Construction has begun on a new Tasting Room for Sokol Blosser Winery in the Willamette Valley wine region. Designed by Brad Cloepfil, founding principal of Allied Works Architecture, the new building will provide a range of spaces for sampling Sokol Bosser’s wines and viewing their Yamhill County estate. One of the founders of Oregon’s wine making industry, the Sokol Blosser family has been producing Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and other varietals since 1978.
In 2012, the winery commissioned Allied Works to develop a master plan and design a new tasting room and event space that would be the showpiece of the 100-acre estate. The project will be the first to bring internationally-recognized, contemporary architecture to the heart of the Oregon wine country.
Commenting on the new building, founder Susan Sokol Blosser stated, “In 1977, when we built the first tasting room in the state, we chose John Storrs, the most celebrated Oregon architect of the time. Thirty-five years later, we wanted to continue this legacy. With ties to Yamhill County and a celebrated international practice, Brad Cloepfil was the perfect fit. We’re delighted that Brad and Allied Works are working with us on this small but important project.”
With foundations set and primary walls framed, the Tasting Room is on schedule to open in July of 2013.
The site is organized as terraces that are carved from the contours of the Dundee Hills, one of the premiere wine growing appellations in the United States. These terraces form open and walled gardens, parking areas and outdoor event space for the new Tasting Room.
Within the building are three interconnected volumes with specific orientation to the surrounding landscape and spectacular views of the Yamhill Valley. A main tasting room occupies the center of the new building and includes a bar, outdoor terrace, sitting area and hearth. A library and kitchen flank the tasting room and offer a range of scales and spatial qualities for gathering and wine tasting. Below the main floor, a new cellar is embedded in the earth, providing space for private tastings and wine storage.
Inside and out, the building is unified by striated wood cladding that presents a new, organic architectural form derived from the vineyard rows and vernacular wood agricultural buildings of the region.
When completed this summer, the new Tasting Room will be the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, and will help to strengthen the bond between the winery, the land, and all those who come to visit Sokol Blosser.
The Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room is rooted in my love of the Oregon landscape and my deep appreciation for the art of wine making. The project is a dialogue between the inherent beauty of the site, the cultivation of the land and the specific needs of gathering, tasting and entertaining.
My family is from nearby Newberg, Oregon, and my cousin owns a farm only a mile away from the project site. It is the landscape of my youth, and a place of deep memory and significance to my work.
The design begins by establishing a series of rhythmic site walls and terraces that follow the contours of the landscape and extend the order of the vineyards into a space of welcoming for the entire estate.
On the upper terrace, the building rises from the earth and allows the landscape to pass through it completely. It is conceived as a dense block of wood that has been sculpted and carved away to form the spaces for occupation. Three primary volumes – a kitchen, library and tasting room – offer a range of possibilities and sensory qualities that are designed to enhance the experience of wine tasting and provide a strong sense of connection to the landscape and the valley beyond.
Allied Works Architecture