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Ponzi Blog

 
May 15, 2019 |

Employee Spotlight: JP Pierce, Associate Winemaker

Ponzi Vineyards is proud to produce some of Willamette Valley’s oldest and most iconic wines. The people behind the wines and brand are a huge part of our story. We are honored to introduce you to some of the invaluable members of the Ponzi team. Meet JP Pierce, Associate Winemaker! 

 How long have you worked on the team at Ponzi Vineyards?  Long enough for most of my hair to turn grey! I consider it good seasoning now in this winemaking career.  I have been working with Luisa and Maria’s team since 2011.

What is your role at Ponzi Vineyards? I am the Associate Winemaker which means breaker of chemical bonds, king of the tartrate crystal, guardian of toasted French barrel and herder of cats. I am the boots on the ground person, overseeing our wines and their progress, keeping up with Luisa’s direction and supervisor to our production staff. I also manage our production spaces, making sure forward progress continues to happen.

What does a “typical” day look like for you? You can often find me in our lab space with Luisa and our team as we taste through any magnitude of blends or bottlings, lending my critical eye and palate to what I see, taste and experience in our wines. Much of my day I bounce between the floors of our gravity flow production facility, tasting through tanks and barrels, providing management of wine work, jumping in as need, giving insight into maintenance repairs and orchestrating work flow (basically all the stuff behind the scenes).

What do you find most rewarding about the work you do at Ponzi Vineyards? We as a team, make some truly amazing wine and I am passionate about that process. What I really love though is our desire to be innovative and being a part of our new projects.

What are you most looking forward to in our 2019 vintage? Those first few days before the fruit is off the vine in September. It always happens for me in the early-early hours when you can just barely see your breath and you can literally smell the change of climate in the air. It smells like dewy and cool evergreen. It takes me back to my very first vintage, and it’s that pause, right before the adrenaline and organized chaos of harvest starts.

What is one cool or unknown fact that we should know about Ponzi Vineyards? Our recently restored vintage Willmes Red Press, used to be a tinker project of John Scharffenberger (Chocolatier and Winemaker) back in the 1990’s.
You have 10 minutes and one glass of wine. What are you drinking and who are you drinking with? Riesling is my thing, everyone who knows me knows that! I am an acid hound. I would drink a Marc Kreydenweiss Grand Cru 1994 Wiebelsberg Riesling with Marc himself. We’d talk craft, biodynamics and how good the wine in the afterlife is!

 

Time Posted: May 15, 2019 at 11:13 AM
 
May 8, 2019 |

Employee Spotlight: Miguel Ortiz, Vineyard Manager

Ponzi Vineyards is proud to produce some of Willamette Valley’s oldest and most iconic wines. The people behind the wines and brand are a huge part of our story. We are honored to introduce you to some of the invaluable members of the Ponzi team. Meet Miguel Ortiz, Vineyard Manager! 

How long have you worked on the team at Ponzi Vineyards? 25 years

What is your role at Ponzi Vineyards? Vineyard Manager overseeing 130 certified sustainable acres.

What does a “typical” day look like for you? Get up at 5am, have coffee, drive to work and oversee a 15 person crew. I love that every day is different!

What do you find most rewarding about the work you do at Ponzi Vineyards? I grew up working on a farm. I have been doing it my whole life, it is all that I know. I love to see the vines grow each year and love bud break each season.

What are you most looking forward to in our 2019 vintage? I’m looking forward to having a safe growing season for everyone in the company and producing premium grapes for harvest.

What is one cool or unknown fact that we should know about Ponzi Vineyards? I have worked for the Ponzi family for 25 years and very early on I didn’t see any kids around the vineyard. It was just me and Dick and Nancy Ponzi. One summer I saw two women around the vineyard a lot. I found out it was Luisa and Maria Ponzi, I didn’t know even they were part of the family! (Luisa had been in France and Maria was working in Boston, MA)

You have 10 minutes and one glass of wine. What are you drinking and who are you drinking with? Pinot noir and enjoying it with my wife.

Time Posted: May 8, 2019 at 11:40 AM
 
March 27, 2019 |

Sip & Style for Project Lemonade

Supporting children, particularly those in foster care, is primary to Ponzi Vineyards’ charitable efforts and especially dear to Ponzi Vineyards President, Maria Ponzi. She currently serves on the Project Lemonade board and was previously a member of CASA

We invite you to join Maria Ponzi in support of Portland’s foster youth at the Sip & Style event, Thursday, April 25th at Ponzi Vineyards. TICKETS >>

Project Lemonade is a Portland-based nonprofit with a mission to improve the self-esteem of foster youth through a free back-to-school shopping event and foster youth summer internship. Operating for six years, Project Lemonade has served over 12,000 foster youth.

Time Posted: Mar 27, 2019 at 3:18 PM
 
March 21, 2019 |

Spring Sipping Starts Now!

So Fresh & So clean

Spring is officially here! To celebrate, we’re offering 3 of our favorite stainless-steel fermented wines at a special price. For a limited time, purchase the 2017 Ponzi Pinot Gris, 2017 Ponzi Pinot Blanc & 2016 Ponzi Riesling together for just $55. This offer ends May 31st.

START SIPPING!
 

2017 Ponzi Pinot Gris
“Complex  aromatics of honeycomb and jasmine, daphne,  lemongrass, white peppercorn and lime zest bound from the glass.  The mouth follows with flavors of cara orange, kumquat and juicy pear.  The acidity is brilliant and tamed with a touch of sweetness and a very slight phenolic tension in the finish.” –Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Offered at $19/bottle 
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

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2017 Ponzi Pinot Blanc

“Guava, passionfruit, pineapple and star jasmine, laced with white licorice and honeysuckle, give this nose tropical and floral notes. The mouth shows quince, lemon curd and ripe nectarine finishing broad and supple with a touch of slate minerality and fresh acidity.” –Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Offered at $22/bottle
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

SHOP NOW


2016 Ponzi Riesling

“This beautiful nose of candied lime, lemon balm, honeysuckle and a whisper of lychee lead to a textured mouth of nectarine, white pepper and fresh acidity.” –Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Offered at $22/bottle
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

SHOP NOW

Time Posted: Mar 21, 2019 at 2:03 PM
 
March 13, 2019 |

Best of Class

2016 Ponzi Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs

What is a single vineyard designated wine? For Ponzi Vineyards, it is a cuvée which showcases the finest fruit of the vintage from a single site. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi hand-selects Pinot noir that exhibits complexity, depth, richness and overall completeness in barrel.

From the 2016 vintage, she selected the following outstanding sites to be featured as single vineyard designates: Ponzi Abetina 2 and Madrona Vineyards, as well as two of Ponzi’s growers; Linda Vista and Wahle Vineyards.

Taste the best of 2016


2016 Ponzi Abetina 2 Pinot Noir
“Bramble berry, chocolate, basil, rose petal and blackberry mingle with fresh aromatics of sea air and oyster shell. The mouth is generous and full with notes of cassis, creamy dulce de leche, nutmeg, hazelnuts and plum preserves. Balanced acidity and fine tannins bring structure and length to the long finish.” –Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Offered at $107/bottle  | $268/magnum
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

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2016 Ponzi Madrona Pinot Noir
“A striking nose of warm spice: cardamom, star anise, clove, cinnamon stick and vanilla, is laced with savory notes of coriander, rosemary and fir needle. The mouth follows with molasses and gingersnap, spice cake and cola. The juicy acidity, salinity and chalky tannins keep the palate fresh and the finish long with a lingering spiciness.” –Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Offered at $107/bottle  | $268/magnum
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

SHOP NOW


2016 Ponzi Vigneto I Pinot Noir
Featuring Linda Vista Vineyard
“This spicy nose of nutmeg, cracked black peppercorn, brandied cherries and Mexican hot chocolate is laced with hints of warm brioche and pomegranate. The palate has caramel, nougat, honeycomb and bright cherry laced through with delicate acidity and lingering lush tannins.” –Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Offered at $82/bottle
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

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2016 Ponzi Vigneto II Pinot Noir
Featuring Wahle Vineyard
“Fruit notes of blueberry, dried cranberry and orange zest underlay the complex notes of tobacco leaf, wood resin, chicory, dried chile pepper, coriander and flint. The intriguing nose leads to a palate of roasted coffee notes, forest berry pie, graham cracker and thyme. Depth and length with fine grain tannins finishing long.” –Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Offered at $82/bottle
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

SHOP NOW

Time Posted: Mar 13, 2019 at 12:46 PM
 
February 19, 2019 |

An Unexpected Winter Favorite

The lesser-known cousin to Pinot gris and Pinot noir, Pinot blanc is sometimes overlooked, though it is one of the most delightful and food-friendly wines around. Lively notes of tropical fruit, layered with vibrant acidity, dance on the palate, making this stainless-steel fermented wine perfect for the dreariest winter day.

The 2017 Ponzi Pinot Blanc is produced from the nearly 30-year-old vines planted at our LIVE Certified Sustainable Aurora Vineyard.

2017 Ponzi Pinot Blanc
“Guava, passionfruit, pineapple and star jasmine, laced with white licorice and honeysuckle, give this nose tropical and floral notes. The mouth shows quince, lemon curd and ripe nectarine finishing broad and supple with a touch of slate minerality and fresh acidity.” 
–Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Offered at $22/bottle
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

SHOP NOW
Time Posted: Feb 19, 2019 at 9:18 AM
 
February 14, 2019 |

Pretty, Pink & Easy to Love!

One of our favorite things about Pinot noir rosé is its versatility; not to mention its knack for brightening any occasion. With the first sip, a juicy kaleidoscope of flavors burst onto your palate. Mouthwatering acidity keeps the finish lively and crisp.

The fruit for the 2018 Ponzi Pinot Noir Rosé was intentionally selected with an eye towards cooler sites which retain juicy, vibrant acidity.

2018 Ponzi Pinot Noir Rosé
“Ethereal aromatics of magnolia, hibiscus, wild strawberry, jasmine and rainwater blend with slightly savory hints of lemon thyme and white pepper on the nose. The seamless palate of apple (think Envy or Pink Lady), slight honey notes and juicy acidity make this a refreshing, but serious Pinot noir rosé.” 
Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Crafted from 100% Pinot noir, the fruit for our Rosé is intentionally selected with an eye towards cooler sites which retain juicy, vibrant acidity. Stainless steel fermentation to retain the bright, fresh fruit character.

Offered at $23/bottle  | $65/magnum
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

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Time Posted: Feb 14, 2019 at 2:12 PM
 
February 8, 2019 |

Romantic Wineries: 3 Oregon Wineries for Valentine’s Day

Wine tasting in the Willamette Valley is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special person or a group of beloved friends. There’s no shortage of stunning wineries with sweeping views and romantic tasting rooms, so we’ve narrowed it down for you to three sweet spots.

Ponzi VineyardsStop 1: Ponzi Vineyards
19500 SW Mountain Home Road, Sherwood
(503) 628-1227
www.ponzivineyards.com

This founding Oregon winery was established in 1970 by husband-and-wife powerhouse Dick and Nancy Ponzi. Working side-by-side, they grew the business while raising their three children. If that isn’t romantic, we don’t know what is! Now owned and operated by their daughters Luisa and Anna Maria Ponzi, the sleek tasting room is perfect for cuddling, with a centerpiece fireplace inside flanked by comfy seating and fireside options on the terrace overlooking Avellana vineyard and the Chehalem Mountains. Just 40 minutes from Portland, it’s the perfect spot to sip a glass of the 2014 Ponzi Sparkling Brut Rosé.

Stoller Family EstateStop 2: Stoller Family Estate
16161 NE McDougall Road, Dayton
(503) 864-3404
www.stollerfamilyestate.com

An easy and scenic 30-minute drive to Stoller is the second stop on our itinerary. This property has been in the Stoller family since the 1940s and was planted to vines in 1995. The tasting room is full of natural light, with an inviting patio and a lawn perfect for picnics. A guest favorite is the tire swing. While fun for kids, it has also been the picturesque site of many proposals. Its distance from the tasting room allows for a little privacy, while its setting provides the perfect backdrop for Instagram-worthy proposal photos.

Domaine SereneStop 3: Domaine Serene
6555 NE Hilltop Lane, Dayton
(866) 864-6555
www.domaineserene.com

Just ten minutes away is our final stop. Founders Grace and Ken Evenstad named the winery for their daughter, Serene, and released their first vintage in 1990. The website for this winery includes not only gorgeous images of the property, it also has photos of the Evenstad’s first date and wedding day. How adorable is that? It’s all romance over there, as a visit to their tasting room will make you feel as if you’ve been whisked away to a chateau in the French countryside. They have several private tasting options for those looking for something more intimate.

Time Posted: Feb 8, 2019 at 1:45 PM
 
February 1, 2019 |

Classico Vineyards Series: Gemini

The Willamette Valley is suited perfectly in every way for Pinot noir, with an abundance of beautiful growing sites. Ponzi Vineyards is lucky to farm some of the best  at our Avellana, Aurora and Paloma vineyards. These sites are the foundation of our signature wine, the Classico Pinot Noir. To complete the blend and highlight all this region can produce, we work with area growers to source the finest fruit from nine additional exceptional vineyards. For our 2015 Classico blend, Winemaker Luisa Ponzi selected Gemini Vineyard to be among them.

Originally planted in 1995, this 15-acre vineyard sits on a south-facing slope in the Chehalem Mountains AVA in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. At almost 500 feet of elevation, the soil is primarily Laurelwood--a deep, wind-blown loess topsoil over decomposed basalt--creates optimal conditions for sustainable farming at this LIVE-certified, Salmon Safe site.

Located west of Sherwood, Oregon, this meticulously farmed vineyard is notoriously the darkest fruit of each vintage; the clusters approaching black in color. The site gives fruit with the the happy balance of very high acidity at high Brix translating to structure and richness.

About the Classico Series

Our Classico Pinot Noir is blended from 100% Pinot noir sourced from the exceptional sites throughout the Willamette Valley with Ponzi’s most established vineyards at its base. The result is a classic New World expression of Oregon Pinot noir with nuances and flavors that are a hallmarks of the region’s varied soils and cool climate. Follow along as we explore some of the vineyards chosen by Winemaker Luisa Ponzi as the truest expressions of the vintage.

Time Posted: Feb 1, 2019 at 1:42 PM
 
January 29, 2019 |

A Moment in the Spotlight: 2016 Ponzi Riesling

Riesling is perhaps one of the most well-known, and yet under appreciated wines. A beautifully crafted Riesling can be elegant and versatile.

Producing Oregon Riesling since 1974, Ponzi Vineyards presents a dry expression of the varietal that is delicate and balanced. It pairs effortlessly with a variety of dishes, from Asian cuisine to root vegetables to our favorite, Dungeness crab.

Served from an impressive magnum, Riesling finally gets the love and appreciation it deserves.

2016 Ponzi Riesling
“This beautiful nose of candied lime, lemon balm, honeysuckle and a whisper of lychee lead to a textured mouth of nectarine, white pepper and fresh acidity.” –Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Offered at $55/magnum | $22/bottle
(15% off bottles, 20% off cases for members)

SHOP NOW
Time Posted: Jan 29, 2019 at 10:53 AM