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Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room

Sokol Blosser’s tasting room. Designed by Allied Works Architecture, the building will feature 4,870 s.f. of indoor and outdoor hospitality areas and aims to be a highly sustainable project. Featuring 5,000 square feet of space, including eight uniquely designed tasting areas, the new tasting room offers a level of hospitality and service that is outstandingly Oregon.

Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-02-Jeremy-Bitterman-759x506 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Jeremy Bitterman

As guests enter the Tasting Room, they are greeted by a warm double-sided fireplace that faces both the entry foyer and The Main Room, where they can enjoy wine flights at a wood-sculpted bar, by the fireplace or around bistro tables. Additional spaces include:

  • The Library: an intimate room for learning wine history with flights from the Sokol Blosser wine cellar;
  • The Kitchen: a room for gathering – much like a kitchen at home – for enjoying food and wine pairings around a butcher block table; and,
  • The Terrace: an exclusive outdoor space reserved for Cellar Club members, Sokol Blosser’s loyalty wine club, to relax with tableside service.
Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-04-Jeremy-Bitterman-759x495 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Jeremy Bitterman

The Story:

Sokol Blosser, an Oregon wine pioneer and a leading producer of Oregon’s world class pinot noir, pinot gris and other fine wines, is preparing for a record number of visitors to its Willamette Valley estate this summer when wine and contemporary architecture take center stage. Following groundbreaking only last fall, the New Tasting Room, designed by Portland’s award-winning Allied Works Architecture, is taking shape and now visible from Oregon State Highway 99. “Foundations are set, primary walls are framed, the roof & weatherproofing are completed and the project is on schedule to meet its summer 2013 debut,” says Brad Cloepfil, Founder and Principal Architect of Allied Works Architecture.

Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-11-Jeremy-Bitterman-759x428 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Jeremy Bitterman

In keeping with its long-term business and agricultural values, the Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room has been designed with environmental sustainability as a priority. Following the legacy begun with Susan Sokol Blosser, who founded the winery and built the first LEED certified winery building in the U.S., her children Alison and Alex Sokol Blosser, now coPresidents, have aligned The New Tasting Room with Living Building Challenge, the new gold standard for building certification. This makes The New Tasting Room the first winery in the U.S. to support the values of, and, strive to fulfill, the most rigorous performance standard for the built environment. The Living Building Challenge is a program initially launched by the Cascadia Green Building Council (a chapter of both the US Green Building Council and Canada Green Building Council). The International Living Building Institute was created by Cascadia in May 2009 to oversee the Living Building Challenge and its auxiliary programs. In April 2011, the International Living Building Institute was renamed the International Living Future Institute, and became the umbrella organization for both the Living Building Challenge and the Cascadia Green Building Council.

Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-12-Jeremy-Bitterman-759x428 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Jeremy Bitterman

Certain to appeal to wine lovers as well as followers of design, architecture and sustainable building, the tasting room promises a dynamic visitor experience. The design of the new Tasting Room pays homage to the source of its bounty, with details that invite guests to seamlessly experience the vineyards and landscape. The building’s low profile lends the appearance of being a single level when in fact the structure is built both above and below ground, emulating the character of the grapevines while allowing for wine storage in a naturally cool cellar. The exterior is united with the interior in part by the use of striated wood cladding, a motif derived from the vineyard rows and the region’s vernacular agricultural buildings. The wood will also surface all interior walls, floors and ceilings.

Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-13-Jeremy-Bitterman-759x428 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Jeremy Bitterman

Design Features:

The most striking feature of the new Tasting Room is its exterior and interior walls, which consist of striated wooden cladding made with Tight Knot Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Hickory. The unique form of the building, and placement of windows and skylights, allows the sun to create dynamic geometric patterns that move with the earth inside and outside on the terraces. Visitors will feel immersed in the earth’s natural elements throughout the building.

Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-16-Sokol-Blosser-Winery-798x1200 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Sokol Blosser Winery

  • CEDAR: The tasting room is wrapped in cedar pieces cut to different sizes, set at varying depths. “We want to play up the natural light that hits the building,” says Allied Works’ Kyle Lommen. The rough-hewn exterior will contrast with finished, cabinet-like cedar inside.
  • BOARD-FORMED CONCRETE: Retaining walls support the site’s overall structure and provide texture and variation along the perimeter. “The whole premise is a series of terraces,” Cloepfil says. “Garden terraces, parking terraces, and then the winery.”
  • WOOD-FRAMED WINDOWS: Massive windows reveal vineyards sloping away in both directions. “A series of rooms, corridors, and hallways connect to the landscape,” Cloepfil says.
  • THE ROOF: Various skylights bring in natural light, while the design allows for the eventual installation of a green roof. “It reinforces the earthen quality,” Cloepfil says.
  • SUSTAINABILITY: Six solar panels, low-power lighting, and ample natural light allow the building to aim for net-zero energy usage.
Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-19-Jeremy-Bitterman-759x566 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Jeremy Bitterman

Material Considerations:

This studio will offer the opportunity to explore materials and construction methods as the primary generators of form in a small building complex. The program and site requirements will be carefully controlled to permit a focus on the development and detailing of the structures themselves.

The subject of study will be a new winery in development on gently rolling vineyard lands north of Salem. In an effort to establish an identity for the label, winery owners often make significant investments in tasting rooms and social spaces adjacent to the production facilities. From the raw gabions of Herzog & de Meuron to the robotically placed facades of Gramazio & Kohler, wineries have recently provided a vehicle for innovation in construction method. The results can be evocative of both place and process, providing the visitors with unique and memorable experiences. The challenge in this studio will be to propose such buildings, rooted in the opportunities of the site and expressive of their making.

Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-17-Sokol-Blosser-Winery-759x505 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Sokol Blosser Winery

“This winery building presents a clear follow through from concept to execution. It is like drinking wine inside a carved out cork. I would love to have a glass of wine here.” The massiveness of the exterior with the dark striated wood is contrasted beautifully with the light wood interior. The alternating patterns of wood interior panels create a dynamic flowing undulation that that is periodically punctured with opening to emit natural light. The views from the terraces overlooking the vineyards are extraordinary. – Jury Comments/AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Awards

Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-23-Jeremy-Bitterman-759x506 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Jeremy Bitterman

Allied Works Architecture:

In 2012, Sokol Blosser 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. 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. The new building will provide a range of spaces for sampling the family’s wines and viewing their Yamhill County estate. The project will be the first to bring internationally-recognized, contemporary architecture to the heart of the Oregon wine country.

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.

Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-26-Jeremy-Bitterman-759x428 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Jeremy Bitterman

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.

Sokol-Blosser-Winery-Tasting-Room-By-Allied-Works-Architecture-28-Jeremy-Bitterman-759x506 Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture

© Jeremy Bitterman

Project Data:

Project name: Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room
Location: 5000 Northeast Sokol Blosser Lane, Dayton, OR 97114, United States
Coordinates: 45.251548, -123.050463
Type: Winery
Project Area: 5,700 sf
Site Area: 1.5 acres
Status: Completed
Completion Year: July 2013


  • 2014 – Architizer A+ Awards – Typology Categories: Commercial – Retail – Jury Winner
  • 2013 – The American Institute of Architect (AIA Awards) – AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Awards – Merit Award
  • 2013 – The American Institute of Architect (AIA Awards) – AIA Portland Chapter Awards – Merit Award

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Sokol Blosser Winery – 5000 Northeast Sokol Blosser Lane, Dayton, OR 97114, United States
Architects: Allied Works Architecture – 1532 SW Morrison Street, Portland, Oregon 97205, United States
Design Principal: Brad Cloepfil
Project Architect: Nathan Hamilton
Project Manager: John Weil, Kathryn van Voorhees
Project Team: Christopher Brown, Jared Abraham, Sushwala Hedding, Neal Harrod, Bjorn Nelson, Henry Adam Weber
Structural Engineer: KPFF Engineers
MEP/FP Engineer: Glumac
Landscape Architect: Allied Works Architecture
Interior Designer: Jennifer Fowler Interiors
Contractor: R&H Construction
Plants/Horticulture: Tom Fischer
Sustainability: Green Building Services
Civil Engineer: Leonard A. Rydell
Custom Furniture: Scott Roeder Woodworkers
Text Description: © Courtesy of Allied Works Architecture, Sokol Blosser Winery, portlandmonthlymag
Images: © Allied Works Architecture, Jeremy Bittermann, Sokol Blosser Winery

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Sokol Blosser Winery Tasting Room / Allied Works Architecture
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