Inside the Box

Sokol Blosser unveils new packaging

By Paul Omundson

Sokol Blosser Winery recently introduced its first-ever boxed wines: Evolution Pinot Noir and Lucky No. 9 White Blend. An initial run of 10,000 cases (six 1.5-liter boxes per case) began last month and is making its way to grocers, liquor stores and chain retailers across the country; it’s also available at the Dundee Hills tasting room.

Alison Sokol Blosser, CEO and co-president; and Alex Sokol Blosser, winemaker and co-president, now operate the enterprise their parents, Susan Sokol Blosser and Bill Blosser, founded some 49 years ago. The siblings had been considering boxed wine for some time. Alison explains, “When the coronavirus came, it spurred us on.”

“We wanted to feature a product that’s easy and convenient for people to use at home,” she continued. “There’s an added value with customers getting 30% more wine for the price than the bottle version; and, it stays fresh for up to 30 days after you’ve opened it, instead of just a week, at best, for bottles.”

But what about quality? Boxed wine is often perceived as an inferior cousin to the bottle. For Sokol Blosser’s premium version, Alison says, “There’s no difference in contents between bottle and box.”

Critic’s acclaim for both wines has been consistently high over the years, and so it should be no different in the new packaging. Lucky No. 9 represents a mix of nine varietals and has been a hit since 1998, when Susan introduced the food-friendly white — try it with spicy, Asian fusion fare. The Pinot Noir — also perfect for the dinner table — exhibits aromas and flavors of bright red, jammy fruit, pie cherry and a hint of toasty oak.

If the first wave of sales go well, who knows what’s ahead for the second-generation winery. However, the ambitious launch is no surprise for a business approaching its 50th anniversary. It often takes thinking outside the box — rather, inside the box — for a company to thrive for decades in an increasingly crowded market.

As Sokol Blosser continues looking forward, many consumers anticipate buying their first box.

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