At the Oregon Wine Symposium on Feb. 24, the Oregon Wine Board announced James Rahn of The Heathman in Portland as the winner of the 2016 Oregon Wine A-List Wine Program of Year. The Oregon Wine A-List Wine Program of the Year Award is the highest honor awarded by the Oregon Wine A-List restaurant awards program. For the past three years James has managed The Heathman’s wine program, which contains more than 6,000 bottles of wine from 20 of the world’s most esteemed wine growing regions, with an emphasis on France and Oregon. His dedication to showcasing Oregon wines to his clientele, engaging with the Oregon wine community and passionately educating his staff elevates the Oregon wine experience for guests at The Heathman. After his recognition on Wednesday, James said, “I have won a number of awards over the years – this one means the most to me. To be embraced by a winemaking region that means so much to me feels wonderful.” Congratulations, James!
Learn More About the Oregon Wine A-List Awards
Also at Symposium during the Oregon Wine Board Update, the OWB marketing department gave a presentation on the Oregon Wine A-List Awards program’s objectives, strategies and recommendations for how wineries can get involved:
The Oregon Wine A-List Awards is a partnership between the Oregon Wine Press and the Oregon Wine Board. This program recognizes restaurants across the world displaying enthusiasm for Oregon wine and a deep appreciation of the diverse regions, varietals and producers of Oregon.
The objectives of this program are to grow the presence of Oregon wine on restaurant lists in Oregon, nationally and internationally by calling attention to restaurants setting a new standard Oregon wine representation. Also, to express appreciation and build relationships with Oregon wine’s biggest, most influential fans, and, ultimately increase the sales of Oregon wine at restaurants.
While this program is only in its second year, we’ve made a lot of exciting progress and have a lot planned for 2016. In addition to digital and print advertising, we are leveraging partnerships with large scale events which have demonstrated proven success such as Feast and Portland Dining Month to not only increase awareness of the program amongst consumers, but most importantly, amplify exposure among key members of the trade. We are also continually pursing creative ways to drive earned media to enhance visibility of the program.
The A-List awards also provides the Oregon wine industry a platform to support the restaurants and wine buyers that advocate daily for our industry. It is our responsibility to return the favor. An example of this occurred in November. We were thrilled to see Willamette Week name A-List restaurant Imperial as Restaurant of the Year. The write up Willamette Week did on the restaurant was a beautiful piece highlighting Chef Doug Adam’s creativity and background, their excellent cocktail program and their impeccable hospitality…but not one mention of Imperial’s wine list, despite being one of the best in the city, particularly for Oregon wine. OWB collaborated with then Chairwoman, Ellen Brittan to craft a letter to Willamette Week’s editor calling out the oversight and purchased a Facebook ad on the Willamette Week and Oregon Wine Facebook pages to promote Imperial’s stellar wine list. The campaign resulted in over 50,000 impressions among consumers in the Portland area.
The A-List Awards program is an important platform for engaging key members of the trade around the world. There are many ways your winery can get involved:
For more information about the Oregon Wine A-List Awards program contact Christina DeArment at email@example.com.