SHERWOOD, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nearly four years since its submission by Ponzi Vineyards and Dion Vineyards in 2016, the TTB has announced the approval of the Laurelwood District AVA, the latest American Viticultural Area within Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Beyond geographical boundaries this designation defines its area by its distinct soil type, Laurelwood.
“It’s been a decade-long project so we couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s a natural next step towards further defining the Willamette Valley,” remarked second-generation winemaker and winery owner Luisa Ponzi, who collaborated with her sister Anna Maria and the Johnson family of Dion Vineyards on the research and eventual application.
The Laurelwood District’s boundary is defined by the predominance of a unique soil series recognized as Laurelwood. This loess (windblown) soil consists of freshwater sedimentary topsoil over a fractured basalt subsoil. It encompasses over 33,000 acres of the North and East facing slope of the Chehalem Mountains, including the highest elevation in the Willamette Valley at 1633 ft.
“Our hope is that this AVA will better define this part of the Willamette Valley that is unique due to its geology and therefore, its wines,” Anna Maria Ponzi, President and owner of Ponzi Vineyards, explained. “As consumers are eager to know more about the products they purchase, this designation enables us to tell the story of this place and why and how our wines are different.”
Since the early ’70s, the Ponzi family has farmed 140 acres of certified sustainable vineyards all planted on Laurelwood soil. “We have an intimate relationship with this land. We’re confident in how to express this soil in the resulting wines,” Luisa Ponzi said, noting Pinot noirs show blue and black fruit, spice and rustic tannins, while Chardonnays present white floral aromas, brilliant acidity and salinity.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Ponzi Vineyards has developed a reputation for being Oregon trailblazers and innovators. The list of accomplishments includes pioneering one of the first vineyards in 1970, establishing Oregon’s first craft brewery in 1984, developing one of wine country’s first regional wine bars and restaurants, a state-of-the-art, gravity-flow winery and the valley’s first seated tasting experience for visitors. Winemaking innovations include the production of Italian varietals in the 1990s and most recently a viticultural technique called Clonal Massale, among others.
The sister-owned winery is located in Sherwood, just 20 miles from Portland. Ponzi Vineyards is nationally represented by Vintus Wines of New York.