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June Updates: A Message From Alex Sokol Blosser

Dear Sokol Blosser Interested People:

Summer starts this month and while some weather forecasters are predicting a hot one, we are having a more typical start to the summer without the burning hot weather. Oops! I probably just jinxed it. Welcome to my June “Everything Sokol Blosser,” newsletter. It will start with an old harvest intern and end with the release of a wine that will make the Danes very happy.

Blair Walter. Ever heard of that name? Well, Blair is the winemaker at Felton Road Winery in the Central Otago in New Zealand. Blair was a harvest intern for us back in 1992 and he has gone on to become one of the top winemakers of Pinot Noir in New Zealand. He has done very well! Blair sent me an email recently because he is coming back to Oregon in July for the IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration). It was wonderful to hear from him and the harvest of 1992 was one of the few that I missed working as that was my first year of college in Texas. It was a very good vintage in terms of quality! I look forward to welcoming back Blair to Sokol Blosser next month and then joining him for the IPNC as we are both featured wineries in the event. If you are interested in attending the IPNC there might still be some tickets available and you can check it out at www.ipnc.org.

June is the month that we are constantly playing catch-up in the vineyard. Luis and his vineyard crew are busy spraying for mildew every 7-10 days, doing catch wires, suckering, mowing, and pretty soon will start our first step of crop estimates. Right after bloom (which started on June 4th) we get berry set, and that is when we go around and count how many clusters are on the vines. Now, we have over 150,000 grapevines in our 130 acres of vineyards, and we don’t count all of them. We only count 1% of them, which is still around 1500 vines! Yikes! Time to get out our clip boards and pens! Once we get an “average” of how many clusters we have per vine in all the blocks in our vineyards we will wait until late July when we will weigh some clusters and then figure out a crop estimate. Not an exact science but we get pretty close to estimating how much fruit Robin will be getting come harvest time. Let’s hope I am not too far off this year as I don’t want to mess up Robin’s first harvest as winemaker!!!

Next month we are releasing our 2022 Estate Riesling which is made in an “Ice Wine,” style. This is our first estate Riesling done in this method since 2014, and we have been out of this wine for well over a year, and have angered our importer in Denmark because of this. Sorry Soren! Be angered no more! This golden colored goodness is ready to go! What is the “Ice Wine,” style you ask? Well, we pick our estate Riesling when it is ripe, then take it to the Cold Storage unit in a near-by town where the grapes are frozen. Then, a month later, we bring the frozen grapes back to the winery and press them. The water stays frozen in the press and what comes out is the sugar and acid of the berries. This dense liquid we then ferment and low-and-behold we get a very sweet, very high acid, and low alcohol mouthful of Riesling. I love this wine with the stinkiest cheese you can find! Enjoy Soren!



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