If we haven’t yet reached you with news of tomorrow afternoon’s (April 27) webinar on the effects of Oregon’s recent frost and hailstorms, consider this your invitation to register and join us at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
As a reminder, growers with crop insurance are advised to get in touch with their agents or brokers right away since the process of filing a claim often requires prompt notification of a potential loss. We are hearing that insurance adjusters are stretched pretty thin right now as this month’s cool weather is affecting a number of ag. sectors up and down the West Coast. Be advised also that the full extent of possible vine injury may not be known for awhile, so vineyard managers can document the condition of their vines with photos now in anticipation of an in-person damage assessment by an adjuster later.
Oregon State University research scientists from Corvallis and Central Point, along with a crop insurance expert, will be in the Zoom room for tomorrow’s webinar. They will have suggestions on how to evaluate and care for the vines as well as how to educate insurance adjusters who might be new to grapevine structure and physiology. Send your advance questions for Wednesday and the experts will take what they can in the time available.
Any mention of crop insurance usually creates some curiosity about the current coverage level in Oregon. While they continue to increase, the total number of policies written in Oregon now stands at 274. That compares to 395 in Washington and 4,419 for California. This chart translates those numbers into coverage percentages:
The levels in the exhibit above are calculated using the reported vineyard acres documented in the annual vineyard and winery census. Keeping those data fresh is essential for analyses at times like this when we need accurate, authoritative reporting on our industry’s vital statistics.
That said, we’ll take this opportunity to remind you that time is almost up for us to capture your harvest, crush, and sales numbers for 2021. Here is the link to the form, which would be ideal to receive from everyone by the end of this week so statisticians can first issue the grape pricing report in June as planned and then release the full census after that.
If you’ve already finished the census questionnaire, THANK YOU. If you started but did not yet have a chance to complete it, the team would love to hear from you. The information you provide goes directly to Bob Parker at the Univ. of Oregon for consolidation. The Oregon Wine Board (OWB) does not see any individual business-level numbers. We only share the reports after data are aggregated into regional and statewide totals.
In other news, your OWB Directors met last week and approved the recommended research project list for 2022-23 allocating $360,000 across a range of viticulture and enology projects. Thank you to the 50+ winemakers and growers who currently serve on the industry’s research committee and invested their time in reviewing and ranking the highest-potential projects.
Thanks also to everyone who helped us create national awareness for the Oregon Wine Month merchandising suite including trade tools, sales sheets, and other digital assets. They’re all here in our online toolkit. Printed collateral has gone out to accounts across the country and to industry members as well with many others accessing the graphics files to customize and print what they need themselves. And distributors around the country have displayed some impressive creativity in designing some pretty dazzling Wine Month kits of their own.
Finally, don’t forget that OWB’s series of online educational presentations romancing our growing regions continues next week with a session on Oregon’s historic Umpqua Valley. Details are provided right below this letter. The six-part, statewide webinar program is designed for retailers, wholesalers, consumers, and industry members, and it’s delivered as a lead-in to Oregon Wine Month. See the earlier regional webinars listed as the “virtual education series” on our website and feel free to help us pass the word to those who want to be part of the Umpqua session next Monday, May 2, and the Walla Walla seminar on May 9.
As we move towards the next fiscal year, we are gauging interest from our industry members in the next edition of the Touring Guide, whether print or digital. Please take a moment and respond to the survey questions below:
What is your overall satisfaction level with the Oregon Wine Touring Guide? Not satisfied Somewhat satisfied Very satisfiedWould you support a print and/or digital edition for 2023? Yes No
Assemblage Symposium Returns May 3-4
The Oregon wine industry’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) event returns in-person for two days of keynote addresses, panel discussions, and breakout sessions May 3-4 at Abbey Road Farm in Carlton. Featuring 20+ industry innovators from across the country leading the future of food, wine, and hospitality, the event is open to all, though proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 48 hours of the event is required. Get tickets
Press and Media
Dinner among winemakers from around Oregon with James Suckling at Troon. Photo by Sarah Murdoch, OWB.
James Suckling Rates 800+ Oregon Wines During Recent Visit
Renowned wine critic James Suckling came to Oregon this month and actually extended his stay in the Willamette Valley by a few days to taste through over 800 Oregon wines. The result? He was able to quickly and efficiently file many 90+ scores for our beautiful Oregon wines, such as this 92 from Ducleaux Cellars in the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. On his website, Suckling writes, “The state makes some of the best pinot noirs AND chardonnays in the world” before providing reviews of the first 150 with the rest to come later.
Wine Enthusiast Spotlights Pacific Northwest Cross-border AVAs
Most of us in the Oregon wine industry know that Oregon and Washington share the Walla Walla Valley AVA, and some even know that 43% of the grapes in wines made in the Valley are sourced from Oregon. Paul G, now at the helm of his own wine site Paul G on Wine, does an amazing job explaining the OR/WA connection and confusions for this and other cross-border AVAs in his final article for Wine Enthusiast.
Forbes Covers Oregon’s Wide Range of Rosé Wines
Forbes columnist and friend to Oregon wines Joseph V Micallef has taken a deep dive into Oregon’s Rosé Wines in this thought-provoking article published last weekend that includes abundant shout-outs to Rosés made in Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue Valleys.
Media Opportunities: Calls for Wine
Winerabble’s Michele Francisco is seeking your new releases (and soon to be released wines) to highlight on her freshly redesigned website. Deadline is April 30. Learn more
New Study Focuses on Climate Model Projects in Willamette Valley AVA
The Northwest Wine Studies Center has released research that optimizes the application of climate model projections for viticulture throughout the Willamette Valley AVA from 1950 – 2100. The results predict long-term changes in average growing season temperatures and sugar ripeness windows for Pinot noir. Furthermore, a comparison of two methodologies for evaluating cultivar suitability suggests an updated average growing season temperature range for Pinot noir in the Willamette Valley AVA.
Register to Pour at Crush On Oregon – June 5 in Portland
Crush On Oregon, presented by the Oregon Winegrowers Association (OWA), is now open to all interested Oregon wineries. Register by Friday, April 29, to pour at this walkaround consumer tasting event on June 5 in Portland. Spaces will be allocated first-come, first-serve, so reserve your spot today. See more details in this email from OWA.
OLCC Invites Wineries to Use Online Privilege Tax Portal
As the result of House Bill 2150, which was requested during the 2017 legislative session, OLCC’s Oregon Privilege Tax Online (OPTO) is a way for businesses who are required to file privilege taxes to submit their documentation and pay their fees through a web-based portal. Some license types are already reporting in the new system. OLCC will be onboarding wineries in the coming months. OLCC wants to work with the wine industry to make sure our partners are trained and prepared when the time comes to start reporting in the new online system. Learn more