In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month, throughout October a portion of tasting fees from the Ponzi Vineyards Tasting Room will be donated to Breast Friends, an organization that works to ensure that no woman faces cancer alone.
Breast Friends is a unique resource for women, their family, friends, co-workers and the community. Their mission is to minimize the fear and isolation of a cancer diagnosis and improve the quality of life for those affected by it. For over a decade, their programs have empowered thousands by providing emotional support and hope. They instruct friends and family in specific ways to support their sick loved ones and they provide resources for the entire family. Breast Friends volunteers are cancer survivors themselves, offering individual assistance through one-on-one contact via phone or in person. They also provide customized support groups.
Breast Friends was chosen as our October charity by President Anna Maria Ponzi. “Breast cancer impacts so many women,” she said, “including members of the Ponzi Vineyards team, their friends and families. The great work this charity does to support female cancer patients is near and dear to Ponzi Vineyards.”
We invite you to visit Ponzi Vineyards this month and join us in support of this valuable organization. A portion of every tasting fee will be donated to Breast Friends through the end of October.
Last week we harvested Pinot gris at our stunning Aurora vineyard. Vineyard Manager Miguel Ortiz (pictured to the right) says the sweeping views of Mt. Hood and the Chehalem Mountains make Aurora one of his favorite vineyards.
This 80-acre vineyard has it all: old vines, lots of sunlight and Laurelwood soil on a Southeast-facing slope in the Chehalem Mountains AVA in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. At 300-600 feet of elevation, this vineyard builds on experiments done at other Ponzi sites. It features numerous comparative plantings, rootstock studies, clones and spacing variations. One of the most notable plantings is an exact duplicate of the Ponzi Abetina vineyard, planted in 2005, called Abetina 2. Those plantings comprise a collection now preserved on rootstock on the same soil, elevation and aspect as the original block. Aurora is also a LIVE-certified site.
Harvest is in full swing, with our skilled vineyard crew out early in the mornings to bring in this year's beautiful fruit.
This shot is from the Paloma vineyard, which is also home to Winemaker Luisa Ponzi and her husband, Winemaker Eric Hamacher of Hamacher Wines. This 15-acre, high-elevation site is named for the numerous doves that live on the property. Planted in Luisa's Clonal Massale(TM) method, the wine from Paloma tends toward great complexity, with fuller structure and brilliant acidity.
The 2018 vintage is coming off the vines and making its way into the winery. The first fruit in the door is beautiful Chardonnay from Ponzi grower Gemini Vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains.
Winemaker Luisa Ponzi and her team processed the fruit this morning, pressing the whole clusters, before sending it to barrel to ferment.
Follow along over social media and the blog as the 2018 harvest continues.
A big thank you to Thomas Greer at The Honest Droner for these stunning images of our winery and tasting room. We are located at 19500 SW Mountain Home Road, just 40 minutes from Portland. The grapes are ripening and it's the perfect time to visit us! Open daily 11-5:30 pm.
The Willamette Valley is best known for its exquisite Pinot noir. It is so well-suited to the varietal that it can be found on virtually every hillside. Yet the conditions that make the region perfect for Pinot noir also make it perfect for other varietals, many of which are quite rare. Take a road trip this weekend and visit three wineries that are producing the best wines you’ve never heard of.
This founding Oregon winery is renowned for benchmark-setting Pinot noir and Chardonnay, but it has a few lesser-known grapes up its sleeves. On a trip to the Vietti winery in Piedmont, Italy, the Ponzi Family discovered Arneis and Dolcetto. Arneis had once been nearly extinct, grown at only two vineyards in all of Italy. The Ponzi Family brought both varietals back to the Willamette Valley and planted them in the early 1990s and remain one of the few vineyards producing them. Dolcetto is a dry, big and bold red while Arneis is a fragrant white with a touch of honeyed sweetness. They are both available by the glass at their Sherwood tasting room and are well worth the visit.
750 W Lincoln Street, Carlton
One of the other few wineries producing Arneis is Cana’s Feast, though theirs is a different take on the varietal. This small, Tuscan-inspired winery produces a number of unusual varietals in small lots, such as a plush Counoise and a fruity Cinsaut. Cinsaut (also spelled Cinsault) production is declining globally, making the wine harder to find every year. It is often used for blending, but makes a pretty, fruit-forward wine on its own. Counoise is a spicy, deep-red wine, rare in its native France and grown in only a handful of places in Washington, California and Oregon.
9360 SE Eola Hills Road, Amity
The least-rare varietal on this list, Melon de Bourgogne (or just Melon) is still high on the “varietals you’ve never heard of” list. It is the most-produced wine in the Loire Valley of France, where it is known as Muscadet. In the US, federal prohibits calling wine made from Melon grapes by anything other than its grape varietal. When John Grochau returned from a stint racing bicycles in France, he brought his love for this grape with him and began producing it. This wine is bone-dry, with minerality and citrus notes that pair beautifully with food.
We are honored to feature the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) as our charity of the month.
“IRCO's mission is to promote the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy and inclusive multi-ethnic society.” -IRCO.org
Established in 1976, IRCO was founded by refugees to help refugees make their home in Oregon. Their programs help new Oregonians learn English, find jobs, navigate new cultures and build community. Today IRCO continues to be the sole service provider of employment services and job training for all newly arrived refugees.
To learn more or get involved visit IRCO.org
We've just completed bottling the 2017 Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir! Watch the video to see how it's done. A big "thank you" to Dundee Mobile Bottlers!
It won't be ready for release for a little while, so get the 2016 Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir while you can! Tavola means "table" in Italian, and this versatile Pinot noir pairs perfectly with food! You can view the tasting notes here.
Summer Festa was a success! This event is our biggest of the year, and exclusively for our wine club members. What better way to celebrate our biggest supporters than with an evening of music, traditional Italian food and exquisite wine? Thank you to 3 Leg Torso, The Bylines, Pinolo Gelato and Caravan Coffee for making this event so memorable.
If you were in attendance, thank you! Please enjoy this gallery of images. If you are not a member, join today! You'll receive regular shipments of Ponzi wine, as well as winery and vineyard news and invitations to exclusive events like Summer Festa.
We have veraison at Ponzi Vineyards!
Veraison (“verr-ray-zohn”) is technically defined as the change of color of grape berries. However, it also represents the transitional period from berry growth to berry ripening and the changes occuring during that time.
One of the most important moments in a grapevine’s annual lifecycle, veraison signals the onset of ripening, when the grapes turn from green to red and begin to sweeten. The process also occurs in white grapes in a less visually dramatic way, with grapes turning from green to golden and becoming more translucent.
During veraison, the vine alters its focus from creating energy through photosynthesis to consuming energy in order to make sweet grapes. The vine transports its energy stores from the roots into the grapes. The chlorophyll in the grapes is replaced by anthocyanins (in red grapes) or carotenoids (in white grapes), as well as sugars and other nutrients. As these sugars accumulate and aroma compounds develop, the grapes begin to increase in size. Acid levels also begin to fall during this time.
Once veraison begins, the ripening process continues for another 30-70 days until the grapes are fully ready. The time required for ripening varies by grape type. For example, Pinot gris typically ripens much earlier than Pinot noir.
Some grape varieties have bunches that ripen unevenly; some berries on the cluster will be completely ripe while others are still green. Extreme uneven ripening is called millerandage and can lead to wines that smell sweet but taste unbalanced and “green”. It happens commonly in Pinot noir, which is why it takes skill and experience to craft wine from this grape. Luckily for Ponzi Vineyards, Winemaker Luisa Ponzi knows exactly what she’s doing and consistently produces exemplary Pinot noir year after year.
You can view veraison for yourself: our tasting room is surrounded by our Avellana vineyard. Avellana has been planted Clonal Massale™, an innovative planting technique pioneered by Luisa Ponzi in which more than 20 clones have been planted randomly throughout the vineyard blocks like wildflowers. They ripen at different times, but are harvested all at once. The diversity of clones creates balance and depth in the finished wines and creates a consistency from year to year that adjusts for vintage variability and shifts the focus to the unique terroir of the site. Veraison is the perfect time to view the diversity of the clones at Avellana, and you can do so from the comfort of our tasting room’s terrace with a glass of Pinot in hand.
Read along as we follow the vineyard throughout the year in The Vineyard Series: