Northwest Wine

Longtime Prosser farmer, winemaker dies

A 93-year-old patriarch of one of Prosser’s wineries died Friday.

Nesto S. Pontin died in his sleep more than 35 years after he and his son Scott planted their first batch of white riesling grapes on his farm. The success of the initial planting led to an expansion and the founding of one of Prosser’s oldest wineries, Pontin del Roza winery.

The Prosser resident’s farming roots go back further than those first vineyards. He first started his farm with his wife, Dolores, in 1954. They raised turkeys, grew grapes, apples, sugar beets and potatoes.

But the family’s history in making wines goes back even further, with a history that goes back for generations, Scott Pontin told the Herald in 1994.

He loved farming, and he could often be found examining his fields before the first light.

“He left his mark on all those who were part of his life, regardless of how brief that may have been,” the winery posted on its Facebook page. “We will see his face and hear his voice in the fields of the farm he so loved.”

More than 80 people shared their condolences on the post, with many of them remembering him as kind man.

He loved his family as well. He had two sons and two daughters, nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.