This moving, evocative memoir, woven with lyrical descriptions of the sights and smells of vineyard life, tells the inspirational story of one woman's journey to success in an industry run mostly by men. At Home in the Vineyard, filled with colorful characters and unexpected experiences, brings a local rural community vividly alive as Oregon wine pioneer and industry icon Susan Sokol Blosser recounts how she fell in love with a vineyard, learned how to run it, and ultimately achieved her vision of producing Pinot Noirs to rival those of Burgundy. An intimate family story, At Home in the Vineyard also gives a candid insider's view of Oregon's flourishing wine industry.
Sokol Blosser begins her narrative in the 1970s, when, as a young, idealistic wife, she helped her husband make his wild idea of planting a vineyard in the Dundee Hills become a reality. By the book’s final pages, she has become president of Sokol Blosser Winery, widely respected for gaining national visibility and for producing world-class wines, especially the elusive Pinot Noir. Along the way, Sokol Blosser tells how she learned to do everything from driving a tractor and managing a picking crew to selling Oregon wine in Manhattan. She also shares some special accomplishments: how she instituted values of environmental sustainability and social responsibility at the vineyard, integrated family and business life, and successfully brought the second generation on board.
List of Illustrations
Appendix: An Annotated Time Line of the Oregon Wine Industry
Susan Sokol Blosser is President of Sokol Blosser Winery. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Portland.
"Just like the complex Pinot Noir crafted by Sokol Blosser, Susan's life story is layered and rich. Recounting her journey with passion and humor, we share in the professional challenges Susan faced as an Oregon wine industry pioneer, as well as the personal rewards of raising a family and finding self-fulfillment. Even if you're not a wine lover, you will love reading this touching memoir."—Leslie Sbrocco, author of Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing, and Sharing Wine
"At last, an intelligent, literate, first-hand observation of the beginnings of the Oregon wine industry. Susan Sokol Blosser was there when we were no more than a handful of families with naïve dreams and very dirty boots. Not only does At Home in the Vineyard capture those early experiences with exuberant detail and humor, but it also provides insight into her family's private challenges of managing vineyards and a successful winery."—David Adelsheim, President, Adelsheim Vineyard
"This is a coming-of-age story of a wine region and of a woman. It is about finding and following your destiny, but also shaping it yourself. It is about using every success and setback to fuel your own energy, to do the right thing, and to feed your heart. How could this book be both deeply inspiring and funny? Well, that is Susan Sokol Blosser."—Andrea (Immer) Robinson, Master Sommelier and author, Andrea's Complete Wine Course for Everyone
WILLA Literary Award, Women Writing the West