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Ponzi Blog

December 28, 2017 |

Introducing the new 2017 ROSÉ with Wine Pairing 101.

What: Wine Pairing 101: Dinner at Ponzi Vineyards
When: Saturday, February 10th, 7pm
Details: $125. Limited to 50 guests
Where: Ponzi Vineyards: 
19500 SW Mountain Home Road, 
Sherwood, OR 97140

Just in time for Valentine's Day. Ponzi Vineyards will be setting the table for a food and wine filled night to remember. 

Taste your way to becoming proficient in selecting the perfect wine for any meal. Learn the tricks of the trade from Culinary Director, Thomas Ghinazzi, as you explore Ponzi wines and vintages expertly paired with a variety of seasonal dishes.

This popular evening is topped off with the release of the Ponzi Pinot Noir Rosé & Rosé magnums. Join us for a fun, festive, and elegant dining experience in the heart of Oregon's wine country.

($125 / ticket. Limited to 50 guests. Sells out early.)
Time Posted: Dec 28, 2017 at 2:13 PM
December 26, 2017 |

Sparkling Brut Rosé Arrives for a Limited Time!

As a thank you for continuing to enjoy Ponzi wines, we want you to be the first to know the 2014 Ponzi Sparkling Brut Rosé has been bottled and 10 cases are being made available to our favorite people. When it’s gone, it’s gone− until it’s official release in April.

We can’t wait for you to pop the cork on this limited production, 70% Pinot noir, 30% Chardonnay sparkling brut rosé.

Cheers and Happy New Year!


Time Posted: Dec 26, 2017 at 3:21 PM
December 19, 2017 |

Ponzi How-To Guide: Setting a Formal Table

Is the fork on the left or the right? Where do the dessert utensils go? When it comes to the holidays, it's fun to dress things up a bit. For tips on how we would set the table for a formal dinner party, watch this quick 2 minute video.

Click here to watch more How-to Video's, TIPs, and Wine 101.
Time Posted: Dec 19, 2017 at 12:37 PM
December 13, 2017 |

Ponzi How-To Guide: Opening a Wax Seal

Many Ponzi magnums and specialty cuvées are finished with wax. Learn how to open these bottles safely. All you need is a cork puller, a strong hand and a bit of confidence. 

Here are a few of our favorite selections:

2014 Ponzi Old Vine Pinot Gris

2016 Ponzi Riesling Magnum



Time Posted: Dec 13, 2017 at 11:44 AM
December 12, 2017 |

Riesling Recipes

Clay pot chicken tarragon


  • 6 whole chicken breasts
  • 6 T chopped fresh tarragon (reserve
  • 1T for garnish), or 2 1/2 tsp. dried
  • S & P, to taste (Salt on the heavy side for clay-pot cooking)
  • 1 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 1 T arrowroot powder


1. Soak the clay pot, top and bottom, in water for 15 minutes
2. Rinse the chicken in cold water and lay it on a clean cloth to dry.
3. In a well-soaked clay pot, layer the chicken breasts, sprinkling each layer with salt, pepper and tarragon. Pour wine over the chicken.
4. Place the top on the clay pot, and put it in the center of a cold oven.
5. Turn the heat to 480°F and bake for 70 minutes.
6 Carefully remove the very hot pot from the oven.
7. Arrange the chicken in a warm serving bowl.
8. Make sauce by straining the liquid from the clay pot into a saucepan. Heat just to boil, reduce heat, and stir in arrowroot to thicken. Adjust seasonings.
9. Arrange the chicken with whole sprigs of tarragon (if you’re fortunate to have a plant outside the kitchen), or garnish with some of the sauce and a sprinkle of tarragon. Surround the chicken with roasted or boiled colorful vegetables, or broiled tomatoes and grains such as farro, wild rice, or rice pilaf. Serve additional sauce at the table.




  • 1 T bacon fat
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb. high-quality sauerkraut,
  • rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 C dry Riesling
  • 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 juniper berries
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. smoked ham hocks
  • 1/2 lb. slab bacon, cut into large
  • chunks
  • 1 1/2 lb. assorted sausages
  • 1 1/2 lb. pounds smoked ham
  • Assorted mustards, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Add the bacon fat to a large casserole pan and place over medium-heat on the stovetop.
3. When the fat is hot, add the onions and garlic, sautéing briefly until translucent.
4. Add the sauerkraut, Riesling, chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, juniper berries, and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil.
5. Remove the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
6. Arrange the ham hocks, bacon, and smoked ham in the bottom of the casserole and top with the sauerkraut mixture, spreading evenly. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
7. Remove from the oven, top with the sausages, cover, and bake again until sausages are done, approximately 30 minutes.
8. Serve with an assortment of mustards.

Time Posted: Dec 12, 2017 at 1:43 PM
December 6, 2017 |

Holiday Gifts for Wine Lovers

Deliver the gift of wine with a little panache. We have a limited supply of wooden gift boxes handcrafted in Oregon, available for magnums, single bottles and customized sets of 2, 3, and 6. Pick and choose your wine to create a gift perfectly tailored to the wine lover in your life.

Need a little help? Here are a few of our favorite combinations to guide you in your gift-giving this holiday season. From the collector to the chef to the ultimate wine critic, Ponzi has you covered.  

For the Collector - Three Vineyards with a story to tell

2015 Ponzi Abetina Pinot Noir ($105)
2015 Ponzi Aurora Pinot Noir ($105)
2015 Ponzi Vigneto Pinot Noir ($80)

To Oak or Not to Oak - a 2 bottle set to please any palate

2014 Ponzi Chardonnay Reserve- oaked ($40)
2015 Ponzi Chardonnay- unoaked ($22)

for the love of PinoT– A DUO of Pinot Noir

2014 Ponzi Pinot Noir Reserve ($65)
2014 Ponzi Classico Pinot Noir ($43)

Three Pairings for the 3-course chef

2016 Ponzi Pinot Blanc- Pairs well with seafood and salads ($22)
2015 Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir- Pairs well with salmon ($27)
2014 Ponzi Dolcetto- Pairs well with beef stew ($30)

A six-pack of award winners for the wine critic

2015 Ponzi Abetina Pinot Noir 95 points Tasting Panel ($105)
2014 Ponzi Pinot Noir Reserve 96 points Wine Enthusiast ($65)
2014 Ponzi Classico Pinot Noir 96 points Wine Report Online ($43)
2014 Ponzi Aurora Chardonnay 94 points Wine & Spirits ($63)
2014 Ponzi Chardonnay Reserve 93 points Wine Enthusiast ($40)
2014 Ponzi Old Vine Pinot Gris 93 points Wine Enthusiast ($38)

A coveted magnum in a wooden box- you can't go wrong

Browse our extensive selection of large format cuvées.

Get ready to sip and share!

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Time Posted: Dec 6, 2017 at 11:47 AM
November 30, 2017 |

Aging Gracefully


Enjoying aged wines is an extraordinary experience. 

Ponzi Single Vineyard and Reserve Pinot Noirs are a treat to revisit year after year. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi crafts these cuvées to age and selects fruit from Ponzi’s oldest and finest vineyards, which ripen later and hold their acidity better than younger sites. Over a decade’s time, she finds flavors and aromas of cherry, plum and blueberry turn to currant, cedar and anise; then later to forest floor, savory notes and offer a silky texture.

Did you know Ponzi Chardonnays can also age quite elegantly? The structure and acidity allow these cuvées to evolve into richer more complex wines over time. Notes of pear, apple and jasmine transition to flavors and aromas of apricot, hazelnut, pie spice and brûlée.

Take a peek inside our library to see what's tasting great right now...

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Time Posted: Nov 30, 2017 at 2:22 PM
November 30, 2017 |

Charity of the Month, Winter 2018: Family of Friends Mentoring

Throughout WINTER 2018, A portion of every tasting fee
will be donated to Family of Friends.

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. "

About Family of Friends

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.

Learn More
Time Posted: Nov 30, 2017 at 12:17 PM
November 21, 2017 |

Tips for Flawless Wine Service

You’ve selected the perfect wine for your holiday meal. What you pour your wine into may come as an afterthought, but selecting the right stemware will truly enhance the wine and the occasion. Here are some tips for ensuring maximum enjoyment:


Selecting appropriate glassware will not only impress your guests and add some flair to your table, but will allow the wines to show their best.

Pinot Noir

The Oregon Pinot Noir glass was made by Austrian manufacturer Riedel especially for our region’s flagship varietal. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi was actually on the panel of experts who worked with Georges Riedel to develop the glass. The benefits of this special stemware are numerous. Our favorite features are the large bowl― ideal for easy swirling, conjuring all of the wonderful nuances Pinot noir has to offer; and the narrow chimney, which focuses the tantalizing aromas and subtle flavors and gently leads the wine to your palate.

While this glass was made for Pinot noir, you will find just about any wine will enjoy the glass’ benefits. At the Ponzi Vineyards Tasting Room, we serve nearly all of our wines in Riedel’s impressive Oregon Pinot Noir glass. Stop by the tasting room to pick up your own set of these impressive stems. If an Oregon Pinot Noir glass is not available, any large bowled glass, like a traditional Burgundy stem, will do just fine.

White Wines

We love serving Ponzi Chardonnay in the Oregon Pinot Noir glass, but white wines, especially the crisp, stainless-steel fermented cuvées will show quite well in a smaller bowled glass. Riedel makes several beautiful and easy to find options: Veritas and Vinum XL. This type of glass is perhaps the most common found on the market, so chances are you already have this type of stemware in your kitchen cabinet.


Whether you’re popping the cork on a bottle of bubbles or pouring a seductive dessert wine, there are a handful of wines that necessitate their own special glass- and for good reason. A champagne flute is not only mean to look elegant and festive, but the tall, elongated glass actually helps keep the tiny bubbles in the wine. A larger bowled glass will expose more surface area and thus the CO2 will quickly dissipate.

Dessert wine, on the other hand, is a little more forgiving. Often times you find the after dinner variety is served in tiny stemware. Wine with higher residual sugar is best enjoyed in smaller quantities because it is so rich. It is not necessary to have special glassware on hand however. Use your white wine stemware. Just keep your pours to about 3-4oz, or half of what you would normally pour your guests.

At the end of the day, the occasion is yours. Use these suggestions as guidelines. If you want to serve your bubbles in an Oregon Pinot Noir glass, go for it… and enjoy fewer dishes to wash! Truth be told, your wine will benefit from quality stemware, no matter the shape.

More Pro Tips

Holidays often tempt overconsumption. Winery Founder and author of The Ponzi Vineyards Cookbook, Nancy Ponzi offers a bit of wisdom: “Provide an attractive dump bucket or two. It’s not rude to dispose of wine, particularly if a number of wines are being served; it’s possible to love the wine but want to limit consumption― too much alcohol ruins tasting pleasure.”

Serving Temperature guide

To best experience the true essence of Ponzi wines, Winemaker Luisa Ponzi recommends serving them at the following temperatures:

Pinot noir: 63  ̊  
Chardonnay: 54  ̊
Pinot gris: 47  ̊
Vino Gelato: 43  ̊  

Refrigerators are typically kept at 32 ̊ - 40 ̊, while wine fridges are kept at cellar temperature: 55 ̊ - 57 ̊. Plan accordingly to chill your wines and pull them out in time to warm to the perfect serving temperature.

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Time Posted: Nov 21, 2017 at 11:38 AM
November 15, 2017 |

Wine Pairing Tips to Match Your Holiday Fare

Since our founding, Ponzi Vineyards has crafted balanced, terroir-driven wines with pairing in mind. These are food wines, designed to enhance meals shared around the family table. During the holidays, good food, great wine and your favorite company come together, creating memorable celebrations. From our table to yours, here are some perfect pairings to try this holiday season:

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Generally, it's best to keep food simple when pairing with wine. "Avoid all together - or judiciously use - strongly flavored herbs, spices and vegetables," advises Nancy Ponzi, Winery Founder and author of The Ponzi Vineyards Cookbook. Holiday dishes tend to follow these rules, so pair away!

Cheese and wine pairing
Salad and Younger Wines

Creating a memorable salad pairing relies on taking care not to overwhelm the fresher elements or the wines. Try an assortment of mild greens, and pair with younger, lighter bodied wines like the crisp, high acidity 2016 Ponzi Pinot Gris and fruit forward 2015 Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir. Stick to clean flavors in the food and the wine, and keep it simple. Save older vintage and bolder wines for later, featured courses. Nancy's philosophy, "I avoid asparagus, artichokes, chilies or sauerkraut and am wary of Brussel sprouts."

Ponzi Chardonnay on an elegant table
Turkey and fixings with Chardonnay

A complex, structured and well-balanced Chardonnay will enhance all the flavors in roasted turkey and sides, match the acidity of a squeeze of lemon juice and bond with subtle rosemary, garlic and butter flavors. We recommend the limited production single vineyard cuvée, 2014 Ponzi Aurora Chardonnay with your main course. "Lemon balm, straw and white pepper frame this elegant nose, the palate holds true with dried quince, baked apple interlaced with balanced acidity and a touch of minerality," describes Winemaker Luisa Ponzi.

Turkey and fixings with Pinot Noir

It's always a good idea to offer a red option with holiday meals, in addition to the supple Chardonnay pairing suggested above. For a truly special pairing, uncork a bottle (or even a magnum) of the gorgeous 2014 Ponzi Abetina Pinot Noir and add a few mushrooms to your gravy. The structure and tannin of this spectacular Pinot noir will stand up to rich sides, without overpowering delicate turkey sweetness. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi describes, "Spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla on the nose. The mouth follows with bay rum, dark chocolate and cedar notes leading to firm and persistent tannins to finish. Jam packed with everything needed to carry this wine for years." 


Whether served as a pre-seating appetizer, palate cleanser or in lieu of a final dessert course, a cheese plate presents an excellent opportunity for wine pairing, giving guests a chance to sip your best wines and find their perfect complements. Preparation is simple, giving you time to focus on main dishes. "Generally look for rich, not overly strong or aromatic wine-complementary cheese," suggests Nancy. "Cheese presents a place to showcase your finest wine." Great wines to pair with cheeses include the bright and balanced 2015 Ponzi Riesling (also available in an elegant magnum) and lush 2014 Ponzi Classico Pinot Noir.  "If you're lucky enough to enjoy a fine Pinot noir (like the 2014 Ponzi Pinot Noir Reserve), go for a mellow, rind-washed triple cream."

Ponzi Vino Gelato with cheese blintz
dessert and Dessert Wine

This pairing is easy! Traditional holiday desserts tend to feature fruits and pie spice. Pumpkin and apple pies keep some of the original sweet-tart flavors even after baking. Pair them with lightly sweet dessert wine, like the 2016 Ponzi Vino Gelato. Just in case there's no room for dessert, this wine stands on its own, a sweet finish to a rich meal. 

Have fun with your pairings and enjoy the conversations they may start. Happy Holidays!

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Time Posted: Nov 15, 2017 at 6:06 AM