winemakers in the future!
Upon leaving Rodney Strong, we checked into our rooms at Harmon Guest House, just off the Healdsburg Plaza, and concluded the day with a delicious dinner at Spoonbar and a variety of Rodney Strong wines.
My favorites wines I tasted from this trip were the Upshot White Wine Blend, Upshot Red Wine Blend, Rodney Strong Vineyards Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc, Rodney Strong Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir, Rowen Red Blend, Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Symmetry Meritage Red Blend.
Day two of the trip began with tour of their Alexander Valley vineyards with Ryan Decker, Rodney Strong's Director of Estate Vineyards. It was a gorgeous day to be out in the vineyards and so cool to see where the grapes for these wines are grown!
Our last destination was Rockaway Vineyard - We grabbed a glass of Upshot White and hiked up to the overlook where you could see all of Alexander Valley stretch for miles. This view was breathtaking!
Another delicious lunch from the Rodney Strong culinary team at Rockaway Vineyard - So many fresh veggies and ingredients, plus the wines paired perfectly with this meal.
What I love about Upshot is that both blends are such crowd pleasers, food friendly, and solid, quality wines that won't break the bank. I opened a bottle of the Upshot Red the other night and loved every sip!
Huge thank you to Jenny, Chris, Ulysses, Justin, Ryan, Alisa, and everyone on the Rodney Strong team that made this such a memorable experience. I loved having the opportunity to get to know Upshot and will always have a few bottles of these blends at home from now on!
Disclaimer: Rodney Strong Vineyards was kind enough to host me and provide this trip. All writing and opinions are my own.