Portland, OR, January 16, 2024 . . . 2024 is a year of change with the Oregon Wine Board (OWB). As well as appointing new Executive Director Gina Bianco, set to begin her tenure on February 1, the OWB announces transitions in its Board leadership team as well.
Greg Jones, CEO of Abacela in the Umpqua Valley, takes the helm as the Board Chair, succeeding Justin King, who served as Chair for the past two years and now serves as Chair Emeritus. The terms of three seasoned members come to a close; Donna Morris of Winderlea Vineyard and Winery, Dennis O’Donoghue of Celtic Moon Vineyards, and Bob Morus of Phelps Creek Vineyards. Governor Tina Kotek has named three new appointees to the Oregon Wine Board beginning January 2024: Anna Maria Ponzi of amponzi & company, Austin Kraemer of Kraemer Farms, and Adam Ramirez of Coventry Vale Winery.
Anna Maria Ponzi is renowned for her wine industry expertise, bringing a wealth of experience to the Oregon Wine Board. As a second-generation wine producer, former owner and past president of Ponzi Vineyards, she helped transform the business from a garage operation into an established wine brand founded five decades ago by her parents Dick and Nancy Ponzi. With a career spanning various industry organizations, including serving four years on the OWB in 1996, Ponzi continues to make significant contributions, currently serving as an Oregon Tourism Commissioner, and past president of the Oregon Winegrowers Association. Ponzi and her husband Brett Fogelstrom own issimo Vineyard in the Laurelwood District, a 20-acre vineyard planted in 2018 to Chardonnay and Pinot noir in Clonal Massale technique. She also co-owns Laurelwood Vineyard Management, overseeing more than 100 acres of vineyards. Her dedication extends beyond her business, as she actively participates in promoting sustainable practices and community engagement. Her approach to quality winemaking aligns seamlessly with the OWB’s commitment to success.
Austin Kraemer, a fourth-generation farmer from the Silverton area, manages Kraemer Farms‘ vineyard operations alongside his brother, Ben. He inherited a family legacy in agriculture, overseeing existing vineyard grounds and adding several hundred more acres. After his internship with E.J. Gallo Winery, Kraemer returned to Kraemer Farms, focusing on winery relations and shaping the trajectory of the vineyards’ operations, emphasizing his commitment to the family legacy and the thriving wine industry in the region. Beyond his vineyard responsibilities, Austin is an enthusiastic gardener, outdoorsman, and livestock raiser. His overarching goal is to continue the ongoing tradition of wine growing in the Willamette Valley, contributing to the industry’s advancement of businesses, people, and the environment.
Adam Ramirez is the visionary behind Coventry Vale Winery, and adds a unique dimension to the Oregon Wine Board with his multi-state experience. He relocated from Red Bluff, CA in 2006 to attend the University of Portland’s Pamplin School of Business and quickly rooted himself in Oregon and the broader Northwest community while falling in love with the wine industry in 2014. He is actively engaged in a pioneering grape planting project with Sixmile Canyon Vineyards near Boardman, OR, showcasing his dedication to the wine industry and viticulture in the region.
These transitions mark an exciting chapter for the Oregon Wine Board, with a dynamic mix of seasoned leadership and fresh perspectives. The nine Oregon Wine Board of Directors are: Greg Jones – Board Chair, Abacela, Tiquette Bramlett – Vice Chair, Chosen Family Wines, Justin King – Chair Emeritus, King Estate Winery, Gary Mortensen – Treasurer, Stoller Wine Group, Cristina Gonzales, Gonzales Wine Company, Dionne Irvine, Irvine & Roberts Vineyards, Anna Maria Ponzi, amponzi & company, Austin Kraemer, Kraemer Farms, and Adam Ramirez, Coventry Vale Winery. For more on each Board member, please visit the OWB site here.
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About the Oregon Wine Board
The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research, and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works for all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. To learn more, visit industry.oregonwine.org.