When she retired earlier this year, Susan Sokol Blosser vowed she would stay busy — and one of the things she has been busy doing is receiving awards from leading wine organizations.
The latest honor for the Oregon wine pioneer and environmental leader came when Women for WineSense awarded Sokol Blosser its Lifetime Achievement Award at its “Celebrating Women in Wine“event in Napa Valley. In February, the co-founder of the Dundee-based Sokol Blosser Winery received a similar award from the Oregon Wine Board.
“Over the years, the wine industry women in Women for WineSense constituted the equivalent of an ‘old girls’ network,'” Sokol Blosser said. “What an impressive group of talented, hard-working, creative women. We all helped one another and I’m thrilled to be awarded this honor by the women I so respect and admire.”
Women for WineSense said Sokol Blosser’s “pioneering spirit has helped to create a world-class wine industry in Oregon,” and added: “Your dedication to responsible farming makes you a role model for everyone in the wine industry. Your perseverance in writing your book has inspired many readers, including women in the wine industry who are trying to attain professional and personal goals concurrently.”
Susan Sokol Blosser founded Sokol Blosser Winery in 1971 with her then-husband, Bill Blosser, at a time when the Oregon wine industry was in its infancy. She assumed the role of president of the winery in 1991. Under her stewardship, Sokol Blosser Winery maintained its commitment to making world-class Pinot Noir while developing its popular proprietary blends, known as Evolution and Meditrina.
Sokol Blosser and the winery also became internationally recognized as leaders in green business practices, including organic viticulture.
In 2006, Sokol Blosser’s memoir, “At Home in the Vineyard” (University of California Press), was published. In a characteristically enthusiastic review of the book, the Seattle Times wrote that “the author, though she tells the story quite modestly, belongs on anyone’s top-10 list of women who pioneered their way into the wine industry in the early decades of this country’s wine renaissance.”
Sokol Blosser retired as Sokol Blosser Winery president in January, but she continues to serve as an ambassador for the winery. Her son Alex and daughter Alison now serve as co-presidents.