Alison Sokol Blosser

Alison Sokol Blosser is CEO and Co-President of Sokol Blosser Winery. The daughter of founders Susan Sokol Blosser and Bill Blosser, Alison feels a deep connection to the family vineyard and winery. Leading the business, she collaborates with her winemaker brother, Alex, to guide its strategic future while directly overseeing sales, marketing, and all administrative functions, including accounting, finance, IT and human resources. Alison carries the torch in Sokol Blosser Winery’s sustainability efforts and commitment to social responsibility, most recently overseeing the notable achievement of the Winery’s B Corp certification.

In addition to earning a BA from Portland State University and an MBA from the University of Washington, Alison spent three years working in public relations and marketing communications. Her experience spanned startups to consumer branding giants, including Nike and Nordstrom. In 2004, she returned to Sokol Blosser and assumed the role of director of marketing. Then, in 2008 after a thoughtful multi-year succession, she and Alex were named Co-Presidents and completed the transition of the family winery to the next generation.

Alison is involved in the Oregon wine industry as a past President of Oregon Pinot Camp and Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association, as well as a member of YPO and Women for Winesense.

Alison is married to Javier Zamora and has three children: Dario, Luca and Isabella

Hobbies: Travel, doing anything outdoors (bicycling, hiking), being with family & friends, eating good food & drinking good wine.

What You Like About Pinot Noir: Every sip tells a story and the ending lingers, rather than telling you “The End”.

Favorite Food: Just about anything.

Place You’d Like to Travel To: What? I can only choose one? Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Japan, Tahiti, Maine, New Mexico, ok – I’ll stop now.

Favorite Drink Besides Wine: Water, or a good Arnold Palmer.

Alex Sokol Blosser

Alex Sokol Blosser, son of Sokol Blosser’s founders, Susan Sokol Blosser and Bill Blosser, grew up working in the family vineyards and winery. Not much has changed. The strong pull of the family wine business kept pulling him back in from escapes to college in Texas, to a stint with the Air Force Reserves. The wine life had him and it just took a few years for him to realize that he really did love the business and wanted to make this his life’s work.

In typical family business fashion, Alex has played many roles at Sokol Blosser from cellar rat, to Vineyard Manager, to Vice President of Sales. All these prior positions groomed him for his current and last position with the winery; that of Winemaker. Alex is only the fourth winemaker to walk the catwalks in the winery since the first vintage in the Dundee Hills in 1977. He has worked with and under all the previous winemakers and brings forward those learnings and a winemaking desire to fashion Pinot Noir that inspires the world.

Alex is grateful to have found a life partner with his wife Ginny, and for his two sons, Nikolas and Avery, for whom he tries but fails to beat in the card game Magic. He lives on the vineyard and when time allows he is often reading science fiction, riding his bike, watching the Tour de France, and pining for the day when the LA Dodgers raise the World Series title once again.

Hobbies: Reading, biking, archery, hiking, watching baseball, and gardening.

What You Like About Pinot Noir: It’s a finesse wine. I like finesse.

Favorite Food: I eat everything.

Place You’d Like to Travel To: Everywhere. I like to travel.

Favorite Drink Besides Wine: I love a good iced tea.

Susan Sokol Blosser

Susan Sokol Blosser, wine industry pioneer, community activist, environmental advocate, and author, is a contemporary Oregon icon. Known for her leadership of Sokol Blosser Winery, she was a forerunner in instituting environmentally friendly business practices and practicing the triple bottom line concept of people, planet, profit. With its certified organic vineyard, the first LEED (U.S. Green Building Council’s certification) certified winery building in the U.S., and business practices based on the Natural Step model of sustainability, Sokol Blosser Winery made social responsibility and its environmental ethic priorities, while pursuing its vision of making fabulous wines. For its leadership, Sokol Blosser Winery has received multiple honors, including Sunset Magazine’s 2007 Green Winery of the Year, the State of Oregon’s 2008 Governor’s Award for Sustainability in the Small Business category, and Oregon Business Magazine’s 2009 100 Best Companies to Work For and 100 Best Green Companies to Work For awards.

Susan holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Portland, citing her entrepreneurship within the context of environmental and social responsibility. Other awards include Lifetime Achievement Awards from Women for WineSense and the Oregon Wine Board. Her memoir, At Home in the Vineyard: Cultivating a Winery, an Industry, and a Life, was published by the University of California Press in 2006, and her business philosophy, Gracious & Ruthless: Surprising Strategies for Business Success, appeared in 2008.

In 2008, she turned the presidency of Sokol Blosser Winery, Dundee, Oregon, over to her children, stepping back with the title of Founder.

Bill Blosser

Bill Blosser is an Oregon wine industry pioneer, urban planner, community activist, and environmental advocate. Known for being part of the small group that first planted grapes in Oregon in the early 1970’s, Bill led the development of the Sokol Blosser Vineyards and Winery. He participated actively in the development of the Oregon Winegrowers Association, the Oregon Wine Board, the Yamhill County Wineries Association, the International Pinot Noir Festival and the Yamhill County Tourism Board, and served as a board member and officer of most of them. He has also been very active in Oregon land use and environmental issues, chairing the Land Conservation and Development Commission, the Water Resources Commission and the Environmental Quality Commission. Together with other Yamhill County winegrowers, in the early 1970s he developed a rationale and maps to identify the best grape growing lands in Oregon; these were used by local planners to protect thousands of acres of grape land which otherwise would have been designated for rural residential tracts.

Bill holds a B.A. from Stanford University and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oregon Wine Board. In 1991, he turned the presidency of Sokol Blosser Winery over to Susan Sokol Blosser, who ably managed it until she turned it over in 2008 to their children.

Russ Rosner

Russ Rosner, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, started in the wine industry in the Santa Cruz area and gradually worked his way north. He became a devotee of Pinot Noir during his years at Robert Mondavi Winery, 1983-1993, where he was part of a team of enologists experimenting with Pinot Noir vinification techniques. He was also in charge of the Mondavi barrel program.

In 1998 he moved to Oregon as Sokol Blosser’s winemaker and began rebuilding its wine program. He introduced better grape handling technology and equipment, and new winemaking techniques. In 2002 he oversaw the design and construction of an underground barrel cellar, the U.S. Green Building Council’s first LEED certified winery building, providing for the first time the ability to age Sokol Blosser’s Pinot Noir barrels under optimal storage conditions. He took over the fledgling Evolution program, building it into a wine that receives its own fan mail, and created Sokol Blosser’s proprietary red wine, Meditrina.

Russ is married to winery co-founder, Susan Sokol Blosser. They live in a house on the vineyard with their cat Leeleeloo and a pond full of koi.

Robin Howell

I moved out to Oregon from Michigan (go State!) for graduate school at OSU. I received my degree in genetics and promptly started an internship in a winery quality control lab. I thought it was just going to be something different and fun to do for a harvest, however, that was 2005 and I have not turned back. My interest in wine started as a hobby with my Dad and now I’m teaching him things. He’s not complaining about the education. I spent 5 years training with one winery and have since traveled around to learn and experience harvest in other parts of the globe. I’ve tried both large and small scale winemaking on the south island of New Zealand in beautiful Marlborough and stunning Central Otago. I also explored winemaking in the South of France near the village of Limoux, producing a diversity of wines including bubbles (one of my favorite styles of wine). I’m happy to be on the team here at Sokol Blosser and am pleased with seeing Mt. Hood every time I walk out to my car (well in the summer that is).

Hobbies: Traveling, rock climbing, camping, skiing, exploring new places, and big dinners with friends and family

What You Like About Pinot Noir: It keeps the winemaking interesting as it is a finicky grape to work with.

Favorite Food: Pizza, tacos, BLTs with fresh summer tomatoes from the garden, and cheese.

Place You’d Like to Travel to: Thailand, Mongolia, Argentina, South Africa, Cuba, Germany, Greece…actually I’m up for all travel adventure anywhere.

Favorite Drink Besides Wine: Gin and Tonic or Pink Lemonade, both on ice.

Manuel “Luis” Hernandez

Luis Hernandez is the person in charge of taking care of the vines, keeping them strong and healthy, and most importantly producing the Dundee Hills fruit that we so covet.  In addition to tending to our vines, Luis provides a lot of the maintenance support that keeps Sokol Blosser and our equipment up and running. Luis and his crew are the reason our vines are so happy.

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