Play Your Position with Mary Lou Kayser

Anna Maria Ponzi is the former owner and past president of Ponzi Vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. From the age of four, she’s had the rare experience of working in every aspect of the winery. She helped plant its original vines, worked on the bottling line, hosted guests in the tasting room and has made countless national and international sales calls. Anna Maria has served the state’s wine industry in myriad ways, including serving as an early ambassador for Oregon wine both nationally and internationally while building Oregon wine country into a travel destination. 

After earning her degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, she worked in Boston’s publishing industry until returning to the rural family business in 1991. Soon after, she was joined by her winemaking sister and the two young women trailblazed the growing tide of female vintners. Simultaneously, they grew the business from an annual production of 10,000 to over 50,000 cases and increased its vineyard holdings from 20 to 140 acres. This ownership distinguished Ponzi Vineyards as the nation’s only winery solely owned and operated by second-generation sisters at the time. 

She is recognized for establishing a premiere travel destination with the opening of the valley’s first seated wine experience among other visitor attractions in the area. Her memoir ‘Pinot Girl’ was released in celebration of the winery’s 50th Anniversary in 2020. A year later, she and her sister successfully negotiated the sale of the winery to the esteemed French house Société Jacques Bollinger of Champagne, France. In 2023, she created “The Four-Ounce Pour”, a keynote that reflects on her life in wine and how bringing intentionality and balance into our lives creates greater meaning and impact.

Connect with Maria Ponzi on her website: 

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Direct download: Maria_Ponzi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT