Ponzi Vineyards

Laurelwood Pinot Noir 2018

Laurelwood District, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley


As one of the major wine publications once wrote, “All Oregon Pinot Noirs are measured against the Ponzi yardstick”. That has been true for over 50 years, while the Ponzi family has farmed 140 acres of certified sustainable vineyards all planted on Laurelwood soils. Taking on the mantle of pioneer spirit and innovation from their parents, sisters Maria and Luisa launched a decade-long pursuit, alongside neighboring growers, which has resulted in the recognition of Oregon’s first soil-based AVA, the Laurelwood District. Situated along the Northern ridge of the Willamette Valley, a long contiguous stretch of ancient fractured basalts are layered over with a fine, windblown sediment called loess. During their tenure on this unique land, the Ponzis have observed the unique characteristics as their vines penetrated the earth and evolved. Bright red fruit character in their youth gives way to dark berry and brambly spice as the vines reach into the volcanic layers.  The character of this soil has defined the Ponzis’ wines and served as a guide for generations of winemakers in the Willamette Valley. 


A true expression of America’s newest AVA, the Laurelwood Pinot Noir is a blend of Ponzi’s Aurora, Avellana and Madrona Vineyards along with Gemini, Alloro, Paloma and Sufi Vineyards, all of which are situated in the Laurelwood District AVA and LIVE Certified Sustainable. Each of the sites in this wine offers a different aspect, vine age, and root depth. Higher elevation sites and younger vineyards contribute bright red fruit and floral character while the lower elevation sites and older vineyards bring darker fruit and brambly spice character, all seamlessly knit together by fine, chalky tannin. This subregion of the Chehalem Mountains spreads across the northern slopes, largely protected from coastal rains, allowing the basalt soils to retain water in the spring and slowly, evenly drain throughout the growing season, bringing an inherent balance to the grape and a measured intensity to the wines.


Harvest: Sep-Oct 2018
Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Fermentation: In small lots, with daily punch-downs
Aging: 14 months, 20% new French oak, 10 months in bottle


The weather conditions throughout the growing season remained so ideal that the fruit came into the winery in pristine condition, perfectly and slowly ripened to intense flavor and maturity, all the winemaker needed to do was step aside and allow gorgeous wines to happen. The season began with each milestone hit at the expected time (bud break mid-April, flowering mid-June and fruit set in mid-July). The warm and dry summer had us all believing we were in for another early vintage and ripening due to heat stress, but early September rains allowed the vines a drink and cooler nights slowed down ripening to allow the fruit to be picked when perfectly ready. The white wines are aromatic and fresh with great fruit intensity and the reds are deeply colored with beautiful tannin structure, spicy dark fruits flavors and inherent balance.

Tasting Notes

“This generous nose is full of cassis, violets, anise and ripe blueberry aromas. Savory notes of rosemary, fir forest and prominent white pepper spice are interlaced throughout. The plush palate holds red and blue fruit, cocoa nibs, molasses and tobacco, honey and salted caramel. The velvety mouth leads to long, fine grained tannins.”

Food Pairing

“With bright red fruit, silky texture, and fine tannins, Ponzi’s Laurelwood Pinot Noir is a perfect pairing with seared duck breast and cranberry coulis, creamy risotto with porcini mushrooms, or a beet and lentil salad with tarragon vinaigrette.” – Winemaker Luisa Ponzi



Grape Varieties

Pinot Noir


Laurelwood District, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley


LIVE Certified Sustainable



Suggested Retail Price



"Luscious flavors and aromas"

James Suckling - May 12, 2022

"Luscious aromas and flavors of blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Medium to full body with round tannins and a savory finish. Spicy, with cardamon and clove, black licorice and sage. Sustainable. "-  J.S 4/22


"Expressive raspberry"

Wine Spectator - October 26, 2022

"Fragrant and elegantly structured, this red has expressive raspberry, fresh violet and spice flavors that build richness toward refined tannins."-  T.F 10/22


"Peppermint and Raspberry"

Wine Enthusiast - November 3, 2022

“The aromas are reserved, with notes of baking spice, cherry, dark raspberry and plum. Full-bodied, well-balanced peppermint and raspberry flavors follow. It's direct enjoyment.”-  S.S 11/22


"Peppermint and Raspberry"

Wine Enthusiast - April 6, 2023

“Pretty nose of green strawberries, cranberries, dark currants, licorice and button mushrooms. Juicy and tasty with a medium body and gently dusty tannins. Moreish.”-  J.S 3/23


More on Ponzi Vineyards Laurelwood Pinot Noir 2018

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Laurelwood Pinot Noir 2022

Laurelwood District, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley

Dick and Nancy Ponzi helped put Oregon on the map in the United States and the world, and the Ponzi family has worked continuously for over 50 years leading and innovating in the region and, in the case of Pinot Noir, across the country and indeed the world. Today winemaker Luisa Ponzi continues her work of the last 30 years with the family of Champagne Bollinger, which acquired Ponzi Vineyards in 2021. The estate’s drive to create distinctly pure Pinot Noir, in a distinctly Oregon manner, has never been stronger.

Pinot Noir Reserve 2016

Willamette Valley

The Pinot Noir Reserve comes primarily from estate grown fruit on Laurelwood soil in the Chehalem Mountains, including from some of Oregon’s oldest vines. It is hand crafted on a boutique scale, with tremendous attention to detail. An intense wine, it has an explosive nose of sassafras, coffee, sweet plum and spice box; a full and seamless palate with baker's chocolate, blueberry, lavender and tea; and a long and balanced finish.

Tavola Pinot Noir 2022

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Tavola is Ponzi's delicious early release Pinot Noir, a fruit-forward wine with soft tannins, made primarily from younger, lower elevations vines. Meant for early consumption, it is an unbeatable value for quality Pinot Noir.

Laurelwood Chardonnay

Laurelwood District, Willamette Valley, Oregon

The Ponzi family has dedicated over 30 years to innovation in farming and winemaking to develop Oregon Chardonnay's place in the world. Luisa Ponzi's formative experiences working in Burgundy in the early 1990s guide her vision of producing complex and ageworthy Chardonnay.

Pinot Gris

Willamette Valley

One of the original and most recognized Oregon and U.S. Pinot Gris producers, Ponzi was a major influence in establishing Pinot Gris as the first quality white grape variety in Oregon. Ponzi's Pinot Gris is an irresistably aromatic and expressive wine, and serves as a first encounter for many wine drinkers with Oregon wines and the Ponzi estate.