Ponzi Vineyards: A Legacy of Exceptional Wines in the Willamette Valley

By Published On: December 7, 2023

Credit: Ponzi Vineyards

Ponzi Vineyards is a living testament to the transformative power of time and passion. For generations, the Ponzi family has crafted wines that embody the unique spirit of the Willamette Valley. Their story is one of unwavering dedication to sustainable practices and a deep respect for the land, propelling them to the forefront of Oregon’s winemaking scene.

Situated within the newly established Laurelwood District AVA, Ponzi’s 175 acres of vines bask in the sun-drenched Chehalem Mountains. This unique terroir, defined by windswept Loess and ancient Basalt soils, yields wines renowned for their vibrant fruit notes and pronounced structure. Ponzi meticulously blends grapes from various sites within their estate, crafting wines that speak to the land, capturing the essence of Laurelwood’s exceptional character.

Their Pinot Noirs are a masterpiece of elegance and finesse. The vineyards’ diverse elevations and meticulously selected clones impart distinctive fruit characteristics and tannin profiles, resulting in wines with exceptional aging potential. Ponzi’s commitment to quality extends beyond Pinot Noir, as evidenced by their pioneering spirit in American Pinot Gris production. Planted over four decades ago, their venerable Pinot Gris vines yield wines characterized by tropical notes, delicate florals, and a vibrant acidity balanced by a mid-palate silkiness.

Credit: Ponzi Vineyards

In 2021, Ponzi embarked on a new chapter, joining forces with the esteemed French Champagne house Bollinger. This union forged a bond between two families united by a shared passion for winemaking and a deep respect for tradition.  Ponzi Vineyards continues to flourish under the leadership of Luisa Ponzi, Director of Winemaking & Viticulture. Luisa brings a strong foundation of knowledge and passion to the winery. Her apprenticeships with well-known Burgundian and Italian winemakers further refined her skills

The Chehalem Mountains AVA, with its rolling hills and verdant vineyards, stands as a world-class wine destination. Visitors flock to the region to experience the beauty of the landscape and the warmth of Ponzi’s hospitality. The 2023 harvest marked an exciting chapter for Ponzi, blessed with early ripening and favorable weather conditions. The resulting wines exhibit vibrant color, focused fruit, and firm tannins, suggesting great potential for aging and development.

Ponzi Vineyards is more than just a winery; it’s a legacy built on dedication, passion, and a profound connection to the land. Their wines speak volumes about their commitment to quality and their deep understanding of the Willamette Valley’s exceptional terroir.

The wines featured in the Wine Recommendations section were provided by the winery for the purpose of review. The selection and tasting of these wines were independently conducted. No compensation or incentives were provided for inclusion in the story. As always, the top priority is to provide readers with informative reporting.

Wine Recommendations

Credit: Ponzi Vineyards

2019 Reserve Pinot Noir, Laurelwood-  silky and mouthwatering, with a core of black cherry, dark plum, and milk chocolate flavors. The finish is long, layered and nuanced, with a touch of bitters and fine-grained tannins. Drink now or within the next ten years.

2019 Avellana Pinot Noir- rich and smooth with flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, and raspberry. The aftertaste is long and satisfying, with a lively acidity and fine-tuned tannins. This is an excellent Pinot Noir that will improve with aging for a decade or more.

2021 Pinot Noir, Laurelwood District-  superb concentration of blueberry, raspberry and blackberry. The tannins are grainy and well-integrated, the acidity is refreshing and lively.

2021 Chardonnay, Laurelwood District- yellow in color and a bouquet of white flowers. Rich and creamy on the palate, with a superb balance of fruit, acidity, and minerality. It offers complex and delicious flavors of peach, banana, and lemon, with a long and refreshing finish.



About the Author: Joe Campbell

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Located out of the Sierra Foothills of California, Joe Campbell provides color commentary as well as insight within the wine industry both from the lifestyle consumer and business segments of the industry. He can be reached via email at : joe@winebulletin.net .