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At Home in the Vineyard

Cultivating a Winery, an Industry, and a Life

Susan Sokol Blosser (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN: 9780520256293
May 2008
$23.95, £16.95
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
Acknowledgments
Prologue: Question

1 Roots
2 Winery
3 Dirt
4 Growth
5 Turnover
6 Vision
7 Renaissance
8 Horizon

Afterword: Reflections
Appendix: An Annotated Time Line of the Oregon Wine Industry
Index
Susan Sokol Blosser is President of Sokol Blosser Winery. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Portland.
“ Even with her evocation of the richness of the Willamette Valley's natural beauty and the dignity of working the land, Susan Sokol Blosser strips away all notions of glamour from what is, after all, an act of farming in this story of a project almost destroyed by weather, infestation, prejudice and market demands. But she also tells a gratifying tale of embarking on an American dream at a giddy, innocent time.”—John Mariani Register Guard
“This moving memoir chronicles Blosser’s long path to success in the Oregon wine industry.”—Alaska Airlines Magazine
“The story of both and individual business and the development of the Willamette Valley’s wine industry as a whole.”—The Oregonian
“Anyone who has succeeded in running a small business, and those who enjoy pioneering tales, will be on this author’s wavelength for much of the time. It is a tale of dogged determination from a soul who clearly feels that the heart is at least as important as the head.”—The World Of Fine Wine
“Describes the slow, steady transformation of an estate winery, a wine industry, and a human being over a period of more than 30 years.”—Beyondthebottle.com
“A winningly candid tale of how she cofounded Sokol Blosser Winery in the 1970s and with it helped create the Oregon wine industry, all while raising a family.”—Town & Country
“A compelling read. . . . Anyone who has ever dreamed of starting a winery will get a ground-up master’s course in what it takes, where the pitfalls lie, and the principle prices you have to pay.”—Austin Chronicle
“Packs a lot of history into a quick, engaging read. And in documenting her own successes and setbacks so unflinchingly, Sokol Blosser serves a s a genuine trail-blazer, not just for those who daydream about owning a winery, but for anyone trying to run a business while maintaining a family.”—Northwest Palate Magazine
“ Even with her evocation of the richness of the Willamette Valley's natural beauty and the dignity of working the land, Susan Sokol Blosser strips away all notions of glamour from what is, after all, an act of farming in this story of a project almost destroyed by weather, infestation, prejudice and market demands. But she also tells a gratifying tale of embarking on an American dream at a giddy, innocent time.”—John Mariani Bloomberg News
"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

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