A father is a man who creates, then nurtures and protects that creation with wisdom and love. We can think of no one who embodies that idea more than Dick Ponzi.
Dick’s entire life has been one of creation: first and foremost a husband and father, he is an engineer, pioneer, educator, brewer, winemaker, builder, lobbyist and mentor. He is one of the founding fathers of the Oregon wine industry and has been a tireless protector it, nurturing the industry into the thriving force it is today. Beyond his career as a PCC educator for decades, he also taught and mentored several winemakers who later went on to build their own wineries.
He is also one of the founding fathers of Oregon’s brewing industry, having established one of the first craft breweries in the state and then lobbying to legalize brewpubs.
When you consider how much Oregon’s wine and beer industries have contributed to the state’s image and economy, you can argue that Dick is one of the founding fathers of Oregon’s booming tourism and culinary industries, too.
So this year for Father’s Day, we raise a glass of fine Oregon Pinot noir to him, and look back with respect and gratitude on all this renaissance man has crafted and raised up.
The Laurelwood at Ponzi Vineyards is a wine country hospitality space like no other. Every detail has been thoughtfully planned and even the smallest element has been crafted to reflect the values and aesthetics of Ponzi Vineyards and the Willamette Valley. Dedicated to supporting local makers, the Ponzi Family found the perfect metalworker for this project with Jeff Whitaker of Jeffmade.
Whitaker has been working with metal for 25 years, initially as an artist using it to express abstract ideas. Taking inspiration from the natural world, he made objects that looked as though they had been grown or eroded rather than made with tools. He began receiving requests to use his skills to craft more utilitarian objects. Though he resisted at first, seeing such projects as a potential distraction from his artistic work, he discovered there was not a compromise at all between art and function. Rather, he discovered he enjoyed working within project parameters.
He now takes on a variety of projects, striving for elegant design utilizing these powerful materials to create something that remains beautiful forever. This devotion to his craft has attracted a client list that reads like a “Best of Portland” list: Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, Mediterranean Exploration Company and Pine State Biscuits, to name just a few.
Ponzi Vineyards is very pleased to have partnered with Jeffmade for some of the most impressive features of our new hospitality space, The Laurelwood. The design of The Laurelwood pays tribute to founders Dick and Nancy Ponzi while moving forward into the future under the leadership of sisters Anna Maria and Luisa Ponzi. Whitaker’s work resonates that concept with elegant designs grounded in strong materials that still possess their natural characteristics.
Whitaker initially worked with Ponzi Vineyards during our construction of the Tasting Room, creating the door hardware and fireplace screen. It was a natural choice to bring him back to work on The Laurelwood. For this ambitious project, he created the fireplace that is the focal point of the space, as well as the door hardware, the metal facing, and the truly impressive display cabinet.
The permanence of steel is such a perfect match for this hospitality space grounded in a legacy that has had such an influence on Oregon history and that endures into the future. In selecting artists and craftspeople for The Laurelwood, Ponzi Vineyards looked for not just skill, but also for people who have an intrinsic understanding of the area and its culture, and who contribute to the elevation of the region’s prominence through their work. Joining Whitaker on that roster are a gifted woodworker, ceramicist and architect. The synergy of their creations is unique, yet reflective of the past, making The Laurelwood truly one of a kind.
To inquire about The Laurelwood, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (503) 628-1227.
Post 58 has been selected as our Charity of the Month. This organization is comprised of Portland-area students aged 14-18 who engage in outdoor adventures under the guidance of experienced adults. These outdoor adventures include rock climbing, backpacking, hiking, mountaineering and more in locales around the Northwest.
Their mission is to provide an arena for personal growth and positive social interaction to a diverse group of high school students by creating experiences that foster responsibility, respect and a passion for the outdoors.
Post 58 is a personal passion project of Mia Hamacher. Mia is the daughter of winemaker Luisa Ponzi as well as member and Student President of Post 58.
"The Post ... has been such a hugely influential and important part of my adolescent life and the lives of many other teens in the Portland area. With nearly 140 current members, and outreach programs through Oregon Foster Services and Janus Youth Programming, the Post provides a uniquely safe and welcoming space, through monthly meetings, with singing, poetry and story sharing, and affordable trips that get teens into the outdoors and encourage independence and accountability."
– Mia Hamacher, member and Student President of Post 58
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 Post 58.
The Gresham based organization reaches Portland area youth with a mission to build relationships that elevate kids and families and make our community stronger.
Family of Friends is a personal passion project of Ponzi's Associate Winemaker, JP Pierce. We asked JP to share a bit about what inspired his support of this great organization.
"Family of Friends would give 6 weeks’ worth of training and place us with a family in our area who had a child at risk of not graduating high school."
"In late 2014 my wife Heidi and I were looking for ways to give back and forge a deeper connection with our community in Portland. After coming across an online post from Family of Friends, we decided that becoming mentors for at-risk-youth in our area was a perfect option. We would be given 6 weeks’ worth of training and be matched with a family in our area who had a child at risk of not graduating high school. We could share our free time, imagination, love, and joy, with some young boy or girl who needed exposure to new experiences they couldn’t otherwise have.
All of the children in Family of Friends come from a wide range of cultural backgrounds but similarly share stressors in their home life that would keep them from succeeding in school and from having opportunities we take for granted. As mentors, we get to share anything we do, A to Z with some great kids (our family has 3 siblings), and in return we get to be a part of building a stronger community. Heidi and I are very fortunate to be a part of our mentee’s life for these last 3+ years, and remain a voice and ears to someone growing up it a tough situation. "
Family of Friends' mentoring program matches volunteers with kids for a minimum of one year, though relationships often last for several years, and beyond. The mentor and mentee get together weekly for outings in the community. The organization's website shares the key benefits to this program, which was founded in 2003: "Kids get access to another trusted adult and fun activities, parents get an advocate for their child, and volunteers get to share their time and experience. Everyone gains a deeper understanding of the world around them."
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 Family of Friends.
The ¡Salud! Pinot Noir Auction is an incredible event, pairing world class, one of a kind Pinot noirs with winemakers and buyers to support healthcare for vineyard workers. Here's a quick recap of this year's luncheon at Ponzi Vineyards. Please join us next year!
Second generation Ponzi Winemaker, Luisa Ponzi, sipped one of a kind Willamette Valley Pinot noirs while catching up with some old friends and members of a small number of second generation Oregon winemakers: Elk Cove's Adam Campbell and Sokol Blosser's Alex Sokol Blosser.
Winery President Maria Ponzi greeted guests and made sure the event was comfortable and fun.
Ponzi Associate Winemaker JP Pierce poured 2017 Ponzi ¡Salud! Cuvee in the winery.
With harvest finished for this year, Ponzi Associate Enologist, Annette, and harvest 2017 intern, Meille, enjoyed a well-deserved evening of luxury, hobnobbing with winemakers and choosing their favorite Pinot noirs.
Join us next year for the ¡Salud! Charity Pinot Noir Auction. Taste one of a kind cuvees, bid and support healthcare for vineyard workers.
Throughout November and December, Ponzi Vineyards, Willamette Valley Wineries and the Oregon Foodbank Networks team up to provide emergency food to the most vulnerable in our community, providing meals during the holidays. A portion of tasting fees from the Ponzi Tasting Room in Sherwood, OR, will help feed the people in the Willamette Valley community. Help us spread the joy this holiday season. Come taste and help Ponzi give back! #ponzicares
From Willamette Valley Wine, "It’s our opportunity to share our bounty during the holiday season and to give back to the people of our community. Won’t you join us?"
Winery President Maria Ponzi shares her vision for the comfortably luxurious interior of Ponzi's new hospitality space, due to be completed in March 2018.
From its inception, Ponzi has been an integral part of ¡Salud! The health services provided to vineyard workers in partnership with Tuality Healthcare are an important part of the wine industry in Oregon. For over 25 years, ¡Salud! has been dedicated to providing healthcare services and outreach to Oregon vineyard workers and their families. And for over 25 years, ¡Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction has been the only opportunity to access Oregon's most exclusive Pinot Noir cuvées, straight from the winemakers who produce them.
Oregon's most celebrated wineries preview their very best 2016 vintage Pinot Noirs, custom-made solely for ¡Salud!. Mingle with the winemakers, enjoy their exclusive cuvées, and enhance your cellar with a case or two of your favorite wines.
Throughout the Month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a portion of tasting fees from the Ponzi Vineyards Tasting Room will help to "minimize the fear and isolation of cancer" through Breast Friends. Come taste Ponzi new release wines, watch the vines turn from green to bright gold and know you are helping to support an important nonprofit organization.
Ponzi National Sales Associate Brenna Patterson chose the October charity because breast cancer effects so many women, including members of the Ponzi team, our friends and families. From Breast Friends, "Every woman in America will be touched by breast or other women’s cancers in her lifetime. One in eight women will be diagnosed, and the other seven will know her. [Breast Friends] goal is to reach the seven in order to help the one." The great work this charity does to support female cancer patients is near and dear to Ponzi Vineyards.
In addition to donating a portion of the tasting fees during the month of October, Ponzi team members will volunteer at the 2017 Annual Breast Friends Luncheon on October 21 at the Double Tree Lloyd Center.
Here's a little more about Breast Friends:
Breast Friends ensures that no woman goes through cancer alone. We are a unique resource for women, their family, friends, co-workers and the community to minimize the fear and isolation of cancer. For over a decade our programs have empowered thousands with emotional support and hope. We are survivors and professionals helping others celebrate the joy of life.
Regardless of where you are in your journey, Breast Friends has volunteers on hand to discuss your issues with you. We are not licensed counselors, but we are women who have walked in your shoes. We've been down your path, some of us several times. We offer individual support either through one-on-one contact via phone, or in person, as well as support groups customized to meet the needs of our patients.
For more about Breast Friends, visit breastfriends.org.
On October 21, Ponzi staffers were thrilled to be able to participate in the Annual Breast Friends Luncheon. The event was a celebration of survival and community, women building a network of support for one another. The team stuffed gift bags, directed attendees to educational sessions, took donations and handed out bouquets of flowers to models in the fashion show. We are honored to be a part of Breast Friends! #PonziCares
We are pleased to announce that by visiting Ponzi Vineyards Tasting Room this month and sampling our lovely current release wines, you can help us support Adelante Mujeres, a charity benefitting lower income, often overlooked and marginalized Latina women and their families. This local organization is focused on the providing education, empowerment and enterprise to the Latina community. Adelante Mujeres means, “women rise up, move forward” and has helped over 4,000 families to do just that since its foundation in 2002. Currently, they need help to purchase a building in Forest Grove, OR to home their educational programs. The organization believes education is essential to empowerment and offers a variety of child and adult focused classes including agricultural curriculum.
Winemaker Luisa Ponzi chose this charity because she cares about our vineyard and winery workers and their families. Ponzi and Adelante Mujeres not only share a commitment to the community, but also a dedication to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. This is why they were chosen to be our September charity of the month.
Here’s a little more about Adelante Mujeres:
Adelante Mujeres provides holistic education and empowerment opportunities to low income Latina women and their families to ensure full participation and active leadership in the community.
Adelante Mujeres envisions a community where all families thrive.
Believe in yourself and others and commit to personal growth.
Be in solidarity with the community.
Love and respect the earth.
To learn more about programs and services offered by Adelante Mujeres, click here.