Look at these lovelies in the cellar!
The 2018 Ponzi Pinots and Chardonnays will spend anywhere from 11 months to nearly 2 years in barrel before they are bottled. During that time, they are closely monitored by Winemaker Luisa Ponzi and her team. When the time is right, they'll be bottled and aged a few more months before they are ready to enjoy. We can hardly wait!
The end of harvest has arrived!
We brought in 700 tons of beautiful fruit and are excited about the wine we'll be creating from this vintage. None of it would be possible without our skilled vineyard crew (led by Vineyard Manager Miguel Ortiz), our exemplary Production staff (led by Winemaker Luisa Ponzi), and our amazing harvest interns, who join us from around the world to learn and grow with us.
Their hard work, sense of humor and passion for this industry has made this season unforgettable. We thank you.
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.
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.
While sipping a glass of Oregon Pinot noir, it’s not often we think about things like vineyard maintenance. Tableside, the waiter never talks about vine pruning when describing a vintage. Yet, it’s the hard work of vineyard crews and the thoughtful implementation of vine training systems that result in the wine we enjoy so much. Some of our crew members have been with us for over 20 years, and we owe them so much for their dedication and hard work. Our Vineyard Manager, Miguel Ortiz (pictured above), oversees this skilled group of workers.
This is the second chapter of our ongoing Vineyard Series. Follow along from bud break to harvest to learn about the art and science of viticulture and how it impacts the wines and vintages you love.
Previous Vineyard Story: Pruning. Upcoming Story: Bud Break!
Just as people must train long and hard in order to achieve success, the vines must be trained to have a successful harvest year after year. The process is long and requires patience--it takes years before a vine is ready to produce fruit--yet the end result is well worth the effort. But what does it mean to train a grapevine?
Grapes are among the world’s oldest cultivated crops. Viticulturists have been developing vine training systems for several millennia. Cultures as far back as the ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians learned that effective vine training promoted abundant fruit.
For much of viticulture’s history, vine training from region to region varied based on tradition. In the early 20th century, many of these traditional methods were codified into wine laws and regulations, such as the French Appellation d’Origin Contrôlée (AOC) system. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the study and implementation of various training systems really began, right around when many New World wine regions (such as Oregon, Washington and Australia) were building up their wine industry. These young vineyards didn’t have the pressure of centuries of regional tradition, such as existed in the Old World (France, Italy, Spain, etc.). Therefore, vine growers in the New World were able to experiment and research on a large scale. They studied how particular vine training systems, pruning, and canopy management techniques impacted wine quality and developed new methods that could be adapted to the desired wine as well as to the specific labor needs and mesoclimate of a vineyard.
At Ponzi Vineyards
Back at Ponzi Vineyards, Ortiz oversees the careful bending and tying of the canes: one to the right, one to the left. After 21 seasons with us, he’s an expert. He’s watched these vines grow from little more than shoots to abundant producers of beautiful fruit.
The optimum spacing between vines has been determined after nearly fifty years of experimentation and study, and the canes are pruned to maximize fruit yield and quality within that space. While the vines themselves may be quite old, new canes grow every year. We prune the older canes and leave two of last year’s canes. These remaining canes are then trimmed and carefully bent along the fruiting wire and secured. The methods used depend on the site; our Avellana vineyard is trained using a double Guyot system to increase sunlight and ripening, and at the Historic Estate vineyard we train in what’s known as the Scott Henry Trellis to promote growth at this more vigorous site.
This process has to be done prior to bud break, which Ortiz expects in mid-April. The Ponzi Family have been refining their vineyard management over two generations. Everything is designed to encourage the best quality fruit. Attentive, sustainable vineyard management combined with gentle winemaking practices results in the beautiful benchmark wines we produce season after season.
The next time you pour a glass of wine, raise a toast to the vineyard crews that make it possible!
"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.
At Ponzi Vineyards Collina del Sogno, harvest is winding down. Only a few pretty yellow leaves remain on the vines. The skies offer a kaleidoscope of constantly changing gray fog, bright cobalt and sunshine and stormy dark rainclouds. In the tasting room, guests cozy up to the warm fireplace and sip complex Ponzi wines.
The flurry of harvest activity is slowing, but the construction on the new hospitality space is still moving full steam ahead. The front lawn has been planted, and the siding installed. The windows are in and so far, things are going according to plan. Brett Fogelstrom of Fogelstrom Design Build has done a beautiful job!
The new hospitality space, opening in March 2018, will provide Ponzi guests with a comfortably luxurious space to entertain. Reservations are already booking for this space, so don't miss your opportunity to experience all we have to offer. Contact email@example.com with questions or to book the space.
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?"
At Ponzi, Northern Italian Varietals are a passion, and part of the Ponzi family heritage. We're one of the few American producers making Dolcetto and Arneis, but now, Winemaker Luisa Ponzi is planting Nebbiolo at Avellana Vineyard. Only a handful of Oregon winemakers are experimenting with this bold varietal, the sole grape in Italian dynasty wines Barolo and Barbaresco. It will be a few years before the vines mature, but we already can't wait to taste the wine!
As Nebbiolo likes a similar climate to the cold weather reds for which Ponzi is known, the new vineyard site will also be home to Pinot noir vines.
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!