The mission of True Story Wines is to create a brilliant, celebrated and respected brand of wines. True Story Wines will never sacrifice the commitment to sourcing the very best growing opportunities, winemakers and superior efforts in the journey to create outstanding wine.
All good stories start with some sort of unexpected twist, and True Story is no different. Odysseus never meant to go on an odyssey, Romeo and Juliet never intended to be star crossed lovers, Frodo didn’t plan on being the ring bearer, and William never set out to create a wine.
True Story began with William doing his favorite part of his job; spending the day showcasing a winemaker and their wine to customers. The day True Story was conceived was particularly exciting because he was working with a winemaker he had never met before. His love and passion for wine had gotten him into the habit of really picking winemakers brains asking many questions, some might even say too many. It turned out Eric Hamacher, one of the most knowledgeable winemakers William had ever met, answered all of William's questions eagerly. Eric, being a patrolmen in Oregon, and William, having spent years living in Vail, the pair discovered not only did they share a passion for wine, but also skiing. This shared passion led to the Hamacher-Ponzi family coming for a ski vacation with William in Colorado.
Unbeknownst to William, Eric’s wife was also a winemaker, and not only that, her family was the second to make wine in Oregon. At the end of a great ski trip, Luisia Ponzi suggested William create his own wine, because it was clear he had such passion for the subject. After all, Luisa and her husband owned half of the Carlton wine studio where a number of wineries share equipment to produce independent wines. William contacted his nephew, Casey, to help run the numbers and create a business plan. After eight months of planning, William and Casey found themselves elbow deep in grapes on the sorting table. True Story was born.
2013 was our first harvest and, boy, we dove in head first, almost literally. A fall typhoon hit the Pacific Northwest, producing one of the wettest harvests on record. William soon realized he was going to need backup and flew in Casey to come help with the harvest. One of the major problems associated with this large amount of moisture is mold. William and Casey traveled to each vineyard cutting and stomping on moldy fruit, ensuring it did not find its way into our wine. This commitment made a huge difference in the quality of our wine and was well worth the extra effort. Being our first harvest, there was lots to learn and mistakes to be made. Fortunately for us, Eric was there to teach us and we only covered him in wine once. Overall it was a thrilling experience serving to whet our appetite for future harvests.
Working at the same winery two harvests in a row would be too simple for us, so for the third year, there was a slight change in our wine making venue. Fermentation will still take place at Ponzi, but our barrel aging will happen at the Historic Estate. This little wrinkle added a few more hours to our days, but was nothing we couldn’t handle. If we thought the weather in 2014 was good, 2015 was even better. Warm days and cool nights provided an ideal growing environment. This vintage was also the first for our rosé. Our fruit for the rosé was sourced from some of the original pinot noir vines in Oregon. Our excitement over the 2013 vintage has grown as we have moved the wine from the barrel to bottle.
The wet and wild 2013 harvest had us looking forward to 2014 and the projected perfect weather. After working at the Carlton studio in 2013, the opportunity to move to the world class Ponzi winery was too good to pass up. Gravity-flow and LIVE certified, the Ponzi Winery is a modern day world-class winery. The weather was as good as promised, producing practically perfect pinot noir grapes and we couldn’t have been more pleased. We weren’t the only ones who were enjoying the weather; the ladybugs were out in force enjoying the warm fall sunshine. Getting our second harvest under our belt certainly made us more confident and excited for 2015.
2016 started with the earliest harvest in the history of Oregon. A warm spring, beautiful summer, and short heat spike in August had the crew heading to Oregon a week earlier than expected. A cool down arrived the same time as the grapes and helped create a steady stream of beautiful fruit. We worked fast and furious for a few weeks, with new vineyards fruits arriving daily. Fortunately for us, our last vineyard of pinot noir was harvested just days before another fall typhoon hit. We continued our production of rosé of pinot noir, and were also excited to create our first white wine. The beautiful riesling grapes were simply too exquisite to pass up. We purchased two top of the line German stainless steel barrels for our first white wine fermentation. The best part of 2016 though, is that True Story is available in Colorado! We are looking forward to expanding our markets and offerings in 2017 and the years to come.