In the late 1960s Dick and Nancy Ponzi uprooted their family to pursue a dream of producing world class Pinot Noir. After research trips to Burgundy and an extensive search, they purchased 20 acres on a small farm just southwest of Portland, Oregon. They believed the climate, soils and vineyard site meet every need of noble cool-climate grape varieties. The winery was founded in 1970, and the family plants their first Pinot Noir. The first 4 barrels of wine produced in 1974. At the time, there are 5 bonded wineries in Oregon with 35 acres in production. Ponzi has since become internationally acclaimed for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. For the last 25 years President Maria Ponzi and Winemaker Luisa Ponzi have brought the estate to even greater heights, setting the standard for Oregon and remaining at the forefront of the nation's top wine producers.
Today the Ponzis are more focused than ever on their vineyards, in fact leading the charge for a new appellation within the Chehalem Mountains. Their home here in the Northern Willamette Valley provides their favored Laurelwood soils, what they believe is the ideal match to the Pinot Noir grape, lending richness and intense flavors. All their vineyards with the exception of their original Estate vineyard site face north, and since 2000 they have all been LIVE Certified Sustainable, the highest international standard of sustainable viticulture. Not only are their 130 acres farmed LIVE, but they encourage all grower partners to meet the same standards.
The Ponzi's state of the art winery was built in 2008 around the principle of allowing gravity flow from grape handling to bottling, through 4 progressive levels. It was one of the first wineries to be LIVE certified as well, for its environmentally conscious design. The winery allows the Ponzis to follow their philosophy of attentive vineyard labor that ends with gentle cellar handling. Other key tenets are: expertise drawn from the Old World and New World wisdom; clonal selection and planting suited to each vineyard site and variety; consistent, balanced wines.
The Ponzis are an amazing example of a family-run winery operating at the most sophisticated level.