OBJECTIVE STATEMENT FOR THIS MEETING:

  1. To share ideas with fellow regions (i.e. what’s worked and doesn’t work) that may be helpful to other regions in Oregon, thereby strengthening the statewide wine industry as a whole
  2. To meet once or twice yearly and provide a face-to-face forum to discuss high-priority topics
  3. To help regions on making use of OWB programs, such as grant info and grant writing, media opportunities

Recording here: https://zoom.us/rec/share/R9HjQ2tt-iuVk_k–wT_thAAaXNUOSKsVzT4uUryMgEkgqG6G6oVyC490X2N2GxB.alF7QH0IBYFVQXSR

Participants

Allison Keeney, Travel Oregon
Brad Mayer, Columbia Valley
Cathy Martin, Dundee Hills
Christina DeArment, Oregon Wine Board
Gina Bianco, Rogue Valley Vintners
Jennifer Kerrigan, SOWA and Rogue Valley
Jessica Willey, Oregon Wine Board
Kai McMurtry, Oregon Wine Board
Kate Norris, WVWA Marketing Committee
Kayt Mathers, Play Nice PR
Liz Knapke, Walla Walla Valley
Maria Ponzi, Laurelwood District AVA
Marie Chambers, Oregon Wine Board
Michelle Kaufmann, WVWA Marketing Committee
Raechel Sims, WVWA Marketing Committee
Robert Hansen, Walla Walla Valley
Stacey Kohler, Oregon Wine Board
Terry Brandborg, Brandborg, Umpqua Valley
Toby Turlay, The Rocks of Milton Freewater, OR
Tom Danowski, Oregon Wine Board
Jessica Thomas, South Willamette Valley
Jill Zarmowitz, Yamhill Carlton
Morgen McLaughlin, Willamette Valley
Craig Camp, Applegate Valley
Bryan Laing, Chehalem Mountains
Jamie O’Malley, Eola-Amity Hills
Katie McFall, WVVA
Alfredo Apolloni, Tualatin Hills AVA

Panelists
Sally Murdoch, Oregon Wine Board
Lauren Mowery, Journalist
Heather Bradshaw, Washington Wine Commission
Jorge Guzman and Marielle Cowden, Vive Northwest

Not in attendance but with stand-ins
Steve Robertson, The Rocks District, Dawnielle Tejama, WVVA, Andy Steinman, Eola-Amity Hills, Ariel Eberle, McMinnville AVA, Karolyn Wright, Chehalem Mountains, Laurie Lewis, Urban PDX

SUMMARY/OVERVIEW

Meeting Opening: Sally called meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. with an ice breaker.

OWB Matters for Discussion:

  • Jess Willey shared with the group the grants available for regional associations and updated on the Economic Impact study
  • Kai McMurtry shared information on The Giving Season promotion
  • Christina DeArment provided a wrap up of the Oregon Vine Perks program
  • Bree Stock updated the group on the format for Symposium 2021

Summary of AVA & Travel Oregon DISCUSSION

AVA updates:

Gina Bianco (Rogue Valley Vintners)

  • Despite COVID conditions the Rogue Valley has done fairly well with sales & tourism. Sporting events has helped bring in tourist
  • The fires were pretty devastating – especially to the city of Talent. Displaced workers
  • Launched fundraiser to support fire victims – “Rogue Valley Wine Country Cares”. Raised 57K
  • Focusing on developing the Rogue Valley wine country brand – building infrastructure of the website, building partner relationships. Trademark – “wine with everything”

Craig Camp (Applegate Valley)

  • Getting through harvest and have had very few reports of smoke issues
  • Lost both fundraiser events. (down 70K)
  • Updating website and are pushing social media presence
  • Tourism over the summer was strong. (tourists from Bay area)

Morgen McLaughlin (WVWA)

  • Appreciate the collaboration through COVID/Fire smoke response throughout the state.
  • Kudos to Kai on consumer site and Sally for the fire smoke messaging/PR
  • Charitable donation $100,000 to James Beard Foundation – “Foundations Open for Good” campaign
  • Auction moved to virtual – will always have an element of virtual going forward
  • Cancelled/postponed Pinot Camp
  • DEI efforts are important
  • Kudos to Kai for The Giving Season and developing creative that works for all regions

Kate Norris – (WVWA Marketing Committee, PDX Urban)

  • Portland wineries in hibernation mode due to COVID restrictions
  • Excited about the Giving Season brand messaging

Michelle Kaufmann (WVWA Marketing Committee, Dundee Hills)

  • Leaned into digital & community matters and pulled on those themes
    • Digital push – increasing social engagement & followers, increasing website traffic, and increasing the # of people who are on the mailing list – has been successful so far this year
  • The House that Wine Country Built – Habitat for Humanity– WVWA is postponing any further Habitat for Humanity donations until 2021

Brian Laing (Chehalem Mountains)

  • DTC sales and tourism remained strong throughout the summer
  • Saw boost in local support – especially from Portland travelers
  • Half of wineries still in phase 1 (Washington Co. vs. metro)
  • Chehalem wildfires hit really hard
  • Biggest fundraiser “Magic in the Mountains” was canceled
  • Short term focus is rebuilding the website for Chehalem
  • Long term focus on positioning as a nested AVA with consumers around the world

Raechel Sims (WVWA Marketing Committee, Eola-Amity Hills)

  • Looking forward to revisiting the House that Wine Built project
  • Concerned about possible shutdowns in winter
  • Using properties and tasting rooms in creative ways
  • Gratitude to iSalud! for providing testing when necessary to crews, flu vaccines, etc.

Jamie O’Malley (Eola-Amity Hills)

  • Focus has been on sharing vast information with members
  • Sharing positive fire smoke messaging tips
  • Following up with writers, showing them new Chardonnays – piquing new interest in area

Sally – send her virtual tasting tips and tricks

Maria Ponzi (Laurelwood District)

  • Still working under Chehalem mntns. AVA – no big plans to have a new website or create a lot of marketing materials
  • Several wines will be released shortly with new AVA designation
  • Big thank you to iSalud! – important part of community
  • OWA – approval for health care program

Liz Knapke (Walla Walla Valley)

  • Focus on consistent messaging in both Oregon & Washington – proper resources & info for consumers that are visiting
  • Participated in Wise Academy reopening forums – very helpful
  • Postponed big summer events
  • Virtual trade auction – met budget expectation
  • Process of brand refresh, website updates, winery guide update

Robert Hansen (Walla Walla Valley)

  • Fortunate they were able to conduct their February tasting events in Seattle & Portland
  • Big marketing was being recognized as America’s best wine region by USA Today’s 10 best lists
  • Not much smoke effects
  • People are traveling/touring – fairly open at a 50% rate

Toby Turlay (The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater, Oregon)

  • Launching technical event group with Patty Skinkis – it will be a great resource to learn what is working and what is new in technology

Toby – to share the technical group info

Brad Mayer (Columbia Valley)

  • Columbia Valley overall has had a good harvest – not a lot of smoke related issues
  • Banded together as a community

Allison Keeney (Travel Oregon)

  • On pause of not being able to promote travel
  • Focusing on travel safe messages and recovery messages for wildfire
  • Creating a lot of relevant content that is educational and inspiring for future
  • Virtual trainings and webinars to industry channels
  • Give the Gift of Oregon campaign – will be launched Nov. 18 through Dec. 31 – promoting Oregon small businesses, local businesses
  • Call out to DMO’s & RDMO for information – new content the regions are creating
  • Will be promoting Built Oregon and their new online marketplace & Small Business Saturday
  • New content to be rolled out on social channels
  • Working with Maxwell PR
  • Industry toolkit available soon
  • Consumer PR push – creating a media mailer box for all 7 regions – first virtual event was in Pendleton, next one will be WV on Nov. 16

Katie McFall (WVVA)

  • Launched today – food box/farm box – wine incorporated
  • Yamhill County received good traffic from Portlanders, lots of website traffic
  • Focusing on farm & food trails
  • Discussing producing a brochure for the whole I-5 corridor

Jill Zarnowitz (Yamhill-Carlton)

  • Had to cancel spring event – big moneymaker as well as provided money for Yamhill-Carlton High School scholarships
  • Kayt Mathers helping with marketing and updated info on website
  • Raised $10,000 for local food pantry
  • Working on how they may do next spring tasting event

Terry Brandborg (Elkton, Oregon and Umpqua Valley)

  • Most people remain open for bottle sales. And when allowed, started resuming tasting – mostly outdoor settings. Putting up tents to be able to continue doing that during the winter
  • Big thing for the org. is new branding/strategic planning process that began in winter of last year
    • One goal is to hire Exec. Director
  • Cancelled spring barrel tour & greatest of grape event
  • Postponed roadshow that was planned for Nov. in Eugene
  • Region is involved in the Douglas County Food bank charity
  • Board met last night and talked about smoke issues
  • Carrying on a budget deficit – put on hold hiring an Exec. Director for now
  • Talking about a self-guided barrel tour for the spring

Cathy Martin (Dundee Hills)

  • Adapting to current state of affairs and trying to share information with members
  • Michelle Kaufman helping handle social media programs and putting together a strategy on sharing information
  • Some new branding rolling out – re-introducing this holiday season/digital program, “Deck the Hills” annual program
  • “Fueled by Fine Wine” half marathon event went virtual
  • Working on a media kit

Jennifer Kerrigan (SOWA, Rogue Valley)

  • Reiterated that SOWA relinquished marketing campaigns over to the RVV a year ago
  • Regulatory arm for the Southern Oregon wineries

Scott Shull (Laurelwood District)

  • Underscored the collaboration with winemakers and winegrowers all over WV
  • Could be worth a future story

Jessica Thomas (South Willamette Valley)

  • King Estate and Iris did not open for onsite consumption and don’t have a plan to in the near future
  • Allowed to re-focus – Food Trail, Built Oregon, E-commerce, local delivery

Lunch discussion with Heather Bradshaw, spokesperson for Washington Wines. Smoke; the similarities and differences in tactics we took

  • The balance of negative and positive. Our messaging we wrote started very positive, which we then needed to temper with more balanced messaging
  • Changing of the tide: at one point, right about mid-October, journalists began looking for and accepting positive stories
  • The relationships that we have in place allowed us to share talking points with WA, Napa Valley Vintners, WVWA, OWA, OWC. For Washington specifically we were getting comparative questions of WA vs OR
  • We also had to keep plates spinning with positive PR as far as Wine Advocate samples shipping, Wine&Spirits, Suckling.

Vive NW: Jorge Guzman and Marielle Cowden discussed reaching the Hispanic wine consumer

Media guest presentation, Q and A with Lauren Mowery – top notch national writer whose work appears in ForbesUSA Today, and Wine Enthusiast. Her words and photos are published in myriad outlets including The IndependentSaveur, SevenFifty Daily, Punch, Wine & Spirits, TimeOut, Eater, Tasting PanelSomm JournalFodor’s.com, Voyeur (Virgin Australia’s inflight), Alquimie, Men’s Journal, Palate Press, Lonely Planet, The Wine Merchant, Sommelier, Private Clubs. Lauren also spent four years writing the wine and coffee columns for New York City paper Village Voice.

Items discussed:

  • Lauren is currently writing a book on intentional travel and will include a section on Oregon
  • Winemaking regions and case studies of wineries really doing things right: Burgundy.
  • Regions in Oregon she would like to explore more
  • Wine Enthusiast
  • Truths about working as a freelancer writer that many may not know
  • Do’s and Don’ts in submitting samples (i.e. no unsolicited wines) and pitching stories

 

2:15 meeting adjourned.