Oregon’s Ponzi Vineyards getting ready to unveil state-of-art tasting room

by | Apr 2, 2013 | News, Oregon wine | 4 comments

Ponzi Vineyards

An artist’s rendering of Ponzi Vineyards’ new tasting room, scheduled to open in June. (Courtesy of Ponzi Vineyards)

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Ponzi Vineyards, one of Oregon’s oldest and most innovative and progressive wineries, is getting ready to unveil a new tasting room.

Ponzi Vineyards was founded nearly 40 years ago by Dick and Nancy Ponzi. The second generation is building a beautiful new tasting room atop a hill near the winery’s gravity-flow production facility near the northern Willamette Valley town of Sherwood on Chehalem Mountain.

Maria Ponzi, director of sales and marketing for Ponzi, said her husband, Brett Fogelstrom, has served as the designer and general contractor on the project. He operates Fogelstrom Design/Build.

“He and I have worked very closely to create a modern facility that will set the bar for Oregon wine country destinations,” she said.

The new Ponzi tasting room is expected to open during the first half of June. Laurel Dent, marketing manager for the winery, said she hopes for a soft opening Memorial Day, a big event weekend for all Willamette Valley wineries.

Ponzi Vineyards’ long history of innovation

The Ponzi family has been setting the bar since arriving in 1970. Dick and Nancy Ponzi planted their vineyard in the northern Willamette Valley and have never slowed down. In 1984, they launched BridgePort Brewing, Oregon’s first craft brewery and brewpub. They sold it in 1995.

In 1987, Nancy Ponzi helped launch the International Pinot Noir Celebration, a three-day spotlight on Pinot Noir from around the world. In 1992, she helped found ¡Salud! Pinot Noir Barrel Auction to help raise money to benefit seasonal farm workers. In 2000, she helped launch Oregon Pinot Camp, a three-day annual trade event.

In 1998, the Ponzi Wine Bar opened along Highway 99W in Dundee. It features Ponzi wines as well as many other top Oregon producers, a remarkable show of collaboration. A year later, the Ponzis opened the Dundee Bistro next door. It quickly became one of the top restaurants in the heart of Oregon wine country – featuring one of the state’s best wine lists.

In 2004, Ponzi began using screwcaps, among the first premium Pinot Noir producers to do so.

All of this comes in addition to the steady stream of accolades from wine critics regionally, nationally and globally.

Next step is new Ponzi Vineyards tasting room

Ponzi Vineyards

Maria Ponzi and husband Brett Fogelstrom at the site of Ponzi Vineyards’ new state-of-the-art tasting room

The next step for the Ponzis is their new tasting room.

“It transports us from the original humble beginnings of our garage and family home, which served us well for more than 40 years,” Maria Ponzi said. “The new tasting room’s sophisticated lounge will feature table-side wine service, an antipasti menu, stunning views and a fireplace, creating the ultimate wine tasting experience.”

Ponzi, who runs the winery with her winemaking sister, Luisa Ponzi, said the history of the winery’s humble beginnings have helped motivate them to continue to push forward.

“As we look back over the past four decades of accomplishments, we reflect on where it all began,” she said. “From producing and and selling our wines out of the garage to an incredible hilltop tasting room and winery, I am proud of how the brand has grown.”



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About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is founding partner of Great Northwest Wine LLC and a longtime wine columnist. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books.

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  1. Wine Dude

    I sure hope the workers at the new tasting room are friendlier than the folks there the last time I stopped by. I’m retired after 40 years in the wine biz and was in Oregon for some meetings. I went to Ponzi’s tasting room with about 10 minutes to spare before closing. For whatever reason, the person working the tasting room decided that they couldn’t pour anything for me…pathetic. The only other time something like that has happened to me was in the early ’70’s in the Napa Valley. One tasting room in St. Helena used to ring a bell at 4:00 and announce “Last Call” like I was in a bar. Such wonderful (TIC) hospitality is never forgotten…

    • Chris

      I was there 10 days ago and we were rushed out by the hostess, really unfriendliest of anyplace we have been. It is beautiful, though.

  2. Ponzi Vineyards

    Wine Dude, we’re so sorry to hear about your experience. This certainly is not consistent with the standard of service we aim to provide to our guests. We’d like to learn more about your visit in order to address this issue with the team. You may reach me at laurel@ponziwines.com or 503-628-1227. We do hope you will consider another visit in the future.

  3. Filomena Ponzi

    As a family member living in Michigan, I can attest the staff, Ponzi Team strive to be the best in the industry, and have proved that for over 40 years… Your next visit will be an adventure, an experience you won’t soon forget. Salute!


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