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Rodney Strong Wine Estates Announces Winemaking and Winegrowing Promotions

Posted on July 11, 2016

HEALDSBURG, California (July 11, 2016) – Rodney Strong Wine Estates (RSWE) has announced promotions within their Winemaking and Winegrowing Teams at their Sonoma County winery, effective July 1.

In recognition of 37 years of hard work and dedication, Rick Sayre has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Winemaking of RSWE. Rick’s time at Rodney Strong has been instrumental in bringing worldwide acclaim to the winery, as well as Sonoma County. He has played a leading role in the growth of Rodney Strong, and their commitment to crafting world class wines from sustainably farmed vineyards.

Rick has been instrumental in the development and mentoring of Justin Seidenfeld and Greg Morthole, who form the present and future of the RSWE winemaking.

Justin Seidenfeld has been promoted to Rodney Strong Vineyards Winemaker. Justin joined the winery in 2010 as Assistant Winemaker, coming from Robert Mondavi Winery. In just a few years, Justin has shown great winemaking acumen and an ability to manage multiple projects at a very high level, including the planning and building of the Square Tanks Cellar in 2014. The upcoming Cooley Ranch project will also fall under Justin’s direction.

Greg Morthole will continue to be Winemaker for Davis Bynum and our Artisan Cellar wines. In addition, he will begin working with Ryan Decker to enhance and fine-tune Jane’s Vineyard and River West Vineyard properties. Greg joined the winery in 2005 as Lab Manager, coming from Chalk Hill Winery. He quickly ascended to Associate Winemaker in 2007, and then to Winemaker in 2010.

Ryan Decker is promoted to Winegrower for Rodney Strong Wine Estates, overseeing RSWE’s growers’ vineyards, and the Davis Bynum vineyards. Ryan grew up in Healdsburg to a fifth generation farming family. He started in the Rodney Strong Tasting Room in 2002, and after leaving to pursue a viticulture degree from Fresno State, he returned to join the Winegrowing Department in 2006. Under Director of Winegrowing Doug McIlroy’s leadership, Ryan has thrived in his various roles within the department, and as a vineyard spokesperson for the winery.

“These men are such talented individuals who together create a fantastic team. We look forward to tasting their wines, all grown and produced here in Sonoma County – the greatest winegrowing place in the world,” states Carmen Castaldi, President, RSWE.

About Rodney Strong Wine Estates

Rodney Strong Wine Estates is a family-owned wine company that includes Rodney Strong Vineyards and Davis Bynum Winery. Rodney Strong grows and produces wines exclusively from Sonoma County’s finest appellations – Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Knights 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. Davis Bynum crafts single vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The company aspires to conserve and protect the environment in all its operations through sustainable practices, solar power, and fish friendly farming. The Klein family, a third generation California farming family, entered the wine business with the purchase of Rodney Strong Vineyards in 1989.

Region: Other North Coast
Job Function: Winemaking, Vineyard Management/Viticulture

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