Blog Posts matching AWESOMENESS:
It's Going Down at Stumptown
Tuesday, January 18th 2011 by
To say that the Sokol Blosser staff “likes” coffee is a pretty big understatement.
It might be a disappointment to hear that we don’t all sip on Pinot Noir at our desks during the work day (I too, lament this fact), but in reality we need as much coffee as (or more than) the average human can consume to continue to keep the winery running smoothly and ensure that our wine can be found in stores and restaurants the world over and that bright, smiling faces greet you in the tasting room year-round.
It’s not uncommon for our small group to drain three restaurant-sized carafes of coffee on any given day and when the coffee supply runs low I can sometimes receive up to several emails addressing this—ranging from a gentle reminder to reorder, or to thinly-veiled panic depending on how many bags remain in our kitchen. Little did I realize how important my job as Tasting Room Supervisor is—I’m in charge of keeping this place highly caffeinated—a serious responsibility to bear.
So when it came time to think of a destination for our annual company field trip it made perfect sense to spend the day hanging out at Stumptown, the now-legendary roaster with a collection of coffee shops in Portland and beyond. Yes, I did just say “annual company field trip” and “Stumptown” in the same sentence. Yes, I do love where I work and yes you can be jealous.
We arrived at Stumptown’s original café on SE Division & 45th and were quickly whisked away to a back room after undoubtedly giving the barista a silent heart attack as seventeen winery employees funneled into the small space. The back room of the café is home to two very important pieces of the Stumptown operation: their bean storage facility and their cupping room. Our hosts, Skip and Jim started with a brief overview of Stumptown’s history and how they go about sourcing their beans. For such a small company, it was awe-inspiring to hear how their pursuit for perfect beans has had such an impact on improving the quality of coffee throughout the industry and on the health of the worldwide market, benefiting everyone from growers in tucked-away jungles to the average stateside coffee sipper. Suddenly, paying 10-12 bucks a pound for the stuff seemed like a paltry sum for how much effort it took to deliver those beans to our hands.
The cupping room was another experience altogether. Cupping is the procedure they use to evaluate the quality and profile of the beans they receive, and it’s a crazy-technical process of tasting and smelling with lots of steps. It made wine evaluation seem pretty straightforward and easy by comparison, but the similarities between coffee and wine were definitely striking—from discussing different varietal characteristics of coffees and their growing seasons and regional terrior, to their unique flavor and aroma profiles and how the coffee temperature affects the impression of what’s in your cup. Though I think we were all a little secretly intimidated (at least I was), the Stumptown guys were excited that we could all speak the same geeky language about what we smelled and tasted.
Then we all got a bit out of our geeky depth when they started explaining what kind of equipment was needed to brew a proper cup. I felt the sense of collective shame as we pictured our industrial coffee pot and $15 pulse grinder in the winery kitchen as they impressed upon the importance of a quality grinder, appropriately heated water, and minimal techno-garbage involved in your brewing process to achieve a sublime coffee experience. Our dreams of running an underground Stumptown café in our winery were dashed. But just as drinking quality Pinot Noir makes it difficult to swig convenience store wine, we all realized our coffee appreciation had changed and with our palates now attuned to the good stuff there’s no going back. Our silent thoughts on the bus ride back had to be the same: can we work an Italian espresso machine and fancy burr grinder into next year’s budget?! With our brains powered by Stumptown, I think we can make it happen.
My Own Pinot Gris & Seafood Weekend
Monday, January 24th 2011 by
Sometimes it’s hard for me to not think about work on my days off. My brain always has a tendency to crunch on projects until they’ve met resolution, and it doesn’t help matters when my phone makes a cute electronic chime every time I receive a work email, eliciting a Pavlovian urge to check it. So even when I’m actively trying not to think about work during my weekend, I end up thinking about it anyway.
I’ve had oysters on the brain all month in preparation for our annual Pinot Gris & Seafood Weekend. This year, we’ve decided that it would be both delicious and apropos to celebrate the fact that the gloomy and stormy weather in Oregon during January has the pleasant side effect of being ideal for the production of amazing local oysters. So we’re getting ourselves a boatload of Oregon Coast oysters, enlisting some skilled shuckers, and hauling a lot of vintage Pinot Gris from our wine library with the hopefully pleasant side effect of having a very great party in very un-great weather. You should really come. There’s probably no better way to spend what will very likely be another gloomy and stormy January weekend in Oregon.
So here I am, at home on a Wednesday, and I really want to have my own Pinot Gris & Seafood weekend. Alas, I can’t really justify the extravagance of oysters for a solo lunch in the middle of the week, probably like most normal people. If you can, you should email me so we can be friends. Luckily, I do have some Pinot Gris on hand—a pleasant side effect of working for a winery that makes a killer Pinot Gris. In lieu of real-deal oysters, I reach into the cupboard for my bottle of oyster sauce, a kind of condiment made from oysters commonly used in Dim Sum restaurants to make boringly healthy steamed greens taste really completely delicious. This is my gameplan. It’s not oysters on the half shell, but it’ll have to do.
I start with some baby bok choy languishing in the fridge, bought in a fit of healthy new year’s resolve last week. For what I’m about to do, you can use pretty much any kind of green veggie that can stand up to some hot water, like broccoli, if your grocery doesn’t stock baby bok choy or you’re somehow against how baby bok choy adorably resembles the little lop-ears of rabbits. I slice three of them lengthwise after a quick rinse, and put on a pot of water to boil. To make this a more substantial lunch, I reheat some brown rice also languishing in the fridge. I keep forgetting that this new apartment lacks a microwave, and that I keep neglecting to buy one, so I pile some on a plate and set it atop the undoubtedly building-code-violating gas heater in my living room. I wish I were joking about this, but it gets the job done in a pinch.
When the water boils, I plunge the baby bok choy into the pot, and let them linger for about two minutes, but not much longer. The idea is to blanch them just enough to take the hard crunch out of them. The ideal result will be a vegetable that’s silky but still al dente, not soggy. I drain them into a colander in the sink and shake off the water before plating them atop the now-warm rice. In a bowl, I use a fork to whisk a few glugs of oyster sauce together with just a drizzle of peanut oil to thin it out. You can use any kind of neutral (not olive) oil, and any brand of oyster sauce. Mine happens to come from Thailand and has illustrations of oysters on it, and a delightfully strange recursive photo of a woman standing over a wok yielding the very bottle of oyster sauce with the same photo on it. If you find that creepy, other brands found in grocery stores have cute drawings of pandas or tigers on the labels.
I pour the sauce over the veggies and rice, and finish by pouring myself a glass of our 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris (I don’t have any back vintages to toast with, unfortunately). The sauce is kind of sweet and briny and the wine crisp and bracing. I eat the whole thing standing at my kitchen cart, alone on a Wednesday afternoon. The bok choy tastes too good to be healthy even if inwardly I know it is, and the wine makes it extra indulgent feeling. It’s certainly not the same as a big party with real oysters and library wine, but for my day off it will definitely do.
Odes to Rosé Bottling
Wednesday, February 9th 2011 by
I have been anticipating this day (the bottling of our 2010 Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir) for quite a while, and have come up with a few song titles that best describe my feelings for Rosé …
1. I Will Always Love You
2. Forever And Always
3. Smooth Operator
4. I’ll Stand By You
5. Open Arms
7. You Rock my World
9. I Do Cherish You
10. Precious And Few
Monday, February 21st 2011 by
Congratulations to Ann and Brandon, Sokol Blosser Club Members and Amazingly Awesome People, on their engagement this past weekend! To celebrate, they enjoyed a bottle of Meditrina up on the mountain after Brandon proposed. Cheers to a lifetime of happiness together!
Staci's Seafood Spread
Monday, February 28th 2011 by
So, this time around for my Food and Wine night, I chose to do a decadent seafood spread. Being from Seattle, I can never get enough Dungeness crab! So, I wanted to turn my Texas friends on to their greatness. The crab down here is Blue Crab, tiny little things that we order by the dozen and half dozen to feed just one person. I like to call them the high maintenance crab! When I was growing up on Lake Sammamish in Issaquah my mom would throw newspaper over the kitchen table and put the crab in the middle of the table and the family would go to town with crackers, butter, and cocktail sauce. When we were finished she would roll the paper up and throw the whole deal in the trash. I took it a step further with my friends Mary, Sly, and Blair. I covered the table in plastic wrap then topped it with newspaper; I didn’t want to ruin my beautiful antique table my father gave me for Christmas years ago. I decided to go very primitive with no plates or silverware just crab crackers. The girls couldn’t get behind it, they all asked for forks and plates. I might need new more adventurous friends!
I kept it true and ate with my fingers. The table was decked out with a beet salad, mussels, bread, crab, corn, red potatoes, butter, and cocktail sauce. I was in Pacific Northwest Heaven! I paired the meal with Sokol Blosser 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris and Evolution they were a perfect flavor fit for this meal! I chose two recipes from Food & Wine this time, Beet and Blood Orange Salad with Mint (November 2010), and Mussels in Sailor’s Sauce (September 2004). I would definitely make both recipes again they were equally fantastic, and everyone wanted the beet salad recipe to take home, except Sly - the only vegetable she eats are potatoes. The fact that the girls wanted the recipe gave me a new hosting idea, in the future I am going to print out copies of the recipes for each of my guests to take home. I’m feeling like Martha Stewart today, and only for a minute!
We had a great time, well everyone but Sly who kept saying “I have to work for my dinner, this sucks”…she’s a meat and potato girl she can’t be cultured. Serve her a steak and a potato and she is a happy girl. When the gluttony had ended we put all the dishes in the sink and rolled up the demolished crab shells and through them in the trash. The table was clear I put some wine and Snickerdoodles on the table and that was Food and Wine night for February. Dinner was a great success; the next morning was a whole different deal. We all met at 10:59 at Herrera’s (they open at 11) our favorite rot gut Mexican food spot in Dallas. We were all hung-over and needed grease. The moral to the story….crab is not a good base for a night of drinking and gabbing with the girls!
Beet and Blood Orange Salad with Mint
45 minutes, Serves 10 (I split the recipe and still had left over’s)
2 LBS Golden Beets peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces
8 blood oranges
¼ Cup chopped parsley
¼ Cup chopped mint
3 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 TBS Champagne vinegar
1 small shallot
1 TSPN honey
1/8 TSPN sumac, plus more for sprinkling
½ Cup plus 1 TBS olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 Oz. Feta cheese
Cook beets until tender about 15 minutes (mine took more like 30) transfer the beets and let cool completely. Peel the oranges removing all the white pith and quarter. Add oranges to the beets along with the parsley and mint (I used more mint and less parsley). In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, shallot, honey, and 1/8 TSPN of sumac, whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently, add the feta and toss again, sprinkle the salad with sumac and serve. You can make this dish one day in advance.
I could have done without the sumac, as I didn’t see much added flavor to the salad. But it was fun to use a spice I had never used before.
Mussels in Sailor’s Sauce
20 minutes, Serves 4
¼ Cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used 5, I love garlic!)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (I didn’t use it because Mary is a wuss!)
1 large tomato, peeled seeded and coarsely chopped (I wish I’d used 2)
½ TSPN dried oregano
Large pinch of Saffron, lightly crumbled
½ TSPN flour
½ Cup of dry white wine (I used 2009 Sokol Blosser Pinot Gris)
2 LBS mussels
½ Cup of fish stock or clam juice (I’m wishing I had used Clamato here I wanted more of a tomato base)
2 TBSP finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 ½ TSPN fresh lemon juice
Crusty country bread for serving
In a large heavy sauce pan heat olive oil, add onion, jalapeno, and garlic and cook over medium high heat stirring until soft about 3 minutes. Add tomato and saffron and cook for a couple minutes more stirring often. Sprinkle the flour and mix well, add the mussels cover for 1 minute and stir adding the stock, parsley, and lemon cook over high heat about 5 minutes stirring until mussels open discard any unopened mussels. Serve in deep bowls with the crusty bread for dipping.
I didn’t add the cost of this meal…I stopped counting when I hit the $150.00 mark. I just decided to enjoy and stop adding!
Food and Wine Magazine: http://www.foodandwine.com/
Enjoy and stay tuned for next month’s Food and Wine New Year’s resolution recipe….cheers!
Tasting Room Remodel
Monday, March 14th 2011 by
Our Tasting Room remodel is getting closer to the finish and looking great! We are so excited to reveal the new look of the Tasting Room to our Club members at our Will Call pickup day on Saturday, April 9.
If you're not a Club member - we'd love for you to stop by, enjoy a flight of our current releases and check out our new digs! See you here soon, and until then, don't forget - throughout the remodel we're still open every day, 10am-4pm, in our Garden Room space just to the left of our Tasting Room. Cheers!
3 weeks ago - The remodel begins!
1 week ago - The Tasting Room is coming together... we love these cork light fixtures!
Sokol Blosser Remodels Tasting Room
Friday, April 1st 2011 by
Sokol Blosser Winery Remodels Oldest Tasting Room in Oregon
Pioneering Winery Works to Recreate a Vintage Space with Sustainable and Interactive Touches
April 1, 2011 (DUNDEE, OR) – Sokol Blosser Winery, a family owned winery since 1971 and proprietors of the first tasting room built for that purpose in Oregon, has remodeled their tasting room. The Sokol Blosser family expects the newly designed space to provide a more welcoming and educational experience.
The original tasting room building was designed by renowned Oregon architect John Storrs and opened in 1978, the same year the Sokol Blosser family released their first wines. The room features a large window to the northeast to view Mt. Hood, a wall of windows leading out to an open deck overlooking the estate vineyard, and skylights to provide a bright, cheery space in which to sample wine and learn about the estate’s Organic farming and winemaking practices.
“This remodel is the third ‘facelift’ our tasting room has seen,” said Alison Sokol Blosser, second generation winegrower and Co-President of Sokol Blosser Winery with her brother, Alex. “It’s held up well through the years and we look forward to sharing the new space with our summer visitors.”
The newly remodeled tasting room space features a recycled glass and concrete bartop designed by FUEZ, natural cork light fixtures, Energy Star rated appliances, and a new office built by Mighty Acorn Construction.
The room also features a 60” flat screen plasma television with Apple TV controlled by an interactive on-the-bar iPad. The television will display images of the winery’s long history, show tasting notes on current releases, present upcoming events, and will also play videos of winemaking techniques, vineyard practices and other videos specific to the interests of visitors.
“Customers are looking for an interactive experience when they come to wine country. When getting their shoes dirty in the vineyard isn’t possible or feasible, they can use the iPad and other visual displays to learn more about our terroir, geography, and history,” noted Alison Sokol Blosser.
Sokol Blosser’s tasting room will reopen for visitors on Saturday, April 2, 2011 and is open 10:00am to 4:00pm daily. Regular tours, vineyard hikes, and ATV tours are scheduled beginning in June 2011. For more information about Sokol Blosser Winery, including a list of upcoming events, visit www.sokolblosser.com.About Sokol Blosser Winery
The Sokol Blosser family planted their first grapevines in 1971 in the Dundee Hills and now farms over 85 certified Organic acres. As one of the pioneering wineries of the region, Sokol Blosser has played a key role in developing and shaping the now prominent Oregon wine industry. The winery works to create wines of world-class quality, produced in a sustainable manner, which reflect the distinctive flavors of the grapes, soil, and climate, as well as the winery's values and sense of place. The winery produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Evolution (a proprietary white wine blend of nine varieties) and Meditrina (proprietary red blend), along with small quantities of Single Block Pinot Noirs. Learn more at www.sokolblosser.com.
When You're Desperate for Stumptown
Monday, April 18th 2011 by
What happens when you go into the kitchen at work to find that there is only a quarter cup of Stumptown beans left and all you have is an industrial drip system?? If you are desperate, this could be an option: Get yourself a paper cup (one that holds hot coffee is best), poke holes in the bottom, place a filter in it and tah-dah!! You’ve got yourself a makeshift single cup dripper.
Here are some pictures of Eddie and I totally pulling a MacGyver, all for a couple cups of coffee. We do love us some Stumptown!
Easter Brunch Treat
Monday, April 25th 2011 by
An excellent Easter brunch - Sokol Blosser Raspberry Pinot Noir Chocolate Sauce as dipping sauce for our croissants!!!
Wednesday, June 1st 2011 by
We would like to welcome Zuriel to the Sokol Blosser team! Below is a little more about Zuriel. Be sure to say hi to him if you see him around the winery.
Bio: I was born and raised in beautiful Juneau, Alaska. Growing up I was not exposed to many farms or vineyards until I moved to Oregon. I graduated from the University of Oregon and received a B.A. in Digital Arts and minored in Communications and Business. After graduation I traveled between Alaska and Europe but my heart was left in Oregon. I moved to Portland and started to work at a fine dining establishment where I began to gain a strong interest in wine and food. An opportunity arose here at Sokol Blosser where I now have the pleasure of being called “The New Guy.”
Hobbies: Mountain biking, snowboarding, surfing, rock climbing, motorcycling, camping, running, hiking, photography, traveling, reading and nerding out on the computer.
What you like about Pinot Noir: What I enjoy about pinot noir is that it is great by itself or pairing it with some of my favorite food.
Favorite Food: I’ll eat just about anything. I love food.
Place you’d like to travel to: Anywhere.I love traveling but if I had to pick one right now it would be Tibet. Hiking around the mountains and visiting ancient temples would be a dream come true.
Favorite drink besides wine: An ice cold Coke in a glass bottle made with real sugar is always delicious.
Budbreak to Bloom at Sokol Blosser - Week Nine: Bloom!
Thursday, July 7th 2011 by
It happened folks. Bloom has arrived! This week we are in the Walnut Block with Co-President Alison Sokol Blosser and Vineyard Manager Manuel "Luis" Hernandez.
Jonah’s Just Begun Fundraiser
Wednesday, August 17th 2011 by
Foundation to cure Sanfilippo
On Sunday August 7th, I had the privilege to pour along with a lot of great local wineries for a charity to Cure Sanfilippo. The space in the Oak Groves at Stoller Vineyards was filled with tents and music. I poured Evolution for the afternoon, and the weather was perfect for it. My favorite question to ask is “ Have you tried Evolution before?” I enjoy having an opportunity to turn anyone onto Evolution, (or any Sokol Blosser wine really). It felt good to spend time with our neighbors and do something good for a good cause. Everybody seemed to have a nice time and we raised some money too!
What’s the best wine you’ve ever had at high altitude?
Tuesday, August 23rd 2011 by Alison Sokol Blosser, Co-President, CEO & Second Generation Winegrower
What’s the best wine you’ve ever had at high altitude?
I recently spent two weeks in Peru on vacation. I really can’t write anything without saying a big thank you to my brother, Alex, and the rest of the team here at SB for letting me sneak away for two weeks without email or cell phone.
My adventures in Peru started in Cusco which is at an elevation of 10,912 ft (for comparison, our own Mt Hood is 11,249ft). This wasn’t meant to be a culinary or wine trip but rather an outdoor adventure and cultural trip. So I hadn’t researched the wine regions of Peru and only knew that I wanted to try a real Pisco Sour. I looked at the wine list whenever I dined out. I was disappointed to see that the Peruvian selections were small or non-existent and the lists mostly offered wines from Chile and Argentina. I kept coming across one producer on almost every wine list: Tacama. They produced a white blend called Blanco de Blancos that’s a blend of Sauv Blanc, Viognier, and Chardonnay. I tried it at several different elevations and it tasted great everywhere. It reminded me a lot of our own Evolution. It came from the Ica region, which I did not get the chance to visit.
To be honest though, I didn’t do much drinking. After spending a few days adjusting to the altitude, I trekked 40 kilometers along the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu. All I wanted when I arrived at Machu Picchu was a huge cheeseburger and a cold beer (so American, I know). Now that I’m back at sea level, I’m back to drinking Pinot Noir, Rosé, and anything else that finds its way into my glass.
Introducing Evolution Red
Friday, November 4th 2011 by
Thirteen years after 'advancing the entire wine universe a notch or two' with Evolution White, Sokol Blosser introduces its worthy companion... Evolution Red.
Anyone with any knowledge of science will tell you that evolution doesn't happen overnight. In fact, in the scheme of things, 13 years is half a blink of an eye.
Along with Evolution White, just about all food pairings are covered, which means they're the perfect duo to bring to a dinner. Or a dinner party. Or just a party. Yes, the release of Evolution Red is about time. But, as the old saying goes, extraordinary wines come to those who wait.
We invite you to try a glass or two yourself and reach your own conclusions. We think you'll love it and we'd love to hear your take. To purchase a 3 Bottle Sneak Peek Set that includes shipping, please click here. To let us know your thoughts, opinions, or to send us your haikus dedicated to Evolution Red, please click here.
Sokol Blosser Family Wins Director's Award for Family Business
Friday, November 18th 2011 by Jon Bell
Siblings Share the Work of Leading a Winery
Now run by co-president siblings, Sokol Blosser put Oregon wine and on the map 40 years ago
by Jon Bell for the Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University
In 1971, Susan Sokol Blosser and her then husband, Bill Blosser, started what would become one of Oregon's pioneering and most successful wineries in an old prune orchard in the Willamette Valley.
Its beginnings were humble - any year that lost less money than the year before was considered a good one - but in time, the winery few and thrived. Today, Sokol Blosser is home to an 85-acre certified organic vineyard that produces 80,000 cases of wine a year and is among the most recognized names in Oregon wine.
And yet, it wasn't until three decades after the winery started that Sokol Blosser realized that she had helped build something that was going to last.
"When Bill and I started out, we had no idea we'd be starting a family business or a legacy for our family," says Sokol Blosser, 67. "The point at which we realized that we'd really created something was, I would say, almost 30 years after we started."
That recognition came to Sokol Blosser around 2004, approximately 13 years after she'd taken over the winery as president. She'd been trying to convince her daughter, Alison, to join the company. Sokol Blosser's son, Alex, had been working there since 1998, and her oldest son, Nik, was on the board.
"We realized then that we had something to pass on," Sokol Blosser says.
Alison Sokol Blosser, 31, who had been working in marketing and communications for the likes of Nordstrom and Nike, joined the company in 2004 as director of marketing. Soon after, talk of Susan eventually stepping down began in earnest and the family embarked on a three-year transition plan.
Over the intervening years, Susan Sokol Blosser watched to see who would rise to the top between Alison and Alex. In a surprising turn of events, they both did.
"They both wanted to be president," she says, "but choosing one over the other didn't feel right."
Sokol Blosser then received some invaluable advice from family business consultant Pat Frishkoff, founder of the Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University. She suggested that Sokol Blosser create co-president positions, a bit of guidance that let Sokol Blosser breathe a sigh of relief.
"In so many ways, the co-presidencies was the obvious choice," she says. "(Alex and Alison) are total opposites. They'd each be a good president, but it would be because of their different skills."
The two siblings, who'd grown up in the Sokol Blosser vineyards, agreed to share the title. In 2008 they became co-presidents of the company and their mother officially stepped away from the role.
"Giving up control ... is absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done," Sokol Blosser says. "It's not easy, but it's in the best interest of the business."
Alison Sokol Blosser remembers the transition well, along with the challenge of defining her mother's continued role in the business. It turned out to be the role of founder, someone who represents the winery at various events and festivals, who does a lot of the writing for and about the business, who offers strategic counsel - and who babysits. Alison has a young son, and Alex, 37, is the father of twin boys.
Alex Sokol Blosser says his sister is sweet - "She brings the sugar," he says - and that she has come to specialize in the sales and marketing aspects of the business. While he used to tend to some of that work, he now heads up production and has started to move away from the vineyard management and into winemaking.
"He has a charisma ... and a sense of humor that is very compelling," Susan Sokol Blosser says.
"One of the keys to the winery's continued success, according to Alison Sokol Blosser, has been a focus on clear communication between everyone involved with the business.
"Underlying that is a really fierce family love and loyalty, which is an advantage that family businesses have," says Susan Sokol Blosser.
Looking ahead - and already well aware that they have something to pass on - the second generation of Sokol Blosser's plan to continue pushing the winery ahead while always staying on one particular track.
"Our goal is to be good stewards," says Alex Sokol Blosser. "Stewardship is different than ownership. Stewardship is not about selling it off. Our goal is the third and fourth generations."
Thursday, December 29th 2011 by
We are proud, excited, and happy to announce that our Eastern Brand Ambassador Sara Manucy and her husband Matt welcomed 3 healthy baby boys into the world on December 21, 2011. Here is the update from Sara on her triplets. Congratulations, Manucy family: Sara, Matt, big sister Nora and now Oliver, Will & Luke!
"Our boys are one week old and doing very well. They are making progress every day and fighting to come home.
Oliver Benton is the biggest, not surprising since he was the "recipient" twin and has always made his presence known- loved having his photo taken and was the most aggressive mover. He is breathing on his own, eating all meals from a bottle and was transferred yesterday to the progressive unit. He should be joining Nora at home next week.
William James (Will) is a few days behind Oliver in everything, which is exactly how they measured in utero. Will is by far the most laid back and easy going. He was our "innocent bystander". He also looks the most like Nora.
Luke Daigler (who finally got a name) is our peanut and continues to distinguish himself as a fighter. Since the moment he was born he has led the pack. The first off oxygen, the strongest lungs, fastest grower and constantly squirms as if to say- "look at me!" He is the only one left in an incubator, but only because of his size. He is now 2 lbs and 12 oz. He should be in a bassinette within a couple days.
I am feeling well and recovering quickly. I hope everyone had a great holiday and is looking forward to the New Year."
Evolution's Trip to Montreal
Monday, February 27th 2012 by Michael Kelly Brown, Vice President of Consumer Sales
new partner (Evolution Red) and I just returned from a romantic week in
Montreal, Quebec. With all of the recent excitement we have hardly had a
chance for just the two of us. We spent Valentines Day roaming the
streets, practicing our French and enjoying wonderful restaurants. I hope
you enjoy our photo.
Tuesday, February 28th 2012 by Susan Sokol Blosser, Founder
The picture to the left shows me on the left, Kate Brown, Oregon's Secretary of State in the other cowboy hat, and Sharon Harmon, executive director of the Oregon Humane Society and 2012"s "Cowgirl of the Year." Kate and I are both former "Cowgirls of the Year." It's not often I let my inner cowgirl show! The Cowgirl Ball was held Saturday night at Marylhurst and is the annual fundraiser for Forward Stride, a really impressive horse therapy program in Portland. To learn more about this great organization, visit their website!
1983 Red Hills Pinot Noir
Monday, March 5th 2012 by Lee Medina, Key Account Manager
Sometimes on my travels for the Sokol Blosser company
representing our wines I come across hidden treasures or pieces of history past
long gone for us. I was working in Seattle last week visiting accounts and we
stopped at Madison Cellars on 4227 E. Madison, Madison Park. I was showing
owner Fred Andrews our wines and he said, "I think I have an older Sokol
Blosser somewhere in here!" We started looking... and look what we found: 1983 Sokol Blosser, Red Hills Pinot Noir 1.5 litre or Magnum.
We did not get to open this wine as the owner would like to do a dinner with it and some of his other older gems in his cellar. If you are in the Madison area of Seattle it is worth a stop in to Madison Cellars!
Press Release: Sokol Blosser Winery Partners with Portland-Area Cycling Team
Thursday, April 12th 2012 by
DUNDEE, OR - April 6, 2012 - Pioneering Oregon winery, Sokol Blosser, has joined forces with Willamette Valley-based cycling team Veloce Racing. The Winery will be supporting Team Veloce with wine contributions, including offering 1.5L magnum bottles of Dundee Hills Pinot Noir as lap prizes at upcoming racing events.
Founded in 2003 by a group of four cyclist friends who lived across the street from Veloce Bicycles, Team Veloce now comprises twenty-five men and women who participate in a variety of disciplines, including road and stage races, criteriums, time trials, and mountain bike races. Veloce cyclists are known for their success in cyclocross racing.
“The team and the owners of Sokol Blosser share a deep passion for bicycle racing and wine. We are proud to get to represent one of Oregon’s oldest wineries. Sokol Blosser will be contributing product that the team would like to use as donations and prizes at races to help raise the visibility of both the team and Sokol Blosser,” said Michael Benno, team rider and board member.
Second generation winegrower Alex Sokol Blosser stated, “We’re excited to sponsor and support Team Veloce this year. Personally, I’ve held a lifelong passion for cycling and remember watching the Tour de France every year growing up. Team Veloce is a group of very friendly people and who are also very competitive cyclists. Go TV!”
Title sponsors of Team Veloce include Veloce Bicycles and Smith & Nephew Orthopedics. More information on Sokol Blosser Winery can be found at sokolblosser.com. For information on Team Veloce, visit facebook.com/pages/Veloce-Racing-presented-by-smithnephew/70271992582.
About Sokol Blosser Winery
The Sokol Blosser family planted their first grapevines in 1971 in the Dundee Hills and now farms over 85 certified Organic acres. As one of the pioneering wineries of the region, Sokol Blosser has played a key role in developing and shaping the now prominent Oregon wine industry. The winery works to create wines of world-class quality, produced in a sustainable manner, which reflect the distinctive flavors of the grapes, soil, and climate, as well as the winery's values and sense of place. The winery produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, proprietary blends Evolution White and Evolution Red, along with small quantities of Single Block Pinot Noirs. Learn more at sokolblosser.com.
Alex Travels to France
Wednesday, April 18th 2012 by Twix , Wine Poodle
Just got off the train in Paris, got a car with GPS (in French!!!) and surprisingly have not gotten lost yet on the way to a stave mill south of Champagne.
Vive la France!!!
Here is a shot of the town of Chablis from the middle of a Grand Cru vineyard called Le Clos. One of our coopers buys wood from around Chablis so hence our visit here.
Off to Sweden tomorrow!
Alex Travels to Sweden!
Friday, April 20th 2012 by Twix , Wine Poodle
Sweden is a great country! Where else can you go to the wine store (all government run) and find one of their biggest sellers a bottle with this label!!! I must say, I would prefer Kiss labels over dorky animal labels at this price point any day!!!
Alex in Sweden
Monday, April 23rd 2012 by Twix , Wine Poodle
Wine is a growing trend in Sweden and the drink of old is something called Aquavit. Flavored vodka is what it is. Here are three bottles that also describe cultural differences here in Scandanavia: one of the left is Swedish - it is cumin and lemon flavored and very smooth, middle is Danish- higher alcohol and spicy, and the right is from Norway- aged in oak and tastes like Whiskey. Not sure what that says about the cultural differences but there you have it!
Skol!!! (what you say here instead of Cheers or Salud!)
Alex in Sweden - Pt. 2
Wednesday, April 25th 2012 by Twix , Wine Poodle
Wild caught Sweden Salmon served with Foie Gras on top on a bed of Lentils!!! I was amazed at how good this combination tasted and the rest of the meal was amazing! This all went down last night at 19 glas, which is one of the top restaurants in Stockholm, Sweden. It is located in the old town so was very charming to walk to!!!
What would your last meal be?
Tuesday, April 24th 2012 by
I was recently asked what my last meal on earth, if I could choose, would be. I had a difficult time narrowing it down because, well, I love to eat and I love to eat so very many things. But after having chicken liver mousse that a dear friend Rodrigo Huerta made, my decision became clear; if I had to choose my last meal, it would definitely be this very version of chicken liver mousse. It hands down made top of my list for three reasons: 1) it tastes incredible 2) I love truffle anything (especially this truffled honey) and 3) it has ¾ pound of butter in it. But life’s short and I like to treat myself…
Rodrigo makes several different versions of his mousse but this particular one paired perfectly with one of my favorite pinot noir vintages for the Willamette Valley, 2007. I highly recommend opening a bottle of Sokol Blosser 2007 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir to drink with. The earthy, herbaceous pinot is a match made in heaven (pun intended) with the mousse. I recommend sip, eat, sip for maximum pleasure. You will not be disappointed.
Recipe created by Rodrigo K. Huerta.
Chicken Liver Mousse with Truffled Honey
½ pound chicken livers, cleaned
¾ pound unsalted butter
2 small to medium size shallots, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp truffled honey
small pinch of crushed chile pepper
squeeze of lemon juice
Clean your livers from vein, and blood lines. Pat dry using a clean towel to minimize splatter when searing. Salt livers generously and preheat a sauté pan with a Tbsp of oil. When oil starts to smoke slightly add your livers carefully to the pan. Do not overcrowd the livers or you will not achieve the proper sear. In order to get the proper sear you may need to do this in batches. Sear heavy on one side about a minute and a half or until livers look cooked half way through. Flip the livers over just to cook the outside*. Pull livers out once you've reached medium rare and place them on a plate. Take a Tbsp of butter and add to the pan you used to sear the livers. Next, sauté your shallot and garlic until nice and soft and a little caramelized. Once your shallot and garlic are where you want them, deglaze with 1Tbsp each of balsamic and sherry vinegars. At this point you will also want to add the truffled honey. Don't reduce too long, just until the vinegars thicken and you've got a nice glaze. Pull the sauce off the heat and add half the remaining butter and all your livers with their juices. Let cool. Once cool, puree liver butter mixture in a blender for thirty seconds then slowly add the remaining butter in 1Tbsp pieces to emulsify**. When emulsified and smooth add the remaining tsp of balsamic and sherry vinegars with a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt if needed and give it one last whirl in the blender. Take mousse from blender and add to container of choice for serving. Let cool about a half hour to an hour in the refrigerator and serve with fresh bread or toasted crostinis.
* You want to cook them to medium rare for nice smooth texture in your mousse.
** If you are having trouble emulsifying the mixture, add a small piece of ice or two.
We Have Lift Off!
Tuesday, April 24th 2012 by
After a beautiful weekend in Oregon with temperatures reaching the mid to upper 80's we now have bud break! Photo: Jeff Knapp
Sokol Blosser Wine Dinner at Hall Street Grill
Monday, April 30th 2012 by
I was lucky enough to accompany two of our rock star Brand Ambassadors, Lee Medina and Kristin Freund, last weekend at a wine dinner they hosted at Hall Street Grill. Sokol Blosser wines ranging from Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir to Dessert Riesling were paired with a myriad of fabulous plates from Chef Travis Dickinson. The wines flowed and the food was delectable. I felt the only way to properly capture the evening was through photographs; but even they don’t seem to do the dinner justice… if only there was a scratch-n-sniff computer screen...
Chef Travis and Brand Ambassadors Lee and Kristin welcome guests on the outdoor patio at Hall Street Grill.
Guests with a keen interest in good food and wine cheers the dinner and a birthday that fell on the same day.
Crostinis of cured ham with nettle and whisky chicken liver mousse with fig started the dinner (left).
A smoked Idaho trout and farro salad with blood orange, chicories, pecorino and grapefruit paired beautifully with Sokol Blosser 2011 Estate Rose of Pinot Noir (right).Marinated octopus with mustard ice cream and chorizo foam and Sokol Blosser 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris (left).
Rye crusted croquette of smoked pork hock with truffled polenta and marrow aioli severed with Sokol Blosser 2007 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, buckwheat lasagna with spring vegetable and morel succotash with 2008 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir and duck and pancetta galantine with black truffle custard and Pinot Noir reduction with 2009 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir (right).
The evening ended sweetly with Sokol Blosser 2005 and 2007 White Dessert Riesling and a candied bacon and hazelnut waffle with fried foie gras and maple cromesquis, smoked white chocolate mousse and amaretto syrup.No doubt about it, the dinner was a success in every way. The wine was showing wonderfully, the food was mouth watering, the service professional and the outdoor patio perfect for a one-in-a-million warm April evening in Oregon.
Evolution on 30 Rock!
Thursday, May 24th 2012 by
Did anyone happen to see the season finale of 30 Rock on Friday? Guess who made an appearance with Jack and Liz...? Our friend and yours... Evolution White!
Spring 2012 at Sokol Blosser
Wednesday, May 30th 2012 by
Spring is in the air at Sokol Blosser! Come out to the tasting room to see for yourself but if you can’t make it out here to experience the bird calls and flowers with a glass of Estate Rose in hand, here are some photos:
The Rhododendrons are spectacular in bloom (above). Thanks to some warm weather we now have flower set on the vines, putting the vineyard ‘right where we should be’ this time of year… although as we are familiar with, ‘normal’ can be hard to measure in Oregon (right). Comparatively, this same time last year we were just about experience bud break. So far, so good for 2012!
Hillary checks the bluebird nests around the property to montior the eggs and hatchlings. The mirror allows her to see in side the nest without distrubing the birds (left).
Sokol Blosser is proud to be part of the Prescot Bluebird Recovery Project* working to increase and stablilize the Western Bluebird population in the area. These blue birds have just hatched (right).
Buttercups are spotted amongst a myriad of flowers welcoming visitors into the tasting room (left). We have plenty of outdoor seating surrounded by pansies and other spring flowers. Our custom ATV is cleaned up and ready for a summer of vineyard touring** (right).
*For more information on the Prescot Bluebird Recovery Project visit their website here: http://www.prescottbluebird.com/mission.html
**If you are interested in a Hilltop Tasting on our ATV please contact the tasting room for a reservation.
Castle of Evolution!
Monday, June 4th 2012 by
A dream came true this week at Sokol Blosser in the form of a gigantic Evolution fort. This blog can only truly be expressed through a few staff pictures:
The brilliant Jenny Mosbacher constructing her castle. If she ever decided to leave the wine industry she would have a thriving career in architecture.
We’ve conquered the Evolution castle and there’s no telling what might come next… an Evolution skyscraper perhaps?
Wednesday, June 27th 2012 by
Last week marked the magical time in the vineyard known as bloom! The vines are beginning to flower and self-pollinate themselves into fruit set which will yield the delectable Pinot Noir grapes we all worship and sing praise to. No birds, no bees required for pollination amongst the vines; they can do it themselves thank you very much. Bloom also signals the 100-110 day mark until harvest (but as always we’ll have to see what Mother Nature brings us this summer). A toast to the explosion of bloom in the vineyard! Cheers!
Evolution White + Indian Food = Perfect Summer Pairing
Monday, July 2nd 2012 by
The tasting room staff has been thinking a lot about Evolution White lately. In anticipation for summer’s arrival to the Willamette Valley (which Oregonians know doesn’t start ‘til July 5th) we decided to have a dinner party surrounding the wine we all can’t wait to drink in the sunshine… Evolution White. We love Evolution paired with countless dishes (think sushi, Thai green curry and Cajun spices on the grill) but we all jumped at the thought of an Indian food feast paired with Evolution. So once again, the fine foodie folks of the tasting room gathered to Eddie’s house for a spicy, flavorful and fragrant evening of Evolution White and regional Indian food.
An appetizer of onion pakoras with spicy chili aioli were a perfect foil for Evolution White and started off the evening meal.
Although the evening was centered on Evolution White, we couldn’t help but open a bottle of 2009 Sokol Blosser Pinot Blanc (bottle in background). The tropical fruit notes of the Blanc were an ideal complement to the Peach Curry and spicy Palak Paaner (left).
Eddie’s stove is loaded with pots and pans. Peach Curry, Channa Masala, Palak Paaner and Arhar Daal were served on lemon basmati rice (right).
Toasting to a successful summer spread and the eventual coming of sunshine to the Pacific Northwest (left). Cheers!
Eddie’s Carrot Cardamom Pudding was an incredible end to the Indian food feast. It was delicate and refreshing with just the right amount of custardy-sweet (below).
Recipe created by Eddie Zavestoski
Carrot Cardamom Pudding
1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded
¾ cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk, divided
1 cup rice flour
1 tsp cardamom (to taste)
¼ tsp saffron
1 tsp rose water
Pistachios and almonds to garnish, toasted
Warm up 1 cup of whole milk in microwave or on stove and add the saffron to the warm milk. Set aside while the saffron dissolves into the milk. Meanwhile, dissolve sugar in 1 cup water over medium low heat on the stove. Once it looks like sugar has dissolved, add carrots to the same pot and cook until carrots become mushy, approximately 30 minutes. When carrots are cooked all the way through, add saffron milk infusion, heavy cream, cardamom and rose water. Stir to ensure all ingredients are properly mixed then blend contents. An immersion blender is ideal, however, transferring to a blender works just as well. Blend mixture until smooth and there are no chunks of carrot remaining. Return the now smooth mixture to the pot over low heat and add flour ¼ cup at a time, whisking constantly to integrate. After all flour has been whisked into the mixture, add the remaining cup of whole milk to thin out until you have reached your desired consistency. Think standard pudding: it can be more or less ‘runny’ depending on personal preference. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to allow pudding to set. Pudding can be chilled for up to 2 days. To serve, spoon pudding into individual ramekins and top with toasted pistachios and almonds. Nuts can be toasted in oven, but keep an eye on them as they can burn.
Pre-IPNC dinner photos!
Monday, July 30th 2012 by
Here are some photos from our Pre-IPNC dinner!
The Evolution of Sokol Blosser Wines
Friday, October 26th 2012 by
When I last saw Alison in January 2012, she was in San Francisco to promote her winery's newest release, Evolution Red and she had also just gotten engaged. The label on this first edition reads "It's about time." Alison says they've had so many requests (or demands as noted on the label) to make a red wine like Evolution. She says it only took them about 13 years. Now Evolution Red is in its second edition. But the winery is not revealing any information on the varietals in the blend other than that it is syrah-based, with the explanation that sometimes it's better for something to remain a mystery. White and red Evolution wines are $15 each.On the heels of Evolution Red, Sokol Blosser has even bigger plans. Alison says they're working on a sparkling Evolution White. "It will be based on Evolution White so it's nine varietals," she says. The inspiration comes from a rather unconventional source. "You know those soda streamers?" she asks. It's popular with her staff for carbonating water. Then they started putting Evolution in the soda streams. "They were like, 'you have to try this' it's really good," she says. "So that was the idea of 'Huh, could we do this on a bigger scale and rather than carbonate it with CO2, what would it be like made in the methode traditionelle used in Champagne?"
Prime Rib and Pinot Noir - the Perfect Pair!
Friday, November 16th 2012 by
Pair Prime Rib With Pinot Noir for a Memorable Holiday Feast
BOISE, ID--(Marketwire - Nov 15, 2012) -The holiday season is always packed with activities and traditions, so make your chief celebration easy and fool-proof with a boneless ribeye roast from The Double R Ranch Co.and an Oregon pinot noir from Sokol Blosser Winery. Selecting high quality elements ensures that a seemingly straightforward menu provides the panache that a special occasion demands.
"Our perfectly marbled and hand cut prime rib is the ideal centerpiece for any holiday table," said Jay Theiler, director of marketing for The Double R Ranch Co. "The ability to pair the Double R Ranch Co. prime rib with Sokol Blosser pinot noir will give your table that Northwest flare and make a perfect holiday pairing."
Prime Rib is an ideal choice due to its relative ease to prepare (you only need salt and pepper), its ability to feed a large group and its tendency to impress as the table's focal point. "There's no doubt the holidays are a hectic time, but a festive, flavorful meal doesn't need to add to stress levels," said Theiler. "A classic combination of prime rib and pinot noir can be surprisingly simple and simply superb."
The Double R Ranch Co's ribeye roast, referred to as "prime rib" with the bone removed, is exquisitely marbled with a robust and buttery flavor.To prepare this roast, simply season with salt and pepper, or a favorite seasoning blend, and roast in a 350°F oven, fat side up, on a rack or in a shallow cast iron roasting pan. There's no need to cover the roast or add liquid. Approximate cooking times for a seven-pound roast range from 2 to 2-1/4 hours for medium rare, an internal temperature of 145°F, and from 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours for medium, an internal temperature of 160°F. Once out of the oven, let the roast rest for 15 to 20 minutes, tented loosely with aluminum foil on a carving board, before slicing and serving.
This rich roast calls for a complex, earthy wine as a complement. Consider pairing it with Sokol Blosser's 2009 Estate Cuvee Pinot Noirto round out your intimate celebration. With a delicate character, this wine is expressive of tea roses and violets. Flavors and aromas of dusty strawberry, raspberry and red currants give way to earthy undertones of sun-baked clay, dry autumn leaves and mineral spice. The structure is lithe but supple, with refined tannins and a graceful, lasting finish.
For a larger party, consider the Sokol Blosser's 2010 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir magnum. This classic vintage is complex and layered, with black cherry, berry and earthy minerality. Its stunning concentration and depth comes off without heaviness, and the wine has a wonderful structure and texture, with soft, supple tannins.
About Sokol Blosser
About Double R Ranch Co.
Pairing Wines with Food Class - A great holiday gift!
Thursday, December 6th 2012 by
I don't know about you, but picking out the perfect gift for someone is a bit of an obsession for me. And, it gets harder every year!
I love giving experiential gifts - they are perfect for those people on your list who have everything - so when I ran across this Wine and Food Pairing class, I had to share!
Urban Wine Works on NE Fremont in Portland is offering 50% off a 2 person Wine and Food pairing class through My Perks Portland:
Two people will enjoy four wines matched with four small plates of foods that are typically hard to pair wine with. Classes provide education for wine and food lovers to pair wines with hard to pair foods.
Not going to lie, this might be a perfect gift for myself this holiday season!
Sokol Blosser Winery a 'Most Admired' company by Portland Business Journal
Monday, December 10th 2012 by
Sokol Blosser was recently named a "Most Admired" company by The Portland Business Journal! The article was originally published in the Portland Business Journal and written by Robert Goldfield
People, planet and profit are part of the philosophy at Sokol Blosser Winery in Dayton.
“We’re making choices to serve all three,” said Alex Sokol Blosser, co-president. “Employees, the earth and the profitability to stay in business.”
Sokol Blosser was ranked No. 10 among agricultural and forest products companies by Oregon CEOs surveyed as part of the Business Journal's 2012 Most Admired Companies project.
Contributing writer Maria L. Kirkpatrick recently spoke with Alex regarding the company’s sustainability initiatives and filed this report.
Green is indeed taken seriously and sustainability is common sense for a business that relies on the earth for its product.
“Mom and Dad always felt they were good to the earth,” Alex said. “This meant different things at different times.”
Sustainability is ever changing as new information is discovered. The winery strives to be aware of its impact on people and earth.
In 1996 it became the first winery to be certified Salmon Safe for not using chemical pesticides that could harm salmon through runoff. In 2002, it became the first U.S. winery to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. And 2005 saw the winery receive full USDA organic certification. Solar panels to provide the business with natural energy went live in 2007. In 2009, Sokol Blosser product became Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine.
Under construction is a new tasting room that will offer several spaces and a tailored hospitality experience. Relaxing seating will be available for those who want to sip and savor as well as a service counter to serve those who want to quickly taste and move on.
Upon completion this summer, it should be the first Living Building Challenge certified structure in Oregon.
The biggest challenge this year, Alex said, has been to find new people to replace key employees that moved on to bigger and better opportunities. Business in 2012 has been good. Things are moving forward and siblings Alex and Alison Sokol Blosser are working to take it to the next level.
Susan Sokol began the winery with her husband Bill Blosser in 1971, before Oregon had a wine industry. Today, the winery spreads across 125 acres, employs 25 and annually produces 80,000 cases of wine.
The original article can be found here: http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/2012/12/sokol-blosser-winery-becomes-a-most.html?&page=all
Sokol Blosser in the City
Tuesday, December 18th 2012 by
Last Sunday, the Sokol Blosser sales team decided to make a trek into the big city for a night of great food and (of course) wine at Departure in The Nines Hotel.
And, of course, we made sure to document the entire evening! So much that the food may have started to cool before we ate - that's what we get from bringing along 2 cameras!
What's that - 2007 Estate Cuvée? 1998 Twelve Block Pinot Noir? And 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon?!
There's that 2007 Estate again...
And this is just a taste of the photos - check out the whole album on our Facebook page!
A Taste of Oregon Wine from Sokol Blosser Winery
Tuesday, March 19th 2013 by Liesl Jackson
A Taste of Oregon Wine from Sokol Blosser Winery
Oregon might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of great wine, but that’s changing! Just an hour outside of Portland lies Willamette Valley and nestled in the beautiful Dundee Hills lies Sokol Blosser Winery. Last week, I enjoyed a lovely dinner at Towne in downtown Los Angeles hosted by Alison Sokol Blosser, co-president and Second Generation Wine Grower. We were given four Sokol Blosser selections and were treated to appetizers, dinner and desserts specially selected to pair with the wine assortment.
Sokol Blosser Winery (Photo courtesy of Sokol Blosser Winery)
The first wine we tasted was a 2011 Rosé of Pinot Noir. It was fruity with a hint of strawberries and very light and sweet. Rosé of Pinot Noir is 100 percent Pinot Noir. It is treated as if it is a white grape when it comes into the winery so they intentionally make this into a Rosé from the get go. It is made from 100 percent organic grapes as all of their grapes are certified organic. It is only sold through their tasting room, website and wine club.
As we drank the Rosé, Alison filled us in on a little history of Sokol Blosser Winery, like the fact that her parents planted their first grapes on what was once a prune orchard in 1971.“They were both teachers. They really liked wine. They thought, people had been making wine forever, it can’t be that hard. This will be kind of fun,” Alison said. “They were hippies. They came in their Volkswagen bus, my mom had the long braids and they wanted to grow something. They liked the idea of growing wine grapes.”What started as five acres has expanded to 125 acres, 85 of which are fully planted. Willamette Valley now has about 180 wineries.
Liesl Jackson and Alison Sokol Blosser
With dinner we were given two wines to try, a Sokol Blosser 2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris and a Sokol Blosser 2010 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir. The Pinot Gris had a tart citrus flavor and a steely mineral taste. Just the right option to go with a seafood or pasta dish.
Spicy White Bean Ravioli from Towne
The Pinot Noir was the third wine we tasted and one of the softest Pinot Noirs I’ve ever had. Alison explained: “Oregon Pinots are going to typically be much softer and delicate and elegant in style. We’re getting the ripeness but we have the acidity because it’s a cool climate so there’s a lot more structure in the wine. California pinots, because there is so much heat, get a jammy quality and so they’re much more concentrated and fruit driven.”
“My favorite way to think about Pinot Noir is this is not the kind of wine that’s going to hit you over the head. It’s not going to knock your socks off, it’s much more seductive. It’s going to sneak up and slip your socks off.”- Alison Sokol Blosser
"Seaweed" Brined Organic Chicken at Towne
Alison also gave us a preview into the new tasting room scheduled to open early July 2013. The design will feature a series of terraces, wood floors, walls and ceilings with large windows and skylights to allow for plenty of natural light. The wine tasting experience will be tailored to each individual person or group.“Do they want to do a Library tasting in a vertical of five years? Do they want to do a food and wine pairing in the kitchen? Do you they want to just sit out on the patio with their friends and have a few wines brought to them, or do they want to stand at the bar and have that kind of social experience?,” Alison said. “So we’ll have a lot of different options for people. And you can come and do all of them.”
A rendering of the new Sokol Blossser tasting room set to open in July 2013 (Photo courtesy of Sokol Blosser Winery)
We finished the dinner with a Sokol Blosser 2011 White Riesling. It was a very sweet desert wine that went well with Towne’s tasty assortment of deserts. “The White Riesling is made in the style of an ice wine,” Alison explained. “So with typical ice wine, the grapes freeze on the vine, but it’s not quite cold enough and we’re not quite crazy enough to pick the grapes in the middle of the night when they’re frozen. So we pick the grapes at the normal time. We freeze them and after harvest is done we bring in all of our frozen grapes and we let the grapes slowly defrosts. The trick is for the water part of the grape to stay frozen and the sweet nectar to slowly drip out.” They make it every other year and only sell it from the tasting room and online.
A delicious tray of deserts offered by Towne
Sokol Blosser 2011 White Riesling
All of the wines offered by Alison and Sokol Blosser Winery were exquisite. The standouts for me were the Pinot Noir and the Rosé of Pinot Noir. They are all definitely worth taking a trip up to Oregon to try, especially in July when the new tasting room is completed. You can also order online and sign up their wine clubs at www.sokolblosser.com, or visit Towne in downtown LA to taste Sokol Blosser wines paired with some of their delicious cuisine. Happy tasting!
ABOUT LIESL JACKSON: Liesl Jackson is a writer/actress/comedian/pet sitter living in the heart of Hollywood. She loves the arts, animals, volunteering, traveling, and attempting to learn the acoustic guitar. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @SillyLiesl and follow The Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch