19 Mar “If you like it, it’s good wine” – Ponte Family Estate
That’s the Ponte motto, and in my opinion many of their wines ARE good. Ponte has grown to be a really large winery! Sitting next door to South Coast and flanked on the other side by Wiens they are in a prime time spot in the valley. Brothers Roberto and Claudio Ponte started this winery in 1984. They now produce 15,000 cases per year. They grow 20 varietals, mostly Italian. Currently you can see construction next door as they build the Ponte Vineyard Innwhich will have rooms as well as an area for meetings. The restaurant here is not to be missed.
The dining is al fresco on the patio so dress appropriately. The tasting room is large and busy. We were lucky enough to have the intern Michel pouring for us and talking about Tuscan blends which being from Tuscany he is very familiar with! They are located in a beautiful spot and catch the breezes through the rainbow gap east of Mount Palomar. This provides them with a breeze in the heat of the summer. The water table is 50 feet below the vineyard so the grapes struggle and eventually will not need irrigation when the roots reach that depth. Fred took us on a fascinating tour which included the crush pad. All the harvesting here is done at night. The barrel room is tall and dark and cool and they have a fantastic port that we barrel tasted. Overall this was a very enjoyable stop. Everyone is attentive and helpful, the atmosphere is bright and fresh, with a comfortable feel and many of the wines were really lovely! I really enjoyed the 2010 Fume Blanc which was fresh and green and enchanting. And the port, as I mentioned before is destined to be fantastic.