“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Susan Sokol Blosser said. And that was after a lifetime of hard decisions, beginning in the early 1970s, when Susan Sokol and her first husband, Bill Blosser, established Sokol Blosser Winery in Oregon, before Oregon had a viable wine industry. Hard decisions continued as she worked the vineyards and heavy equipment and, in 1991, became president of the winery. Then, in 2008, she tackled the hardest one of all. After a slow transition and without being pressured to do so, she resigned from the presidency and appointed her daughter, Alison, and son, Alex, co-presidents of the winery.
Today, 42 years after Susan and Bill planted their first vines, Oregon has 450 wineries, and Sokol Blosser is one of the most prominent. Not the largest — it made sure of that by cutting production — but simply one of the finest. Because most Oregon wineries produce Chardonnay, Sokol Blosser stopped and instead concentrates on Pinot Gris. Tasting its 2011 ($20) on a recent visit, I found it crisp and overflowing with freshness and fruitiness. Its Pinot Noir Estate Cuvée 2009 ($60), a Reserve-level wine, has dark berries in its aroma, fine structure and a long finish. The winery considers its Pinot Noir 2009 ($80) from its Goosepen Block vineyard its Grand Cru, and it is indeed an elegant wine — all berries with a bit of earthiness and ideal Pinot flavors.
And there is Evolution, two non-vintage blends that make up a majority of the winery’s production. The current white version, now in its 16th bottling, is lively with a tropical lushness ($15). Evolution Red, introduced two years ago, is a mélange of dark berries and spice with a smooth finish ($15).
Today, Susan volunteers as president of the Yamhill Enrichment Society, helping the community through innovative projects. The winery’s new, large tasting room opens this year. Alison, now 33, and Alex, 39, have proven the transition from first to second generation is a true success. And Dario, Alison’s 4-year-old son, says his favorite thing is playing in the vineyards. A third generation in the making?
Qatar Airways is expanding this year, adding eight new destinations to its network. The list includes:
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Hotel Indigo recently launched its Clues to the Neighborhood initiative, a fun way for travelers to discover experiences in property neighborhoods. Clues to the Neighborhood uses curated artifacts to artfully present travelers with a new look at a locale, with the hope of leading them to local museums, shops, music venues, restaurants and bars.
oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
Travelers in Las Vegas can enjoy a new dining concept at Wynn Las Vegas starting March 19. A new restaurant, Elio, will debut, offering an energetic environment and thoughtful menu items reflecting Mexico’s rich culinary traditions. Small plates focus on seafood and produce, while entrees are shareable. A lounge offers agave-based spirits.
ForwardKeys.com found an increase of 4.5 percent in 2019 was significantly slower than the 6 percent growth in 2018 and the average over the last decade of 6.8 percent per year. The increase last year was less than expected, but projections for quarter one of 2020 is more optimistic. Bookings are expected to grow 8.3 percent when compared to the same period in 2019.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Château Élan Winery & Resort reopened in Braselton, Georgia, following a $25 million comprehensive renovation. The first major refurbishment since the resort’s inception in the mid-1980s pays homage to the estate's 16th-century charm, while taking the property into the future. Now, the resort offers 251 brand-new guestrooms and 24 suites, four new food and beverage venues, an immersive spa, pool terrace and new lobby. The winery likewise received a facelift.