In 1970, the Oregon wine industry was in its infancy and at that time, its future was virtually unknown. That didn’t stop Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser, a couple of recently wed Stanford graduates, from chasing their Pinot Noir dreams. They purchased their first piece of land, an abandoned prune orchard two miles west of Dundee Oregon, with plans to clear the land and plant winegrape cuttings in a nursery row. At that time, their vision was simple; the Sokol Blossers had little agricultural knowledge and only grasped the basics of winemaking. But they saw the climate similarities between the bucolic Willamette Valley and the cherished French wine region of Burgundy, so they let passion be their guide. They had no idea that they’d become pioneers in the Oregon wine industry; their seeds being crucial to the future of Oregon wine.
With the goal of successfully growing temperamental Pinot Noir grapes and through a series of trial and error, the Sokol Blosser Winery has grown to encompass 87 acres of organic vineyards consisting mainly of Pinot Noir grapes, but other notable varietals including Muscat, Pinot Gris, and Riesling are cultivated as well. Through attentive sorting and hand-harvesting, fermentation in small batches, and aging 16 months in French oak, Bill and Susan’s son Alex Sokol Blosser serves as winemaker, mindfully expressing the distinctive flavors of the winery’s hillside vineyards. After more than fifteen years experience in the wine industry, Alex became the fourth winemaker in Sokol Blosser’s history. He continues the tradition of quality and passion for world-class Pinot Noir as the heart of the winery. “Acid, complexity and fruit come together in a very special way for Pinot Noir here in the Willamette Valley. When the growing season cooperates, this trifecta of flavor inspires the Pinot Noir drinkers of the world,” he states.
Sokol Blosser’s winery and tasting room lies on the vineyard property, serving nearly 20 varietals including six Pinot Noirs, each from a different block of the vineyard. Each Pinot carries its own distinctive set of tasting notes, ranging from dark cherry and fig, to brown sugar, to rose petals and hints of spice. The winery also makes an array of pleasingly aromatic whites, namely a Chardonnay and an expressive Pinot Gris. Other notable wines produced by Sokol Blosser are a classically dry and balanced Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, and a gorgeous Brut Sparkling Wine from their Evolution line, crisp and clean with aromas of green apple, pear, white peach and citrus.
In 2012, the Sokol Blosser family teamed up with an acclaimed Oregon architecture firm to reimagine the winery’s tasting room. As you move through the building, each space unfolds into a series of distinct architecture. The modernist feel of the winery, while contemporary in design, still manages to uniquely reflect the terrior of the region and the individuality of the Sokol Blosser name. Clean lines and geometric shapes make the space a modern showpiece, with large windows and skylights allowing natural light and panoramic views of the vineyard.
From the beginnings of the winery, the Sokol Blosser family has also strived to be a leader in sustainable agriculture. Today, the 2nd generation winegrowers continue their “good to the earth” policy through certified organic farming, sustainable business practice such as solar panels and renewable wind power, and low impact packaging. In 2002, Sokol Blosser became the first winery in the United States to receive L.E.E.D. (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification.
If you ever find yourself touring Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country, we at WineBaskets.com hope that you make the thriving vineyard, the stunning, contemporary tasting room and the irresistible wines at Sokol Blosser a top-priority destination.