I’m writing from my home “office” and I suspect you’re reading from yours. As we collectively await our new normal I’ve been buoyed by beautiful spring weather and the prolific acts of community I’ve seen throughout Oregon’s wine industry and outside my own front door. This forced isolation has even reconnected me with friends too long absent. And even though the Oregon Wine Board team has had to move online, our efforts on your behalf remain tangible. Let me share some of the marketing, professional development and education opportunities available to you now.
After assessing the shifting marketplace and consulting with industry professionals, we developed an online destination designed to reinforce the unique connection fine wine fans have with Oregon. The campaign, which we’re calling “Oregon Inside,” invites consumers to continue their enjoyment and exploration of all that Oregon wine has to offer while remaining safely at home.
We’ve redirected budget to paid social advertising and will continue to build the campaign’s reach in the coming weeks. A toolkit detailing how your business can get involved is underway, but you can join the conversation today by adding #oregoninside to your social posts and sharing your virtual events on the OWB’s consumer calendar.
Our friends at Travel Oregon are producing a weekly report on travel impacts that could be useful as you consider how and when to make marketing investments in the future. Sources include Smith Travel Research, Destination Analysts, U.S. Travel Association and more. Of particular note are the consumer sentiment assessment and associated messaging recommendations. This week’s assessment remains at “Active Crisis Messaging” and invites empathy, sensitivity and resiliency from all of us. But take to heart that as of last week, 53% of American travelers say they expect to be traveling in the fall and 69% “can’t wait to travel again.” Travel Oregon’s weekly reports can be found here.
To help you assess the ever-changing marketplace, my colleague Jess Willey has prepared summaries of a two-part Wine Market Council webinar from earlier this month. In the webinar, Christian Miller of Full Glass Research reviewed past research about online shopping and how it applies to the current situation, while Danny Brager of Nielsen discussed how the pandemic is impacting wine sales at retail. A peek at Oregon’s retail performance has also been included in our write-up.
Turning to education opportunities, DTC experts VingDirect have produced an online course, Reaching Out to Customers, which will be available starting today. Designed for tasting room hosts and managers, this 3.5-hour course will help staff create an ongoing communication plan to engage customers, sell wine and deepen relationships. The OWB is sponsoring this opportunity at a heavily discounted rate of only $25.
Another online learning tool, available anytime and at no cost, is the complete 2020 Oregon Wine Symposium video library. We’ve heard from many of you that this situation presents a strong opportunity for professional development and we are confident these resources can embellish your self-guided curriculum. All sessions from all tracks—General, Business and Vit & Eno—are available.
While it seems a distant memory at this point, it was only five weeks ago that 52 Oregon wineries were in San Francisco for the third Oregon Wine Trail event. The day included a master class for 107 invited trade attendees, a trade and media walk around tasting for 267, and a consumer walk-around attended by 268. A detailed recap, including survey results from all involved audiences, can be seen here.
Last and certainly not least, please take a few minutes to complete the 2019 Oregon Vineyard & Winery Survey. Your business should have received its unique invitation to participate from our research partner, Bob Parker at the University of Oregon. Your participation will help ensure that your region is accurately represented, made even more critical this year as we develop a comprehensive picture of Oregon’s last pre-COVID-19 vintage. Data are reported in aggregate and will never be shared with any third party, including the OWB.
Now more than ever it seems to me that the most critical feature of our individuality is to support our community.
Stay safe and be well,
Consumer Relations Manager
Oregon Wine Industry COVID-19 Toolkit
Stay up to date with industry news related to this crisis period through the OWB’s COVID-19 Oregon Wine Industry Toolkit. The toolkit is being updated frequently as new information and resources become available.
Webinar: Navigating the CARES Act, Part II | April 21
On April 21 at 10 a.m., OWB will host its second webinar to provide guidance on the federal CARES Act as it pertains to members of the Oregon wine industry. Register here for this session, which will feature accounting, finance and legal professionals as well as a regional representative from the Small Business Administration. The recording and documents from Part I, held April 9, can be found here.
State of Oregon COVID-19 Business Impacts Survey | Deadline: April 15
Business Oregon, Travel Oregon and the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network have launched a survey to understand how COVID-19 is impacting businesses across the state. Information gathered via this survey will be vital for policymakers who are working to aid businesses during this crisis. Please participate by April 15.
Share Your Virtual Tasting Events
Please add your virtual events to the OWB’s consumer calendar. On your social channels, use #OregonInside and tag us at @oregonwineboard. We are actively sharing opportunities for consumers to stay connected with your businesses during this shutdown.
OWB International Marketing Newsletter Published
On April 13 we published a newsletter regarding our international marketing efforts. This bulletin included a recap of last year’s activities, an update on upcoming and postponed events, and news about the International Committee’s annual meeting, which will take place this Thursday, April 16. Let us know if you would like to be added to our list for future international marketing updates and opportunities.
Oregon Wine Trail San Francisco Recap
On March 4, the Oregon Wine Board put on an Oregon Wine Trail event in San Francisco for trade and consumers. We’ve put together an event recap, including an overview of the event and feedback received from attendees.
Viticulture and Enology Research
OWRI Oregon Red Blotch Disease Survey | Deadline: May 1
The Oregon Wine Research Institute Red Blotch Study Team is working to understand the status of Red Blotch Disease in Oregon and related industry needs as they develop future research into the disease. Please help by completing this brief online survey by May 1.
OWB-Sponsored Research Update: Grapevine Trunk Diseases in Oregon Vineyards
Dr. Achala KC, assistant professor of plant pathology at OSU, has prepared an update about research she is conducting to identify fungal pathogens associated with grapevine trunk disease in Oregon, the impacts of different climates on spore dispersal, and cultural practices that can help mitigate GTDs.
OWB-Sponsored Research Update: Red Blotch Virus Transmission and Management of Associated Vectors
Dr. Vaughn Walton, professor and horticultural entomologist at OSU, has prepared an update about research he is conducting to improve understanding of the transmission of grapevine red blotch virus and management of key vectors associated with its transmission.
Economic and Market Research
Shifting Consumer Purchasing Trends During COVID-19
The OWB has published a summary of data and key takeaways from a recent Wine Market Council webinar. The webinar featured Christian Miller of Full Glass Research, who reviewed past research about online shopping and how it applies to the current situation, and Danny Brager of Nielsen, who discussed how the pandemic is impacting wine sales at retail. A look at the impact of COVID-19 on Oregon’s retail performance is also included in our write-up.
Participate in the 2019 Vineyard & Winery Survey | Deadline: April 30
All Oregon vineyard and winery owners should have received an invitation to participate in the annual Vineyard & Winery Survey. Your participation is vital to ensuring we can benchmark the 2019 vintage to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on our industry. If you did not receive an invitation to participate, please contact the study’s organizer, Bob Parker at the University of Oregon.
OWB Market Insights Report: Oregon Wine Performance in Off-Premise Retail
On April 3, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at March conditions and forecasts conditions for April, May and June.
Online Course: Reaching Out to Customers | $25 (OWB sponsorship price)
Reaching Out to Customers, an online course from VingDirect, is now available and can be accessed for just $25 through an OWB sponsorship (regularly priced at $399). Designed for tasting room hosts and managers, this course will help you create an ongoing communication plan to engage customers, sell wine and continue to build relationships.
Online Course: Outbound Phone Sales Mastery | Starts April 20
WISE Academy’s online course, Online Phone Sales Mastery, starts April 20. This three-part course will help increase your odds of success by teaching your team the psychology of sales, how to craft re-usable scripts, and how to overcome the obstacles to closing sales. Special COVID-19 pricing of $200 per registrant is on offer, and you can contact WISE Academy if you cannot afford to pay at this time.
Save $25 on Webinars from DTC Wine Workshops
OWB has negotiated a discount for all Oregon wineries on the current offerings from education partner DTC Wine Workshops. Their catalog includes “Virtual Wine Tasting Setup in 5 Steps or Less” and “Direct Wine Telesales & Account Management.” Use code OWB20 to get your discount when registering.
To Be Welcoming: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Curriculum from Starbucks
Starbucks has partnered with Arizona State University to produce a 15-part curriculum to help hospitality associates create a more welcoming environment. The short courses are available to all for free in a self-paced format.
CALLS FOR WINE
Josh Raynolds Seeking Wines for Upcoming Oregon Report | Deadline: April 17
Josh Raynolds is currently accepting wines for his upcoming Oregon Report in Vinous, which has a monthly visit count of more than 100,000. This is an open call with no specific restrictions on vintage or variety. Samples must arrive by April 17.
Decanter Seeks Oregon Chardonnay for Article | Deadline: April 18
Wine reviewer Charles Curtis MW has been commissioned to write an article on Oregon Chardonnay for a summer issue of Decanter. He is gathering samples through April 18. There are no vintage requirements, but the wine must be available to consumers in New York through distribution or direct shipment.
International Wine Report Seeks Rosé and Tempranillo | Deadline: May 10
International Wine Report and Washington Wine Blog writer Owen Bargreen CS is soliciting samples for his 2020 rosé report and has issued a new request for Oregon Tempranillo. Samples must arrive by May 10.
International Wine Review Seeks Oregon Rosé Samples | Deadline: May 15
The International Wine Review is compiling its annual rosé review, and this year it will focus on Pinot noir, although not exclusively. The editors have specifically reached out for Oregon submissions. Samples must be received by May 15, but earlier is appreciated.
The Globe and Mail Seeks Wines for Review
The wine and spirits columnist at one of Canada’s most widely read newspapers, The Globe and Mail, invites producers to submit samples for review. An upcoming theme will feature alternative packaging, while rosés, sparkling wines and value selections are of ongoing interest. Wine must be available through the liquor monopolies in Canada.
Oregon Wine Industry Calendar
As a reminder, the OWB’s industry website hosts a calendar with entries that include industry-facing events as well as events with significant industry participation. Consult it when scheduling or rescheduling events to avoid conflicts, and don’t forget to post entries as well. Links to post to both the industry calendar and the OWB’s consumer-facing calendar can be found here.
Bottlebooks Launches Trade Directory
OWB partner Bottlebooks has launched a worldwide trade directory for wineries to connect with business partners. Wineries can publish details on their wines, upcoming events and tasting videos. Sales and marketing teams can also include details for trade visitors to book meetings with them. A basic profile with two wines is free and other options are available.
Cascade Employers Association Oregon Wine & Vine Salary Survey
Cascade Employers Association has been partnering with local wineries to develop a pay and benefits survey as a resource to wineries and vineyards in Oregon. See their flyer for more information and to enroll in the study. The final report is provided free to all participants.
Advice on Virtual Meetings
We’ve put together a primer on virtual meeting etiquette and troubleshooting, in the hopes of making this new virtual life just a little easier and more manageable for everyone.