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One Brilliant Bottle

organic/biodynamic/natural wines in Vinland

Sokol Blosser Winery Evolution

United States (Oregon)

riesling, semillion, pinot grigio, muscat blanc, chardonnay, gewurztraminer, pinot gris, muller-thurgau, pinot blanc

What’s evolving here? Nine different grape varieties.

American ingenuity? A melting pot of a wine?

Sokol Blosser Winery in the Dundee Hills of Oregon had its beginnings in 1971, when winemaking in the state was in its infancy. Today, 400 wineries later, Oregon is one of the leading wine-producing regions in the United States. Pioneering Sokol Blosser remains among its leaders. In 2005 it became fully certified organic.

The clearing of an abandoned prune orchard and the planting of grapevines was the back-to-the-earth first steps of SUSAN SOKOL BLOSSER and her then husband Bill Blosser. Their initial vintage was released in 1977, and it has been an upward path for the winery ever since. After twenty years Susan took full control. Following years at Mondavi, winemaker (and second husband) Russ Rosner joined the winery in 1998, the year that also marked the debut of Evolution. As of 2008 Sokol Blosser has been in the hands of the next generation of Blossers, siblings Alex and Alison. The 72-acre winery is still very much a family enterprise.

Susan Sokol Blosser has never lost her pioneering spirit, and not just in the vineyards. Through her initiatives the winery has been noticeably eco-friendly in other ways, including its widespread use of solar panels and its underground barrel cellar, the first winery building to receive ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. This summer Susan Sokol Blosser raised a glass of wine and threw her hat in the ring for election to the Oregon House of Representatives.

Sokol Blosser Winery Evolution 12th edition

In the evolution of Evolution this vintage is the one prior to the current Lucky (i.e. 13th) edition. The designation is refreshingly quirky, as is the label, as is the website. The wine is a lively mosaic, a fun wine, but with charm and a measure of sophistication. What does a mix of nine varietals give you? Pale honey-coloured liquid in the glass. A crisp, lightly floral nose; a palate of citrus and stone fruit. Again light, but very pleasantly layered. No rough edges, but clean and smooth and with a complexity that is, not surprisingly, hard to define. Is that pinot gris, is that riesling, semillion? It is, of course, all of these, and something more and all its own.  $

I couldn’t help but bring Evolution 12th edition along on a recent trip to where evolution on a more monumental scale has taken place. A couple of hour’s drive from where I live is the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, renowned for its 500-million-year-old fossils from the Late Precambrian. These surfaces contain hundreds of fossil specimens that had been covered by volcanic ash, representing the oldest animal ecosystems in Earth history. They provide a profound look into the earliest animal life on this planet.

 There’s Evolution and then there’s evolution!


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