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.