FrontRunners: Sustainable Pleasure

  • Brett Anderson

Susan Sokol and Bill Blosser were winemaking pioneers in 1970, when they planted Pinot Noir on a parcel of land in what is now Oregon’s Dundee Hills appellation. Since that time, Sokol Blosser Winery (www.sokolblosser.com) has continued to blaze new trails while promoting ecologically sound farming practices. The winery was among the first to embrace a sustainable viticulture program developed by Oregon State University, and in 2002 its barrel cellar was the first wine-related building in the country to be LEED certified. Not surprisingly, the winery’s newly opened tasting room also reflects this respect for the environment. The hospitality center features striated paneling of cedar, Douglas fir, and hickory inside and out, and its windows and skylights are ingeniously designed to enable the sun’s rays to roam throughout the day over its dramatic interiors. Visitors can enjoy flights of wine at the bar and on the terrace or retreat to one of the more intimate spaces, such as the kitchen, where small bites are paired with, say, the Sokol Blosser 2010 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, a fragrant red with a structure every bit as striking as that of the tasting room.