Why We Love Bill Blosser
Bill is one of the original godfathers of the Willamette Valley. Thousands of wines have been produced thanks to his efforts, and he just won't stop.
“I didn’t start to be a pioneer. We were just thinking, ‘this is something we love to do, this is something we need to try.’”
“I had always had a desire to do something in agriculture, to grow something...and then we discovered the Willamette Valley would be the ideal place to grow Pinot Noir in the United States.”
What brought you to Oregon?
I grew up in the Bay Area, in California. My mother was from Seattle and all my cousins and father’s sister were here in Portland. We spent a lot of vacations here and Oregon has always been my second home.
How does your background in urban planning relate to Oregon Wine?
Back in the 70s, David Adelsheim and I saw that if there was any hope for preserving cultural land for vineyards, we needed to influence what happened in that kind of urban plan. We made a system of identifying prime vineyard lands in the Willamette Valley. We created a map of and distributed it to planning departments all over the Valley, and most of them adopted it. So it resulted in the preservation of tens of thousands of acres that were ideal for vineyards.
You’ve faced a lot of challenges in your conservational efforts. What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome?
I knew the industry was never going to make it if we didn’t work together. We were driven by the need to be cooperative and support each other, to share information. Because as a new industry starting out that needed a lot of help, it wasn’t going to work if each person tried to do it by themselves.
How has your experience in Oregon shaped the wine industry?
I thank my lucky stars every day because the people in Oregon were so supportive when we started out. If we didn’t have the markets here we wouldn’t have survived. But Oregon really rallied around us, they kept us going.
Sokol is known for their Pinot Noirs. What’s your secret to a great Pinot?
We couldn’t just take what they had done in California or Europe and directly apply it, because there are so many differences, so we had to experiment and learn. We adapted a variety of techniques from Germany, France, from California, and tried a number of different things.
It’s always happy hour somewhere, right?
At Sokol Blosser we instituted a rule fairly early on that we don’t get to taste the wines until the business part of the meeting is done. So we could efficiently get the business part done and then we could enjoy just chatting, talking and having a glass of wine.
Explore Upcoming Trips with our Tastemakers
Switzerland with Elias Cairo
A seven-day journey through Switzerland with charcuterie expert Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions. Marvel at the raw majesty of the Swiss Alps. Explore medieval castles and quiet mountain inns. Drink little-known Swiss wines rarely available the world over and celebrate the ancient art of salumeri with one of the world’s true experts.
Mexico City with Patrick Ryan
Aztec pyramids loom below you, hovering in a hot-air balloon in the skies outside the Western Hemisphere's biggest city. With chef Patrick, a lively guy who stresses community and fun, we go ringside at a wrestling match, boat down ancient canals, meet graffiti artists and dine on Patrick's feast in our penthouse suite in hip Condesa. Get ready for fun!
Rep. of Georgia with Bonnie & Israel Morales
Seven days in the Caucasus Mountains with culinary pioneers of foods of the former Soviet Union. We'll learn to make khinkhali (dumplings), stomp grapes as part of some of the world's oldest wine traditions, hike to mountain-top churches, and master the Georgian art of toasting.