This interview is with Max Bruening of Ponzi Vineyards. In this interview, Max speaks about his journey to Oregon and his path to his current role of Ponzi’s associate winemaker.
Max talks about growing up in Michigan and his early passions in wine. He then dives into his travels that shaped his wine journey and winemaking style.
Max shares his love for the hard work of wine and talks about his personal aspirations in both wine and life.
This interview was conducted by Rich Schmidt at Ponzi Vineyards in Sherwood on June 23, 2023.
This interview is with Julia Cresto of Little Hellion Wines. In this interview, Julia starts off by saying she wanted to find a job that would be her passion, and she found that in wine. She goes on to describe her time at Oregon State and the many places she’s travelled which gave her the experience she needed to land a permanent position at Ponzi Vineyards. She takes us to Italy, California, and even Australia in her stories.
She also talks about her mentors in the industry and how their styles and techniques differed. She goes over the process of making wine and what her favorite parts are.
Later, she talks about her own farm, generational home, and the timeline for release of her new label. While 2020’s fires ruined the harvest for many, Julia was able to pick her fruit and create Little Hellion Wine’s first product. She hopes her wine is something that is approachable, consumer based, and loved by friends and family.
This interview was conducted by Rich Schmidt at Julia’s family farm in McMinnville on February 8th, 2021.
This interview is with Anna Maria Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards. In this interview, Maria talks about how she was born into the wine industry with visionary parents and how she is so grateful to be a part of the industry. She speaks about her past— how Ponzi has evolved into what it is today— reflecting on her childhood memories of long hours in the dirt and rain. She then goes on to explain how she found her place in the marketing side of the industry after moving back from the East Coast to work with her family. Maria then goes on to state how the winery has thrived because of the way her parents had an open relationship with their kids, as well as how being a woman and daughter in the industry meant she had to be strong, persistent, and courageous to be taken seriously. She then speaks about her day to day life, her marketing philosophy, the various organizations she has been a part of (including Salud!), as well as the numerous amount of projects she has been working on. From completing her first memoir and sharing the story of Oregon wine, to being an advocate for women, equality, and inclusion, Maria is most “proud of everyone and what we’ve done.” Towards the end of the interview, she discusses the future for her business (keeping the same values as her parents, and doing what they do well), changes in the Oregon Wine Industry, and offers advice to someone looking to enter the industry.
This interview was conducted by Rich Schmidt on June 7, 2019.
This interview is with Luisa Ponzi, winemaker and second generation owner at Ponzi Vineyards. Luisa discusses growing up in the family business, leaving then finding her way back to wine and eventually taking on the role as winemaker from her father. She also talks about the rapid growth of the winery and advice for someone wanting to join the industry.
This interview was conducted by Rich Schmidt at Ponzi Vineyards on September 15, 2017.
Originally having nothing to do with viticulture or enology, Dick and Nancy Ponzi were just working class citizens of Southern California. Their path to wine began to unfold one day when Dick decided to revive his family tradition of home winemaking. Their interest grew and they moved to Oregon where they established their vineyard in 1970, and produced their first vintage in 1974.
In this interview, Dick Ponzi goes deeper into his origins in the wine industry and expounds upon the history of the early wine industry organizations: the Oregon Winegrowers Association and the Winegrowers Council of Oregon. Ponzi shares his recollection of the early winegrower’s dynamics, and speaks about the struggles and success the organizations faced when trying to pass legislation and market Oregon wine.
This interview was conducted by Rich Schmidt on November 24, 2015.
Nancy Ponzi is the co-founder of Ponzi Vineyards with her husband, Dick Ponzi. Nancy holds a number of accomplishments, including being the founding director of the Washington County Wineries Association and being a crucial part in establishing the Oregon Wine Advisory Board.
She was interviewed as part of the “Beyond The Vines” project with the Linfield College Center for the Northwest.
This interview was conducted by Rachael Woody on May 23, 2013.
Originally having nothing to do with viticulture or enology, Dick and Nancy Ponzi were just working class citizens of Southern California. Their path began to unfold one day when Dick decided to revive his family tradition of home wine making. Their interest grew and they moved to Oregon where they established their vineyard in 1970 and produced their first vintage in 1974.
This interview was conducted by Jeff Peterson on July 1, 2010.
Dick and Nancy Ponzi were interviewed as part of the project, “The Pinot Chronicles: 25 Years of Oregon’s International Pinot Noir Celebration.” This video was sponsored and conducted by the Linfield College Center for the Northwest.
This interview was conducted by Jeff Peterson in the summer of 2010.
This interview is with Dick Ponzi, co-founder of Ponzi Vineyards, and Luisa Ponzi (Dick’s daughter), head winemaker at Ponzi Vineyards. They discuss what it was like growing up in the winery, memorable moments through the years, and challenges they had to overcome.
This interview was conducted by Janis Miglavs on October 26, 2007.
In this interview, Nancy Ponzi talks about the ¡Salud! health care program for vineyard workers, as well as the development of the wine industry. She also touches on what it was like raising a family with the business and how their children continue to be involved. Dick explains why he and Nancy ventured up to Oregon to start a winery and how his background as an engineer helped him along the way. He also discusses various mechanical and enological practices regarding winemaking.
This interview was conducted circa 2004-2006.