A Peek at Sokol Blosser Winery
I have never been much of a wine drinker. I think the reason for that is because I have never had good wine. I have only recently learned that there is a difference between good and bad wine. The wine I had been exposed to in previous years is the kind that comes in boxes from cheap supermarkets or oversize jugs of it for pennies on the dollar. I was more of a beer guy. That is probably because I have had friends since early high school small batch brewing in their garages, closets and dorm rooms. So I was getting a lot of free beer and had time to develop a taste for what was good and bad. But wine… I just thought I wasn’t into wine… oh, how wrong I was…
Jade has a small history with wine. She got the opportunity last summer to be one of DaVinci Wines’ Storytellers, which took her all the way to Vinci, Italy. She toured their vineyard and stayed at their estate. She was exposed to some of the best wines straight from the source. When she came back from her trip, I discovered a bottle of DaVinci wine in our local Whole Foods and decided I needed to see what all the fuss was about. It was delightful. Pungent, light, and refreshing with no horrible burning aftertaste like the wines I had tried in the past. That was good wine. It only made me crave more of this enthralling experience.
Jade was invited to model in a portfolio collaboration with husband and wife team Murray Photography and the sisterly creative direction and stylist team of Kae and Ales. In this instance like many other instances where Jade is modeling, I tag along and play chauffeur to the talent. On this particular occasion the photo shoot was happening at the new Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room, which had only been open for a few days. While Jade was off being beautiful, I decided to grab the camera and poke around the brilliant space and see what interesting things I could capture.
There were a few clients still at their tasting bar inside, so I tried to keep outside for the portion of the time I was there. Their vineyards are incredibly expansive over the hillsides of their property. Granted I come from a place that has miles of farm country, orchards and ranches, but nothing like this beautiful vineyard. Jade mentioned to me as we drove up to Sokol Blosser that the scenery reminded her of being right back in Italy. It made me feel like, even though I didn’t get to go to Italy with her, I was able to share a small moment of it with her taking in the awe of the beauty captured in that place.
After wandering through the vines and around the fields I found myself back at their new tasting room. I peaked inside of their kitchen area where they host events and wine pairings. I looked out upon the terrace where one can see for miles across the Dundee Hills and the expansive valleys that lay between them. I ventured back into the main tasting room where I found a fellow sitting near their fireplace, sipping a glass of wine, winding down and reading. I’m not usually one to be bashful when approaching strangers and I struck up a conversation with him. He said his name was Jeff and it turned out he was the hospitality and tasting room manager. It was the end of his very busy day, he confessed, and this was the first time he had the chance to actually sit down and take in the tranquility and beauty of the new tasting room. He jested it might be his last since the busy season was upon them.
I ended up taking a seat next to him and we chatted about his role at the vineyard, how the tasting room has come together over the past few years, and how working there has affected him. It turns out the building was designed by Portland’s own Allied Works, which is a really big name architectural firm. He had been at the winery from the beginning of construction to its completion and now he gets to run the place. I was poured a glass of wine as we were chatting, I gladly took him up on his generosity and took a sip. It sincerely took me aback! This was some of the best red wine I had ever had. Rich, bold flavor that rolled around my gums and tickled my tongue with intense satisfaction. I couldn’t help but to proclaim, “Woah! This stuff is fantastic!” He nodded politely as he himself took another sip. He seemed to know how the product he serves would affect me and didn’t take alarm to my surprise. This was obviously some incredible wine and he knew it. As we continued talking about life at the winery he disclosed that his wife was pregnant and due in a few weeks. I had to congratulate him. What an awesome time in his life, right? A kid on the way, managing the tasting room of one of the biggest elite wineries in all of Oregon and I get to talk to him about it all as it’s subtly happening. I felt very honored, humbled even, by this opportunity and this mans generosity. I knew I had to come back here for a true tasting someday.