Ponzi Vineyards’ recently released 2017 Laurelwood District Chardonnay Reserve (92 Points – Wine Enthusiast) not only highlights Luisa Ponzi’s preeminence in fashioning world-class Chardonnay, it also shines a spotlight on the Laurelwood District’s distinctive terroir. This beautiful Chardonnay offers a beguiling floral nose and plenty of smooth toasty flavors infused with juicy Bosc pear and crisp citrus tones. In the mouth, the wine’s elegant fruit, touches of nutmeg and clove, and distinct minerality born of Laurelwood’s distinctive terroir form a tasty, irresistible bond. Silky smooth and long in the mouth, the gorgeous 2017 Ponzi Laurelwood District Chardonnay Reserve presses all of the buttons with its pronounced elegance and well-integrated mélange of flavors. Enjoy this world-class Chardonnay now and often for years to come! Serve at 40°-45° F. Anticipated maturity: 2021-2025.
Consummate lovers of Chardonnay will want to drink the 2017 Ponzi Laurelwood District Chardonnay Reserve with abandon, with or without an accompaniment, but why not double the pleasure? Wild-caught Pacific salmon grilled on a cedar plank, creamy mushroom risottos, and nearly any poultry dish will shine brighter in the company of Luisa Ponzi’s delicious 2017 Laurelwood District Chardonnay Reserve. Sea bass with a fennel puree gets our vote, while lobster in drawn butter and creamy scallop dishes make equally fine companions. Roast turkey with all of the trimmings provides another tasty companion. A perfectly grilled veal chop with mushrooms also wins accolades. Root vegetables, squash, and pumpkin pair nicely, too, with the barrel-aged 2017 Ponzi Laurelwood District Chardonnay Reserve. Pumpkin ravioli makes a case for itself as well. Creamy, rich cheeses in the company of slices of fresh-cut apples and pears provide a simple sophisticated match that’s also hard to beat. Bon Appétit!
Dick and Nancy Ponzi are true Oregon pioneers. They settled in Willamette Valley in the late 1960s when hardly anyone thought of growing grapes in Oregon. Like true pioneers, they took a leap of faith and planted a vineyard in 1969 and established Ponzi the following year. At the time, there were only 35 acres of vines in all of Oregon and just 5 bonded wineries. Since their first vintage in 1974 and for nearly 50 years the Ponzi family have been fashioning world-class wines as well as some of the earliest commercial wines in Oregon. Ponzi is also only one of two wineries that petitioned to establish the very special newly created Laurelwood District American Viticultural Area (AVA) within Willamette Valley.
For the past three decades Ponzi Vineyards has been under the direction of Dick and Nancy’s daughters, Anna Maria and Luisa Ponzi. Anna Maria served as President and head of sales and marketing until just recently, while Luisa has established herself as one of the world’s most accomplished winemakers. Although the iconic Bollinger family of Champagne purchased Ponzi Vineyards in April 2021, including the winery and 35 acres of Ponzi’s 135 acres, Luisa Ponzi continues as Director of Viticulture and Winemaking.
Luisa Ponzi is widely recognized as one of the world’s most accomplished winemakers. Not only has she been an integral part of Ponzi Vineyards for 50 years, she studied enology in Beaune, France and worked at the renowned Domaine Roumier, the producer of many of Burgundy’s greatest wines. Moreover, in 1993 Luisa was the first woman awarded the prestigious Certificate Brevet Professionelle D’Oenologie et Viticulture, which not only adds further testimony to the Ponzi family’s pioneering spirit, but more importantly, it has served to inspire other women.
Producing exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are Ponzi Vineyards’ claims to fame as Ponzi consistently fashions some of the very best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in America. Ponzi was also one of the first Oregon wineries to plant Pinot Gris in the 1970s, and they continue to fashion excellent Pinot Gris as well as a classic sparkling wine, and small quantities of additional varietals.
Established in June 2020, the Laurelwood District is one of Oregon’s newest American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). The Laurelwood District is nestled on the north- and east-facing slopes of Willamette Valley’s Chehalem Mountains. It is the only Oregon AVA that is based on soil composition rather than geographical area. The Laurelwood District boundary is determined by the AVA’s unique soil, also called Laurelwood, a combination of windblown silt and basalt that has accumulated over millennia. The Laurelwood District encompasses more than 33,000 acres, 25 wineries, and Willamette Valley’s highest elevation at 1,633 feet.
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