Oregon Wine Board 2019-20 Annual Report


Letter from Your President

Dear Friends,

This remarkable year was unlike any other.

It embraced two time spans connected chronologically, yet punctuated by the pandemic.

Before and during COVID-19, the Oregon Wine Board’s management team remained centered on industry
needs and achieved milestones including:

  • Another attendance record at the 2020 Oregon Wine Symposium;
  • Publicity for Oregon wine quality metrics strengthening our competitive position. For example, with less than 0.2% of global production, Oregon accounted for 5% of wines listed in Wine Spectator’s global Top 100;
  • A new record for off-premise availability measured by Nielsen: 46%, up +13% versus a year ago;
  • Maintaining the highest technical research investment ever, $417,500;
  • Designation of two new AVAs, bringing Oregon to 21.

As COVID-19 disruptions presented themselves, OWB’s priorities evolved yet remained intertwined with
the challenges facing wine business owners and the Board’s primary strategic plan objectives:

  • Further elevating the esteem in which Oregon’s wines are held;
  • Adding value with new learning, knowledge and insights;
  • Focusing collective resources for greater impact than individual groups can achieve singularly.

Important alliances were leveraged to deliver on those objectives:

  • OWB and the Washington State Wine Commission jointly sponsored media events and educational engagements;
  • The New Zealand Winegrowers partnered again with OWB to target high-value international buyers;
  • Closer to home, our relationship with Travel Oregon yielded timely, opportunistic press coverage and incremental program support.

Financially, the year demanded aggressive cost management. OWB expenses were carefully monitored as our program calendar shifted. For the year, operating costs were nearly 12% lower than originally planned. In the following pages, you’ll find more details on our activities. Thank you to the growers, winemakers and partners who helped us overcome unexpected circumstances and build the foundation for recovery.

Tom Danowski