RACHEL THRALLS - RODNEY STRONG’S WINE EDUCATOR - SHE CAN TALK ABOUT RODNEY STRONG VINEYARDS’ SPONSORSHIP OF THE SOMMELIER STAR PROGRAM
Sponsored by Rodney Strong Vineyards, Sonoma Sommelier Stars is an all-star team of nationally acclaimed sommeliers who act as seminar moderators, panel discussion leaders and tour guides for consumers during Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. Sommeliers also compete in a “Top Sommelier Challenge” and host VIP guests and bidders at the legendary Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction.
ABOUT RODNEY STRONG
Our story begins over 55 years ago, when a celebrated American dancer named Rod Strong settled in Sonoma County to pursue a second lifelong creative passion: winemaking. Rodney Strong Vineyards was the 13th winery bonded in the newly discovered Sonoma County wine industry. A trio of winemaking paths crossed when Rick Sayre joined the team as Winemaker in 1979, and again when the Klein Family, 4th generation California farmers, purchased the winery in 1989 and initiated a renewed commitment of modern artisan winemaking. Through the years, Rodney Strong Vineyards has earned the reputation for critically acclaimed Single Vineyard and Reserve wines, stand out Estate releases and best-in-class Sonoma County varietal wines.
Rodney Strong received the honor of being named Wine Enthusiast’s American Winery of the Year in 2013. Introduced in 2000, each year the Wine Enthusiast honors those that have impacted the wine and spirits industry with their Wine Star Awards. With the designation of American Winery of the Year, the Wine Enthusiast has recognized Rodney Strong’s commitment to quality, luxury and Sonoma County. Read the full write up from the Wine Enthusiast.
BIO - RACHEL THRALLS, Director of Wine Education
Rachel Thralls is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, where she graduated at the top of her class. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area by Old World wine collectors, Rachel found a passion for wine and food early in life and credits her father for her palate and her mother for her culinary skills. Rachel studied at the International Culinary Center in 2012 where she continued to hone her wine pairing skills and wine knowledge.
She was the food & wine writer for BevMo! and Wine.com before coming to Rodney Strong in December 2013. Rachel’s focus is to educate people about wine, Sonoma County and Rodney Strong Vineyards. She travels throughout the country entertaining key members of the trade, conducting classes and seminars and sharing the wonders of wine and food.
After receiving her B.A. in Communications and Psychology from Vanderbilt University, she continued her education at Notre Dame de Namur where she received her Masters of Education. She is currently studying for her Certified Wine Educator and Advanced Sommelier credentials. In her free time, Rachel loves spending time with her two children, creating unique food and wine pairings and gardening.
FOOD CRITIC MERRILL SHINDLER - WHY TRAVELING TO ICELAND IS SO TRENDY THESE DAYS