"The weather predictions were not great this year," laughs Ponzi Winemaker Luisa Ponzi. "We were looking at a really beautiful October of clear skies and nice cool temperatures, and it ended up being mostly that, but also there was some pretty intense rain." Watch the video to learn more about the 2017 harvest season at Ponzi Vineyards.
Just before sunrise on September 14, 2017, at Aurora Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains, the Ponzi harvest team was already hard at work picking the first Chardonnay grapes for sparkling wine. #pzharvest2017 was off to a sunny, warm and dry start.
Rains and cooler temperatures soon descended on the Pacific Northwest's Willamette Valley, dropping about an inch of precipitation and delaying Ponzi's harvest.
But warmer, dryer mornings returned and the team worked quickly to get all the fruit into the winery before the unpredictable Oregon autumn brought more inclement weather. From Chardonnay to Pinot gris and Pinot noir, we've gently picked ripe clusters of juicy, flavorful grapes.
Sunrise on the last day of harvest burned off a thick layer of eerie fog. Frost covered the ground, but pickers harvested the last grapes on Ponzi's vineyards. Now that the fruit is in, the winery is busy destemming grapes, punching down lees, pressing and barreling the 2017 vintage. Stay tuned for more updates!
As #pzharvest2017 roles along, we want to introduce you to some of the people who help us make Ponzi's world class wines. Ponzi Vineyards Winery has a tough team of passionate wine lovers, but as Assistant Enologist Annett Goetz explains, brute force won't always wine the day. Watch this video to learn about the role of the lab in winemaking.
Ponzi's Harvest Dinner 2017 was a magical evening featuring cozy atmosphere, chatting with two generations of the Ponzi family, a delicious meal and a preview of the 2015 single vineyard Pinot noirs and Chardonnays. Both second generation Ponzi sisters spoke, Luisa presented the new wines and Maria remembered the 2002 vintage.
The evening could not have more perfectly represented indian summer in the Willamette Valley. The clear skies faded into a spectacular sunset!
The dinner itself was an amazing five-course dinner by Winery Culinary Director, Thomas Ghinazzi, with each course perfectly paired with the unreleased 2015 Single Vintage Pinot noir and Chardonnay, plus a surprise library wine: the 2002 Abetina Pinot Noir.
To finish the meal, Chef Tom served a dessert of cheese blintz paired with limited release 2016 Ponzi Vino Gelato.
Please join us next year to celebrate the harvest. Mark your calendars!
This week the pace of harvest accelerated, with fruit coming in from a lot of vineyards. The winery staff and harvest interns have been hard at work to keep up with all the fresh grapes coming in. Ponzi's other departments volunteered to help punch down tanks. Sometimes harvest is a team effort!
Punching down the tanks makes sure the juice gets plenty of skin contact and flavor. Here's the view from above a punch down:
Harvest has arrived in the Willamette Valley and so have Ponzi's lovely interns. These wine lovers are here to work hard from now until the end of harvest. They clean tubs, punch down grapes, clean the destemmer, drive fork lifts, pull juice samples for Winemaker Luisa Ponzi to taste, and generally help us with all the tough stuff needed to make harvest 2017 a success.
Harvest is hard work, but there are some perks too! Luisa hosted a potluck mixer with three generations of the Ponzi family, the full time Ponzi team and the interns.
Delicious dishes paired with world class wine. The view of the sunset over the Chehalem Mountains served as a perfect dessert.
In the first morning light, the Ponzi vineyard crew was at the stunning Ponzi Aurora Vineyard picking the very first grapes of the season.
The freshly harvested Chardonnay grapes were then brought directly to the winery to be pressed. Ponzi staff pitched in sorting the fruit and Winemaker Luisa Ponzi toasted the new harvest season.
This week, the harvest interns arrived and are learning the ropes in preparation for the season. It's going to be a great year. Stay tuned!
We’re inching closer to Harvest 2017. The Pinot noir grapes on the vines at Ponzi Avellana Vineyard are almost completely covered in their signature dark plum. The first day of picking is still several weeks away, but the vineyard crew and winery production team are busy preparing. Stay tuned for more harvest updates!