19500 SW Mountain Home Road
Phone: (503) 628-1227
Contact: Maria Ponzi
Hours of Operation: M - F: 11:30 am to 5:00 pm
Dick and Nancy Ponzi moved their young family to the Willamette Valley in the late 1960s with a spirit of adventure and a passion for making world-class Pinot noir. After many research trips to Burgundy and an extensive search for an ideal location, they purchased 20 acres on a small farm just southwest of Portland, Oregon. It was a daring risk – at the time, the Pacific Northwest was not thought to be a place to grow Pinot Noir, but Dick and Nancy realized the Northern Willamette Valley's climate was ideal for cool-climate varieties. Pinot noir cuttings were planted, and in 1970 Ponzi Vineyards was founded.
Ponzi Vineyards' first commercial wine was four barrels of Pinot Noir in 1974. Since then, Ponzi Vineyards has become internationally acclaimed for its limited production Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Arneis, Dolcetto and White Riesling.
As pioneers and visionaries in the Oregon wine industry's earliest moments, Dick and Nancy played a key role in creating its foundation. Their many visits to the state legislature helped found some of the toughest labeling requirements in the country and helped allow wineries and adjoining tasting rooms to be constructed on agricultural land – a first for Oregon.
They helped found the Oregon Winegrowers Association and the Oregon Wine Advisory Board (currently known as the Oregon Wine Board), both of which are important organizations to this day in providing research and promotion.
Dick Ponzi's background as a mechanical engineer and his winemaking talents led to the development of techniques and equipment that are now standard practice in the industry.
Nancy Ponzi co-founded some of the most important and successful wine events in the state, namely the International Pinot Noir Celebration, The Salud Barrel Auction to benefit health care for seasonal workers, and Oregon Pinot Camp.
In the early days of marketing Oregon wines, Dick and Nancy were some of the first vintners to travel outside the state and introduce the trade, press and consumers to the then-unknown region and its wines.
The methods, philosophies, and winemaking passion established more than 40 years ago is still practiced today under the Family's second-generation.
Winemaker: Luisa Ponzi
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