Considering we parked our trailer at the Willamette Wine Country RV Park, we hardly tasted close by. To remedy that we chose this and another winery that were within a quarter-mile for the morning of our last day of tasting before heading home. Sokol Blosser, established in 1971, was in the throws of preparing for the Oregon Pinot Noir Camp when we arrived. In the new tasting room were Makaila & John, very accommodating and chatted with us about the estate, the wines, and each of their journeys to this particular moment. Truly an energetic environment with knowledgable staff and excellent wines. The modern, minimalist space had another room for large groups to wine taste and kitchen support the porch and terrace seating. Before we left we went into the older tasting room, the John Storrs Tasting room, built in 1978 as the first actual ‘tasting room’ in Oregon, where Ryan & Adam were ready for the onslaught of campers. In the 1970’s there was no ‘Oregon Wine Country’, only visionaries and pioneers that acted upon their dreams, growing the grapes, making the wines, building the industry and supporting what ‘IS’ today. Sokol Blosser is the fifth oldest and eighth largest winery in Oregon. We will have to return to tour the vineyards and see the cellar, as well as experience more of what the estate has to offer in food and wine pairings at a less busy time.
Sustainability, a mind-set, a way of life, Sokol Blosser. Solar panels produce power for the winery and the tasting rooms, reducing the need for public power. Natural lighting sources, minimally and efficiently processed consumables, a cellar dug into the earth with a living roof of wild flowers, are some of the ways the Sokol Blosser family, as this is still a family owned and operated winery, is committed to this way of life.
The 87-97 acres of vineyard are primarily Pinot Noir, some Pinot Gris with a few acres of Muller-Thurgau and Riesling. We tasted a Pinot Gris before launching into the Pinot Noir’s with the 2013 Estate Rose’, a light, dry, strawberry and rhubarb wine. The 2009, 2010, and 2011 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir wines tasted, from oldest to youngest: leather and smoke with plums and spice, floral and fruit with a subtle herb and nice acids, black currant and black cherry donimated with a nice acidic finish. There was also a 2011 Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir that was served cold and was probably my favorite of the four – but my notes have a smily face rather than tasting notes, it is the one we brought home, I rest my case. Apparently I will have to write about that bottle at another time.
Sokol Blosser has a second, well-distributed label: Evolution born with the Evolution white in 1998. It was belatedly followed by Evolution red in 2011 and now also Evolution sparkling, a champagne style bubbly. We tasted the bubbly in the John Storrs tasting room. We will be looking for them, although Washington only has one distributor on the west side of the state, so we might have to be patient. Have you had any of these wines?
Next time, Stoller. Until then, Cheers!