Family Affair: After co-founding Sokol Blosser in 1971, Susan Sokol Blosser led the charge on environmentally friendly business practices in the wine industry. In 2004, her daughter Alison Sokol Blosser joined the team and carries on the family tradition as co-president. (Photo by Andrea Johnson.)
Carlton Winemakers Studio
Group Effort: The Carlton Winemakers Studio, founded in 2002, includes 12 winemakers who share the facility and make more than 12 different brands. They do all crushing, fermenting, barreling, finishing and bottling on site, where they share costs, labor and ideas. Visitors to the wine studio can sample 40-plus wines. (Photo by Susan Seubert.)
Wine pioneers
Pinot Pioneers: The year was 1965. Oregon legends David Lett of Eyrie Vineyard and Charles Coury of David Hill Winery planted the Willamette Valley’s first pinot noir vines. The late David Lett is pictured here with his son, Jason, who is now at the helm of The Eyrie. (Photo by Janis Miglavs.)
King Estate Winery
Home Grown: Visit Eugene’s King Estate to taste wine or enjoy a fine meal crafted from organic fruits, vegetables and herbs grown on site. (Photo by Andrea Johnson.)
Maysara Winery
Biodynamic Believers: Maysara Winery is one of a small number of biodynamic-certified wineries in Oregon. Moe and Flora Momtazi, whose winery is located in the McMinnville AVA, describe biodynmics as “ultra organic farming.” Biodynamic practices are based on international standards first developed in the 1920s with the aim of creating balanced and diversified farm ecosystems. (Photo by Janis Miglavs.)
King Estate
Sun Power: King Estate recently built one of the largest solar arrays in the Pacific Northwest and the largest at a winery in the region. (Photo by King Estate.)
David Hill Winery
Old Vines: Milan and Jean Stoyanov own David Hill Winery in Forest Grove. David Hill Winery has some of the oldest pinot vines in the state of Oregon. (Photo by Janis Miglavs.)

It’s been more than four decades since a handful of brave believers planted the vines that would turn the Willamette Valley into a world-class wine region. Now, with more than 600 wineries and 18 wine-growing regions, the state of Oregon is officially on the map. And the pioneering tradition continues. In sustainability, organic farming, cooperative marketing and new business, Oregon’s winemakers are forging new paths. These Willamette Valley winemakers continue to blaze the trail.

Dreaming of a getaway to wine country? Pairing menus, winery events and tasting specials abound across the state during Oregon Wine Month in May.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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