Ponzi Vineyards

Avellana Chardonnay 2017

Willamette Valley, Oregon


Oregon Chardonnays present an unparalleled combination of bright acidity, texture and freshness of fruit on the mid-palate. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi’s goal is to allow the wines to express these characteristics each vintage through single vineyard expressions. The successes at Aurora Vineyard are expressed at this youthful vineyard planted in 2006. The site features a fusion of the right clones and rootstock planted on rich Laurelwood soil. Avellana yields a richer, weightier style Chardonnay as compared to the Aurora single vineyard wine.



The Chardonnay grapes for this single vineyard cuvée were grown on Laurelwood soil at Ponzi’s LIVE Certified Sustainable Avellana Vineyard located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA.


The grapes for this wine were sorted and whole cluster pressed. The juice settled for 12 hours before going directly to barrel for fermentation. Using 45% new French oak lightly toasted puncheons and cool temperatures the fermentation was completed with, primarily, wild yeasts. Malolactic fermentation is 100% completed with wild bacteria. Lees are stirred post ML weekly for 6 months before a fall racking to more neutral oak and bottling in the spring of 2019. This wine is in barrel for a total of 20 months and in bottle for 4 months before release.


The 2017 vintage was a welcome throwback to more classic vintage years after the previous five warm years. The winter was unusually cold and snowy. That extended into a cool spring, delaying bud break by a few weeks into April and bloom following suit in late June. The summer came dry and warm, for the most part, though we saw plenty of grey skies due to smoke from fires in the north and east. Fortunately, the Willamette Valley was spared any effect from the smoke and may have even benefited from some protection from sunburn in the hottest part of the summer. Set was very large, so judicious fruit thinning was required to maintain quality and control volume. Harvest began in late September and long mild days ensued. Cool nights kept acids brilliant and bits of rain here and there ensured beautiful conditions for ripe, clean fruit with mature skin and seed tannin. Reminiscent of recent vintages–2010 and 2011- this vintage will be one to enjoy immediately and for the long term.


“Notes of white lavender, shortbread and vanilla poached pear mingle with lemon chiffon, chamomile, quince and white pepper frame this expressive nose. This generous mouth is fresh with tangerine citrus, cardamon spice and a mid-palate of pillowy soft richness.” – Winemaker Luisa Ponzi



Grape Varieties



Willamette Valley, Oregon


Sourced from Ponzi’s LIVE Certified Sustainable Avellana Vineyard



Suggested Retail Price



"Complex and concentrated"

James Suckling - "Very impressive, pure and lively aromas of fresh lemons on offer here with lemon pastry, stones and a fragrant, spiced-pastry note. The palate has impressive, fleshy appeal and smooth peaches and pears, framed in pastry, spice and grilled cashews. Complex and concentrated." 

Wine Enthusiast - Full Review To Be Posted in April 2020

"Polished and compelling"

Wine Spectator - "Polished and compelling, showing graceful complexity and offering lively apple blossom and pear flavors that linger on the long, supple finish."

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Pinot Noir Reserve

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Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve is the epitome of restrained power. It hails primarily from estate grown fruit on Laurelwood soils in the Chehalem Mountains, including from some of Oregon’s oldest vines. This remarkably complex wine is handcrafted with tremendous attention to detail.

Classico Pinot Noir

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The "classic" representation of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, this wine encapsulates the experience, innovation, top vineyard sources, and expertise of the pioneering Ponzi family. Among the first to make Pinot Noir in Oregon and the United States and, since the start, among the very best. 

Tavola Pinot Noir

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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. 

Chardonnay Reserve

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The Ponzi family has dedicated over 25 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.

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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.

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Pinot Blanc

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Pinot blanc was planted at Aurora Vineyard in the early 1990s, taking advantage of an ideal portion of the 80-acre site. This versatile white wine is a wonderful alternative to Pinot gris. Beautiful floral aromas of jasmine and magnolia mingle with notes of lychee, lemongrass, beeswax and green tea mochi with a touch of cardamom. The textured mouth is reminiscent of shortbread and the freshness of rainwater and wet slate with bright, juicy acidity that encourages another sip.

Madrona Pinot Noir

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With its first bottling in 2016, Ponzi Vineyard's remarkable Pinot noir from Madrona Vineyard showcases the consistently stunning fruit from these 30-year-old vine. It reveals a true sense of place in the bottle. The vineyard was named for the madrone trees which surround the 10-acre site and is own rooted Pommard clone. This stunning expression of the Willamette Valley is handcrafted with tremendous attention to detail.

Aurora Chardonnay

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Oregon Chardonnays present an unparalleled combination of bright acidity, texture and freshness of fruit on the mid-palate. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi’s goal is to allow the wines to express these characteristics each vintage through single vineyard expressions. Aurora yields an elegant wine with bright acidity and fruit.