For the past several summers, I have heard that the Rodney Strong Summer Concert Series held great concerts but, being a girl living in Texas, they just never made it onto my calendar. Until this year.
As the Wine Bloggers Conference was coming to a close in Buellton, CA (near Santa Barbara), I was cruising north after tasting, touring, learning and having a blast with blogger buddies and industry greats. (I also had the opportunity to share all about the Wine4.Me app at the conference, as we sponsored the dump buckets and Red Wine Live Blogging.)
So where was I off to next? I was on my way to see Chris Isaak live in concert at Rodney Strong Vineyards, as a media guest. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the concert and experience. I just knew that Rodney Strong’s PR team had invited me and made the offer impossible to refuse, that I loved Chris Isaak’s music, and that Rodney Strong in my glass is always a good thing. So off I went on a crazy adventure.
Here’s a quick pic of the Golden Gate Bridge I snapped along the way:
Don’t worry. I wasn’t the one driving. Just to prove it, here’s one I snapped of my driver and host, Robert Larsen, Rodney Strong’s Public Relations Director:
I know you must be thinking that July 13 was the World Cup final, but have no fear, I did make it to Santa Rosa in time to watch Germany reign victorious, much to my foreign exchange daughter’s delight. Once that was over, it was time to head to Rodney Strong Vineyards.
Nick Isaak, Chris Isaak’s brother, opened for Chris, which you just gotta love. (That shot up top is of Nick getting the crowd warmed up and is from my mobile phone “way in the back.” I put that in quotes because “way in the back” was still quite close up– there was not a bad spot to view this concert!
We grabbed dinner onsite, filled our glasses with some delicious Rose of Malbec and took in the concert.
I loved the casual feel of the concert. People brought picnic baskets and coolers of food or bought from the food trucks and other options at the vineyard. Of course, there was plenty of Rodney Strong wine for purchase. The lines never got long, and everyone stayed in good spirits.
This winery knows how to host an event. The show felt intimate, there wasn’t a bad seat, and the music quality was excellent. Very well done.
Chris Isaak also knows how to host. He walked right into the crowd for almost a full song, singing and posing for people in the audience who were snapping pics.
So, what about the wine?
I started out with the Rose of Malbec, which, unfortunately for those of us who don’t live nearby, is only available at the winery. I absolutely adore this Rose, but I am also a sucker for a dry Rose, so it was no surprise to me. Soon I switched to the Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc, because, as much as I love Rose, I wanted something with a bit more acid next and I wanted to see how the Charlotte’s Home would handle the heat. Charlotte’s Home fit the bill. After that I was torn as to what to have next because I enjoyed them both. So Robert suggested a blend of the Sauvignon Blanc and Rose of Malbec, and we hit the jackpot. Still crisp, flavorful, and perfectly dry– even more fantastic for taking in a summer concert in the heat.
Here’s a shot of Rachel Voorhees, Rodney Strong’s Social Media Director, with me enjoying the blend:
But this post doesn’t need to be about my experience. Although the Chris Isaak concert might have passed, there are still two concerts on the schedule for this summer at Rodney Strong:
- Chris Botti on August 16
- Tower of Power & Jonathan Butler on August 31
If you enjoy wine and live music, put at least one on your calendar. You definitely won’t be disappointed.
The second one is during Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, so if you are planning a trip for that, consider adding this to your schedule. Check out the Rodney Strong Vineyards Events page for more details.
Although the Rose of Malbec is not in theWine4.Me app, most other wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards are. If you haven’t yet, download the free iOS app, see where their wines fall in your rankings, and give them a try if they are near the top.