Why We Love The Oregon Originals
We love Oregon wine. Okay, we’re biased, but that doesn’t matter. Our home features world-class wine because of the efforts, vision and creativity of these three families.
“Seeing my parents put so much into a business they loved was really so inspiring.” – Anna Campbell
“We’re not Burgundy, we’re not California. We’re Oregon. We keep it real here.” – Alison Sokol Blosser
“Oregon's a real treasure. We take care of this place, and I think it's hard for people to leave without noticing that.” – Maria Ponzi
How are Elk Cove, Ponzi and Sokol Blosser connected?
Anna Campbell: There’s a small group of us called the Oregon Originals that came together as second-generation vintners. Our families got their start in the 70s and we've continued farming and making wines. We love each other and we really wanted to team up and create something that was fun and that also showed our solidarity but that played with the fact that we all do things a little bit differently. I like to think of 2GV as a supergroup for wine. Like, your favorite bands come together and put on a show. That's what I think we're doing with Oregon wine!
How has the industry changed since your parents started out?
Maria Ponzi: Our parents all started together, and the early meetings were literally around a dinner table. They'd put us to bed and then they'd talk and drink all night! I just thought it was a big party, but what I didn't know was that they were formulating the foundation of an industry. Those conversations started this all and with Sokol Blosser and Elk Cove, we're getting back to that—just different topics. They talked about 'How do we plant this grape, how do we market it, how do we make it better?' They knew that if it wasn't great, we wouldn't be known. Now, everyone makes great wine in this region, so what's the next thing? That's what we talk about.
What’s the experience of tasting Oregon wine in Oregon?
Alison Sokol Blosser: It’s amazing now that Oregon wines are distributed around the world. You can walk into your local wine shop and find Oregon wine, and I hope people are enjoying it in their homes. But it can’t possibly compare to enjoying it right where it was made. I love walking out in the vineyard and standing in a specific block while tasting a wine that was grown in that specific block. It doesn’t get more real than that.
What do you think sets Oregon apart in wine?
Maria Ponzi: I think what sets this region apart is the reality of it all, the honesty of it all. That's what connects us. Our folks came here because of the land; our folks came here because of this beautiful valley we're so fortunate to live in: agriculture that just grows, soil that is rich, rolling hills, a climate you can't find anywhere, that's so rare. I think we all share that together and we respect it, and that remains a pinnacle of our operations.
What was it like growing up on a vineyard?
Anna Campbell: It was unique. It was busy and exciting. I think it was when I was 11 years old that I could carry a case of empty bottles, and that was when I got put on the bottling line. As kids, we were really our parents' first labor force. It's changed a lot since then. We now have, you know, adults that bottle our wine. But it's so amazing to be a part of a family business and to know it so well.
Why should people visit Oregon?
Alison Sokol Blosser: Oregon is such a welcoming place. Years ago, one of the marketing slogans for Travel Oregon was ‘We Love Dreamers.’ I love that because it signifies what makes Oregon so special is the people here. The people who say, ‘Yeah, we can grow wine grapes and make wine that will be distributed around the world.’ The excitement for all of us dreamers is that we get to share it with people who are equally passionate. The Oregon Originals are great examples of this. We’re essentially competitors but we’ve come together to share our pride and share our story around the world.