The family plans to expand internationally by purchasing a leading vineyard in Oregon, its first purchase outside of France.
A Ÿ, FRANCES, 7. April 2021 – The Bollinger family, owners of the iconic Bollinger Champagne as well as four other historic vineyards in France, announces the upcoming purchase of its first vineyard in the United States with the purchase of the renowned Ponzi Vineyards in Oregon. The deal brings together the Bollinger family and the Ponzi family and will build on the legacy that the Ponzis built as one of Oregon’s first wineries and that has led to the success and growth of pinot noir in the region over the past 50 years.
Etienne Bizot, Chairman and CEO of Bollinger Holding, explains: The United States is such an important market for Champagne, Burgundy, Sancerre, Cognac and other regions where our family has high quality vineyards. If there is one place outside of France where we think it is very important to invest, it is in the United States. We spent years quietly considering the possibilities, but in the end we think we have found the perfect place to invest with the Ponzi family. Their bold vision to come to Oregon, the subsequent decades of recognition for continuous innovation and improvement – we have so much respect for what the Ponzi’s have accomplished and we look forward to growing together and forging closer ties between all of our brands and the U.S. market.
We’ve dedicated our lives to putting Oregon’s Willamette Valley on the map as one of the best cool-climate Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in the world, says Louise Ponzi, the winery’s winemaker, trained in Burgundy. This agreement makes sense for our families, as we share the same values and are committed to producing wines of the highest quality.
It is a great satisfaction for us to pass on the legacy of our winery to the Bollinger family, who will continue to develop the brand worldwide, says Anna Maria Ponzi, president of the winery. This is the natural next step for our brand and vineyard.
The purchase includes a winery and hospitality facility 40 minutes from Portland, Oregon, in addition to 35 acres of vineyards in the new AVA Laurelwood District. The winery has become an introduction to the region for countless people, not only through tours, but also through major events that the Ponzi family has helped create and support, such as the International Pinot Noir Festival, Oregon Pinot Camp and the Salud Pinot Noir Barrel Auction.
Under the leadership of the new General Manager, whose selection process is ongoing, Anna Maria will continue to manage sales and marketing during the transition period, while Louise will remain Director of Viticulture and Winemaking. The Ponzi family will retain 100 acres of vineyards and produce and sell grapes to Ponzi Vineyards under a long-term contract.
VINTUS, the national sales and marketing agent for Ponzi Vineyards and importer of Bollinger Champagne, Ayala Champagne, Domaine Chanson and Langlois-Chateau, will continue to handle Ponzi’s distribution in the United States.
The timing of the full transition will depend on normal regulatory processes and approvals.
About the Bollinger family:
SJB, the holding company of the Bollinger family, consists of estates in 4 French wine appellations: Bollinger and Ayala in Champagne, Chanson Per et Fils in Burgundy, Delamain in Cognac and Langlois-Chateau in the Loire Valley. Founded in 1829, the company has been owned by the same family ever since and will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2029. All these estates are linked to their terroir of ownership and viticulture. SJB’s mission is to provide consumers around the world with an outstanding experience of premium wines from the best wine regions.
About Ponzi Vineyards:
In the late 1960s, Dick and Nancy Ponzi uprooted their young family to pursue their dream of producing world-class pinot noir, and helped put Oregon’s Willamette Valley on the world map. Over the past thirty years, the Ponzi daughters have developed the family’s vineyards and wineries and introduced innovations in winemaking, viticulture and hospitality. This entrepreneurial family is also known for establishing the country’s first craft brewery in 1984 and one of the valley’s first regional restaurants in 1999, now run by son and brother Michel and his family.