Q&A with wine pioneer Susan Sokol Blosser

| Print |  Email
Archives - February 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008

SusanSokolBlosser.jpg

EARLY THIS YEAR, Susan Sokol Blosser announced she was turning over control of Sokol Blosser Winery, the Willamette Valley establishment she founded and has helmed since 1991, to her children. Alex, 34, and Alison Sokol Blosser, 28, will serve as co-presidents, and Nik Blosser, 37, will remain chairman of the board. But don’t expect the 63-year-old Sokol Blosser, a pioneer of the Oregon wine industry and leader in green business practices, to be idle in her retirement. She will continue to act as ambassador for the winery and plans to devote time to environmental and writing projects. She offered Oregon Business some thoughts about the industry and her career.

What’s the state of the Oregon wine industry?

I think this is a very good time to be in the wine industry. It’s an extremely crowded market — there are new wineries coming on all the time — but on the other hand, wine consumption is increasing, and the appreciation of fine wine is increasing, as well.

I think Oregonians are very proud that in the space of one generation the wine industry has gone from zero to internationally recognized. I see that continuing.

There certainly will be hard times ahead. That’s not to say it’s a perfectly rosy future. But I think that it is an industry that has found its niche in Oregon and will just continue to get better.

Your greatest achievement in the business?

I’m proud of being part of the pioneering group that set the standard for collaboration. One of the things that is distinctive about the Oregon wine industry is that we work together. We realize that we will accomplish more by working together than we will being at each other’s throats, vis-a-vis the national market, for example, or the world market. That’s one of the reasons that the Oregon wine industry has come as far as it has in one generation. And when I look at the early pioneers who did that, we were just one of them. There are a number of people who really work together to make this industry what it is.

What advice do you have for Oregon’s wine industry?

I would say keep working together. What happens is that’s sort of the position of the underdog, and once you get out of that position and the industry matures, you start going after each other. I hope that doesn’t happen. We always have to be collaborative rather than competitive. Ultimately, we’re all competitive, but collaboration comes first.                                                                                                 

JAMIE HARTFORD


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Reader Input: Rx for Health Care

July/August 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Urban renewer

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
UnknownBY LINDA BAKER   

One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.


Read more...

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...

Balancing Act

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.


Read more...

Store Bought

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Market of Choice is on a tear. In 2012 the 35-year-old Eugene-based grocery chain opened a central kitchen/distribution center in its hometown. The market opened its third Portland store in the Cedar Mill neighborhood this year; another outpost in Bend broke ground in March. A fourth Portland location is slated for the inner southeast “LOCA” development, a mixed-use project featuring condos and retail. Revenues in 2014 were $175 million, a double-digit increase over 2013. CEO Rick Wright discusses growth, market trends and how he keeps new “foodie” grocery clerks happy.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS