Oregon Wine Board 2020-21 Annual Report
A letter from the president.
This past year repeatedly tested our capacity for overcoming the unexpected.
The world continued to cope with the rolling disruptions of COVID-19 roller coaster ride while Oregon growers, winemakers, and their business partners also experienced historic wildfires in indelibly memorable and—in some cases—devastating ways.
Our wine economy, measured by its statewide economic impact, contracted by $1.5 billion last year. Events conspired to choke off market access, suspend long-haul tourism, redirect wine consumption back to our homes, and then, at harvest time, to blanket vineyards around the state in dense, ground-level fire smoke that contributed to a 29% drop in 2020 tonnage. The final punctuation mark on the fiscal year, a stifling heat dome in late June, left us even more anxious than before to turn the page on 2020-21.
The pages that follow reflect recovery programs anchored in the extraordinary resolve of our industry members to cope with new market pressures and forces of nature. Our community demonstrated a capacity for sensing and responding quickly to tectonic transition and embracing new business conditions and demand dynamics.
Market data continue to confirm that Oregon is emerging from the pandemic with volume momentum that’s envied by peers, supported by trade buyers, extolled by media, and fueled by consumers’ willingness to seek out and pay for extraordinary quality.
In Education, the Oregon Wine Board adapted to deliver fresh, vibrant content online and at the same time sustain strong community connections.
In Research, we partnered locally in new ways with in-state scientists and joined our West Coast colleagues in seeking opportunities to broaden our understanding of emerging climate and weather influences.
In Communications and Marketing, OWB tapped into the promise and personalities in our midst. A new brand positioning architecture for Oregon Wine was built on the accomplishments and aspirations that continue to attract talent, energy, and investment from around the world.
On behalf of the Oregon Wine Board’s management team and Directors, thank you for your energy, support, and encouragement that made an historic year satisfying in so many unexpected and unforgettable ways.