Dear Sokol Blosser Wine Lover,
August is such an amazing month here in Oregon, the blackberries get ripe, Hermiston Watermelons start dropping, and sweet Walla Walla onions become available. Our local food cornucopia gets cranking!!!! I will begin this newsletter with Veraison and end with a bottle of our first Pinot Noir.
Color change in our Dundee Hills estate vineyard started on Tuesday, August 1st. The French call this ‘Veraison’ which means….I dunno but it sounds good non?!?! It is the time of year when the Pinot Noir stops growing in berry size and shifts to berry ripening. Pigmentation in the berry is easily seeable, and the flavors and sugar start to increase. I always use to tell my boys (Avery and Nikolas) when they were growing up that ferries would come to the vineyard every night and start to paint each berry purple. I told them it was a long process because painting each berry took time so it took at lease 2-3 weeks for verasion to happen. I think they know that was a BS story but maybe I should check……they are 21 now. Anyways, verasion is in full swing in our vineyard and it looks like the weather gods will give us some hot weather in the next few weeks thus putting the start of harvest near the beginning of September. We will start with picking grapes for our Sparkling program, and then for our Rosé of Pinot Noir program, and then our still Pinot Noir should start coming off on or around September 22nd. Get ready for Harvest 2023!!!!
We have had a lot of fun here at our tasting room this summer, hosting many guests for our Thursday night “Live on the Lawn,” concert series. Our Thursday “Live on the Lawn,” series includes local musicians who come out and play from 5-7pm on Thursday nights. These will run through September 14 so please come on out and enjoy them! You can visit our web site to see who is playing each week. I hear that our Croft Sauvignon Blanc pairs wonderfully with the sound of an un-plugged guitar.
I had the honor last month of speaking on a winery panel at the IPNC along with Laura Catena (Bodega Catena Zapata in Argentina) and Shane Munn (Martins Lane Winery in British Columbia). The theme of our panel was ‘Pinot Noir 2050,’ and we discussed what we were doing to ensure that we can each grow and make Pinot Noir in 2050 with climate change upon us. I talked about rootstocks and how our future will be dependent on finding rootstocks that will be more drought tolerant and allow us to continue to dry farm even with warmer and dryer summers. It won’t be easy, but this is something we are working on and trying. I also talked a little bit about our commitment to organic farming and how that lowers our carbon footprint. Speaking of Organic farming, the man who greatly influenced my Mom to go for organic certification (Paul Dolan) passed away last month. Paul not only transitioned Fetzer to being organic, he did it when it was a huge brand. I still don’t know how he did it, but my mom always spoke so highly of him and I know he was a big deal. Thank you Paul!
1977 was a very special year. Not only did the Portland Trail Blazers win the NBA Championship that year, but my mom and dad made the first vintage of our Pinot Noir from our vineyards. We had one bottle left of our Sokol Blosser, 1977 Yamhill County, Pinot Noir. I brought it to the IPNC Salmon Bake as our family bought a table and I thought it would be a good time to pull the cork and see if it still had it. WOWZA!!! It did!!! It had fruit, acid, and some complexity. Made me wish I had another bottle. It was a little sur-real sitting at a table with Mom and Dad, my sister and brother with all our spouses enjoying the first bottle of Pinot Noir that ever came off our property. Unbelievable actually. I guess at times like this you can believe in miracles. Here is a pic of the bottle. The wine tastes a lot better than the label looks.