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Bollinger family to buy Oregon winery Ponzi 

The family behind Champagne Bollinger is set to acquire its first US winery after agreeing a deal for pioneering Oregon Pinot Noir estate Ponzi Vineyards.

The Bollinger family is set to make Pinot Noir in Oregon after agreeing that its holding company, SJB, will buy Ponzi Vineyards for an undisclosed fee.

Family-run Ponzi Vineyards celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and has helped to spearhead Oregon’s reputation for Pinot Noir wines.

The winery also produces top Chardonnay, plus sparkling wines and also white wines from a range of other varieties, including Arneis, Riesling and Pinot Gris. 

Etienne Bizot, chairman and CEO of the Bollinger family holding group, said, ‘If there was anywhere outside of France where we felt it was critical to invest, it is in the US.

‘We have quietly considered opportunities for a number of years, but it is finally with the Ponzi family that we feel we have found the ideal fit.’

He added, ‘We have so much respect for what the Ponzis have achieved, and look forward to building on it together.’ 

The Ponzi family will retain 40.5 hectares (100 acres) of vineyard land and will grow and sell the grapes to Ponzi Vineyards under a long-term contract, the groups said in a joint statement.

SJB said the purchase includes the winery and tasting room facilities 40 minutes from Portland. 

It also encompasses 14 hectares (35 acres) of vineyard land in Laurelwood District – established as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2020.

Ponzi Vineyards' Aurora vineyard in Oregon

Ponzi’s Aurora Vineyard. Photo credit: Ponzi Vineyards.

‘We have dedicated our lives to demonstrating Oregon’s Willamette Valley as one of the greatest places on the planet for producing cool climate, high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,’ said winemaker Luisa Ponzi. 

Winery president Anna Maria Ponzi, Luisa’s sister, added, ‘It gives us immense satisfaction to have the opportunity to pass our legacy winery on to the Bollinger family, who will continue to elevate the brand on a global scale.’ 

A new CEO is set to be recruited, but the groups said Anna Maria would continue to lead sales and marketing during a transition period, and Luisa will remain as the director of viticulture and winemaking. 

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Alongside Bollinger & Ayala in Champagne, SJB also owns Chanson Père & Fils in Burgundy, Delamain in Cognac and Langlois-Chateau in the Loire Valley

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