Dick and Nancy Ponzi came to the Willamette Valley in 1968, launching Ponzi Vineyards from a valley-floor estate vineyard in 1970. Relocating from Los Gatos, California, first-generation Italian-American Dick Ponzi was a mechanical engineer who designed rides for Disneyland.
Leaving the corporate life behind, Dick and Nancy’s interest in the wines of Burgundy brought them and their three young children to Oregon. At the time, David Lett had planted Pinot Noir, but the Ponzis did not know the Letts, and it would be years before they’d meet.
Scroll down to see tasting notes of seven Ponzi Vineyards wines
Four hectares of former strawberry fields were planted to Pinot Noir vines in 1970. The first barrels of Ponzi Pinot Noir were produced in 1974 and the wines made it to the Portland market in 1976, all 96 cases of it.