Sokol Blosser: A Legacy Oregon Winery since 1971

1970 was winding down when our founders, Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol Blosser pulled their ’68 VW Camper up to an abandoned prune orchard some 30 miles southwest of Portland. These moonstruck kids had little farming experience and just a basic knowledge of winemaking. What they did have, in abundance, was a passion for growing the Pinot Noir grape and creating world-class wine. Soon after settling on this extraordinary land, they planted their first vines and cinched their place as pioneers in Oregon’s budding wine industry.

1966 - 1977
1979 - 1997
1998 - 2004
2005 - 2013
 
1966Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol graduate from Stanford in June and get married in August.
1970In December, Bill and Susan have their first child, Nik, and purchase their first piece of land to start a vineyard.
1971The Sokol Blossers clear the land and plant winegrape cuttings in a nursery row.
1973Bill and Susan build a home in a corner of the vineyard, the first home of their own.
1974In January, their second son, Alex, is born.
1977Construction is finished on Sokol Blosser Winery in time for its first vintage.
1979Sokol Blosser wines win international recognition at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London with six wines, including several golds. In December, the third child, Alison, is born.
1980Vineyard acreage expands to 72 acres. Bill leaves his planning job to be the winery’s full time president and Susan starts managing the vineyards.
1983Sokol Blosser Vineyards honored by the U.S. Soil and Water Conservation District because of Susan’s work with experimental cover crops to control erosion on hillside vineyards.
1991Bill Blosser returns to planning and Susan becomes president of Sokol Blosser.
1996Sokol Blosser is the first winery to be certified “Salmon-Safe”, a program launched by the Pacific Rivers Council to publicize products produced without using pesticides and causing runoff that would harm salmon.
1997To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Sokol Blosser inaugurates a new label design. The same year, the winery joins Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE), a new international sustainable viticulture program run through Oregon State University.
1998Alex Sokol Blosser comes back to work at Sokol Blosser and Russ Rosner joins as winemaker. Small lot bottlings of individual blocks of Pinot Noir introduced with the 1998 vintage. Evolution debuts.
1999New grape handling equipment, including press, destemmer, and sorting line upgrade production. Last vintage of Chardonnay produced at Sokol Blosser and Chardonnay vines are pulled out.
2000Thirty new acres of Pinot Noir planted, using Dijon clones 777,667, 115, as well as the Pommard clone.
2002Underground barrel cellar becomes the first winery building in the country to receive the prestigious U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Sokol Blosser begins its organic transition.
2004Alison Sokol Blosser joins the family business. Meditrina debuts.
2005Dundee Hills becomes an official American Viticultural Area and Sokol Blosser releases the first wine in Oregon to be labeled with the new appellation: Sokol Blosser 2002 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir. In September, Sokol Blosser receives full USDA organic certification for its 72-acre estate vineyard.
2006Sokol Blosser celebrates its 30th harvest and Susan’s first person history, At Home in the Vineyard: Cultivating a Winery, an Industry, and a Life, is published by the University of California Press.
2007A 25kW photovoltaic solar panel system, which furnishes 33% of the business’s total energy needs, goes live. The family also makes its first land purchase in 30 years – 20 acres of neighboring Dundee Hills land which will be planted in 2008 and called Blackberry Block Pinot Noir.
2008After over a year of slowly taking over daily operations from Susan, the transition from first to second generation continues with Alex and Alison becoming Co-Presidents on January 2, 2008.
2009Sokol Blosser becomes certified by Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine (OCSW).
2011Sokol Blosser celebrates its 40th year in business. Evolution Red debuts.
2012
Construction begins on new Tasting Room, designed by Allied Works, on September 10, 2012.
2013
New Tasting Room opens on July 1, 2013.