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Pontin del Roza
by
Terry Sullivan

Pontin del RozaSummary: A little over four miles north of downtown Prosser, lies Pontin del Roza vineyards, winery and tasting room. The Pontin family can trace its winegrowing and winemaking roots back to Italy. Now, Scott Pontin continues the family tradition crafting wines.

Pontin del Roza translated from Italian means the Pontin family farm on the Roza. This vineyard and winery is family owned and operated.

Pontin del RozaIn the early 1950’s Nesto and Delores Pontin began farming the land in Posser, Washington. They began with a turkey farm and later added Concord grapes that were sold to Welch’s. The family also farmed wheat, mint, potatoes, sugar beets and apples. Today the family farms apples, hops and 200 acres of grapes including Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Dolcetto (pictured), Malbec, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and Syrah. Grapes from the vineyards are used to make Pontin del Roza wines and sold to other wineries. At the time of our late September 2011 visit, the white grape harvest was just beginning. Red wine grapes are a few weeks behind but should be harvested by mid to late October.

Scott Pontin is a third generation winemaker with family roots back to the Piedmont wine region of Italy. His interest in wine surfaced early. While in highs school he worked on an FFA (Future Farmers of America) project involving creating the winery. The winery was established in 1984. Scott likes to increase the hang time for grapes and prefers making small lots of wine. Today, Scott produces about 4,000 cases of wine.

The drive to the winery and tasting room is past vineyards on both sides of Hinzerling Road. You will also notice extremely tall poles. Hops were recently harvested in those areas. The tasting room is in a modern looking grey building with a prominent cursive letter “P” over the doorway. Once inside you’ll notice an equally modern interior with a distinctive elegant feel.

An indoor/outdoor fireplace is a focal point for a living room-like space. A leather sofa and cloth-covered chairs give this area a homey feel. An old wine press brings one back to the reality that you are in a tasting room. Wine and wine accessories are artfully displayed along one wall of the tasting room. The tasting counter at the end of the room extends the elegant feel with chandeliers providing light over the black counter. White brick in the background make it easy to judge the color of the wines.

Pontin del Roza     Pontin del Roza

Pontin del RozaWhite Wines

The 2010 Pinot Grigio had mineral notes on the aroma. The taste offered stone fruits and minerality. The 2010 Chenin Blanc was a light straw color. Tropical fruits were on the aroma and taste. This is a good 3P wine (patio, picnic and pool). The 2010 White Riesling was very fragrant with hints of orange blossoms and minerals. The taste was sweet with apricots. The finish was long and lingered. The 2008 Ice Wine was made with Pinot Grigio. The aroma had a hint of honey and the taste was fruity. The finish lingered.

Red Wines

The 2010 Dolcetto was purple with a dark pink rim. There were dark fruits on the aroma and taste and the finish had tannins and was fruity. The 2008 Sangiovese was a red color. It offered cherries on the aroma and taste while the finish had bold tannins and was chewy and fruity. The 2009 Vino Da Tavola (wine for the table) was a red colored blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The aroma and taste had red fruits especially cherries and raspberries. There were tannins on the fruity finish. The 2008 Merlot was a ruby color that offered red and black berry fruits on the aroma and taste.The wine finished with tannins and was crisp and fruity. Bolder tannins were on the finish of the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. This ruby colored wine had black fruit on the aroma and taste.

Take time to visit the Pontin del Roza winery tasting room a little over four miles north of the downtown Prosser area. You’ll drive past vineyards and and get a feel for being in wine country. There is usually a family member in the tasting room who will pour samples.

Pontin Del Roza
35502 N. Hinzerling Road
Prosser, Washington 99350

GPS: N46º 16.008‘ W119º 46.118’

 

 


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