While we are all waiting for business to open up, I’d like to highlight some of the great work our Oregon Wine Board committees have been doing over the past month to prepare us for supporting the industry in the near and long term. The OWB has several important industry-led committees that inform and advise us as we develop our programming throughout the year. Below is a summary of recent essential planning done by committee members.
Research Committee – Chair Jason Tosch, Vice Chair David Beck
Every year our research committee, made up of nearly 50 industry viticulturists and winemakers, review an extensive list of technical research proposals that are submitted to OWB for possible funding. This year we had a record 48 applications, each one meticulously reviewed and scored by our committee members. Through this process eight proposals were identified as having the best potential research impact for Oregon vineyards and wineries and were subsequently approved for funding by the Board. That list will be published in the upcoming months, followed by summaries and updates from the researchers throughout the year.
Education Committee – Chair Kevin Chambers, Vice Chair Eugenia Keegan
Our education committee, consisting of Oregon viticulturists, winemakers, researchers and business owners, is already meeting to develop plans for the OWB’s education calendar and the annual Oregon Wine Symposium. They have reviewed the attendee feedback and suggestions from attendees of the 2020 Symposium and are actively working to frame future session content and determine how best to present the event in light of potential public health and safety restrictions. In the meantime, OWB continues to partner with DTC experts to deliver heavily discounted online courses from VingDirect and MTO Agency. See the Education section below for registration links.
International Marketing Committee – Chair Bob Morus, Vice Chair Steve Thomson
Our annual international marketing committee meeting was recently held and comprised 24 industry members representing wineries actively working in the export sales channel. Our overall international market strategy was discussed, as was a list of specific target export markets with an emphasis on sustaining or growing Oregon’s market presence and sales once we are able to restart promotional and tasting activities. The committee’s input is being incorporated into a 12-18 month activity calendar that will be reviewed again at its next meeting on June 5.
It’s important to our staff team and Board of Directors to have direct industry feedback and guidance on our programming, and we’d like to send a special thank you to those of you who participated in these many recent committee planning activities. If you have an interest in joining any of our committees, please reach out to us and let us know.
VP Operations & Finance
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.
OLCC Guidelines on Virtual Tastings
On April 24, the OLCC posted updated guidelines on in-state and out-of-state virtual wine tastings.
Oregon Wine Month Toolkit Update
Friday, May 1 marks the start of Oregon Wine Month. The Oregon Wine Month Toolkit has been updated with new messaging and graphics to better meet marketplace realities brought on by COVID-19.
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 and an update on upcoming and postponed events. Let us know if you would like to be added to our list for future international marketing updates and opportunities.
Oregon Wins Big at TEXSOM International Wine Awards
The Oregon wine industry made its mark among preeminent wine influencers this year at the TEXSOM International Wine Awards. Many wineries took advantage of the OWB’s complimentary shipping program, resulting in a 140% increase in gold medal award-winning Oregon wines.
Trade & Industry Members Complete Learn Oregon Course
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 it develops future research into the disease. Please help by completing this brief online survey by May 1.
OWB-Sponsored Research Update: The Role of the Protein ARF4 in the Timing of Grape Ripening
Dr. Laurent Deluc, associate professor of grape genomics at OSU and OWRI, has prepared an update about research he is leading to understand the role of an auxin-related protein (ARF4) on the timing of ripening initiation in grape berries
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.
Economic and Market Research
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.
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.
COVID-19 Sales Tracker: Retail, Online and DTC Channels
Nielsen has been publishing a robust weekly report on wine, beer and spirits sales trends seen at brick & mortar retailers, online merchants and through direct sales channels, with even some on-premise insights. A summary of the information most relevant to the Oregon wine industry can be found on our industry site.
April 2020 Weather and Climate Forecast
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.
Webinar: Shelter-In-Place Consumption, Delivery, and Smart Regulation | April 29
Hosted by Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America President and CEO Michelle Korsmo, this webinar will facilitate a conversation among industry experts on the current state of the industry, the impact “sheltering in place” is having on consumer behavior, and the role technology is playing to smartly meet consumer demand for doorstep convenience.
Webinar: Travel Oregon State of the Industry | April 29
Join leadership from Travel Oregon, Oregon Destination Association and Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association for an in-depth discussion to inform the industry of efforts to address the needs of travelers, partners, stakeholders and residents in a time when up-to-date information is crucial.
Online Course: Reaching Out to Customers | Runs through May 30 | $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.
MTO Agency’s Oregon Exclusive Workshop Series
OWB has partnered with MTO Agency to offer affordable access to monthly online workshops available exclusively to Oregon wine industry members. Sign up for a $49/month membership using code MTOFORALL to access these workshops, designed to help wine businesses develop and optimize social media and e-commerce strategies. This includes the upcoming May 6 workshop, 4 Steps to Grow Sales This Week, Fast.
Virtual Conference: Vineyard Economics Symposium | May 6-7
The annual Vineyard Economics Symposium has pivoted to an online format. The two-day webcast brings experts together to discuss the key issues affecting grapegrowing, vineyard management and the grape market in the current climate.
Presentation: Irrigation Scheduling and Monitoring | May 8
The importance of effectively managing resources for sustainable winegrowing and quality production is paramount. Join Professor Russell Moss of Cornell University and Dr. Alex Levin of Oregon State University on May 8 at noon as they present a vineyard practicum on irrigation scheduling and monitoring followed by a Q&A session.
8-Part Online Course: The Business of Wine | $100 for Profit Planner Users
OWB partner Wine Business Education offers current Profit Planner users a discount code to access The Business of Wine for only $100 (a $399 savings). This eight-lesson on-demand course is taught by Tim Hanni MW and covers the wine supply and value chain from the vineyard to the consumer point of purchase.
Webinar Series: Using Technology to Connect with Customers
OWB partner Bottlebooks is holding a series of free webinars on technologies that wineries can use to connect with customers. Topics include holding online tastings, creating videos, and connecting with retailers.
CALLS FOR WINE
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.
Latest Oregon Wine Country License Plates Grant Awards Announced
Travel Oregon announced April 22 that eight projects supporting the advancement of culinary tourism in Oregon have been selected to receive funding through the Wine Country License Plates matching grant program.
Grant recipients include Rogue Valley Vintners, Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association, Willamette Valley Wineries Association and the Oregon Wine Board, in addition to four tourism entities.
Wine Advocate Releases Oregon Report for 2017 Vintage
The highly anticipated Oregon Report for the 2017 vintage was published in The Wine Advocate April 23. We’ve put together a recap of the highlights from the review, and subscribers to The Wine Advocate can log in to read the article and view all scores.
Oregon Wine History Archive Seeking Short Videos
The team at the Oregon Wine History Archive at Linfield is seeking short videos from industry members to chronicle how they are managing this COVID-19 period. Videos should be less than 30 seconds, recorded in vertical orientation, and can address any relevant facet. To submit a video or for more information email Rich Schmidt.
Charity for Sommeliers in Crisis
Consider supporting the United Sommelier Foundation, a charity started to support sommeliers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Read a letter written by United Sommelier Foundation board member and sommelier Jon McDaniel to learn more.
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.