The Mark Wine News Spring '17 Volume 7.2 - Page 7

Sokol Blosser Vineyards in college at Portland State and enlisted in the Air Force Reserves, ending up at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for basic training. “I am not sure why I joined the Air Force Reserves. I guess I was watching a lot of television and movies that featured military planes. But it did teach me one thing; if you are going to become an Air Force pilot you need to be really, really smart because you are flying hundred million dollar planes.” Alison also attended Portland State University. “And I did graduate studies at University of Washington,” she adds. After school she hit the “real world.” That was when she had her epipha- ny; tending to your family's land and business is not so bad after all. Alex had his epiphany towards the end of his nearly seven years college and Air Force Reserves stint. “I realized how much I loved the vineyards and working in the winery.” He would return home each summer to work the vineyards. “By the time I finished college I was in my mid twenties and I worked for a local wine distributor.“ After a year of doing that, returning to the family business was inevitable. “My mom said ‘hey, why don’t you SPRING 2017 comeback and do sales for the winery?” And he did. Alex quickly realized that sales, was actually the backbone of the business. “You can make great wine but if you don’t have anyone selling it and ultimately buying it, there really isn’t a point to making all that great wine, right?” Agreed. “I worked in sales for the winery from 1998 to 2010. Alison joined the winery in 2004. “By 2010 she had learned a lot,” said Alex, “so Russ, my step- dad at the time who was also winemaker, told me he wanted to retire.” That opened the door for Alex to get back into the part of the business he always kind of hankered for; wine production. “I was really happy to get back into production and make wine. Yeah, my family hemmed and hawed a bit because they didn’t want to lose me in sales, but Alison was ready, and having a woman as head of the winery is pretty great. It’s not the old boys network it used to be, but even today, wine sales, is still a male dominated field.” Of course the best part for Alex was getting him into the job he coveted. After two years mentor- ing with Russ, Alex finally got to put his personal 5