Thank you to the 97 Oregon wine professionals who joined us over the course of eight meetings held around the state to assess Oregon’s competitive position and envision the industry’s future marketing and media relations programming.
Your observations, along with input from industry surveys, will guide the OWB’s Strategic Marketing and Communications Committee as it advises the Board of Directors and crafts a long term road map to strengthen and advance Brand Oregon. The results of that effort will be shared in greater detail as the OWB’s strategic plan comes together.
If you have not yet had a chance to explore the Learn Oregon Online Training program, don’t hesitate to jump on the bandwagon now. About 2,000 people from all over the world have participated in the learning exercises so far, and new students can start up anytime to self-navigate through the curriculum. It’s free and it’s an easy way to get your internal associates and external business partners engaged in Oregon, our wines, history, climate, soils and more.
The OWB’s International Committee meeting is set for May 16. This is an important annual gathering during which we review the past year’s programming and plan the 2019-20 calendar. It offers a great chance to learn from the experiences shared by our most successful exporters and gain a deeper understanding of global category dynamics and the opportunities for your business to build a broader customer base.
Remember to save this date: July 8 for Women in Wine: Fermenting Change in Oregon. It will be the first annual gathering of women and men dedicated to empowering and advancing women in the Oregon wine industry. Click here for more details and to register for the event, which will enrich your network and offer the chance to hear some extraordinary and inspiring speakers including Oregon’s own Cheryl Strayed, author of “Wild.”
NEWS FROM THE OREGON WINEGROWERS ASSOCIATION
Senate Bill #111, dealing primarily with wine taxation and labeling, is obviously dominating this year’s legislative conversation.
The Oregon Winegrowers Association is working with the Rogue Valley and Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Associations to host the first industry forums tomorrow, designed to allow discussion of SB 111 and other legislative priorities. As meetings in other locations are confirmed, we’ll announce them.
Here are responses to some frequently asked questions about SB 111:
1. What is the status of the bill?
It has passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. It is now designated as SB 111A. No further votes are scheduled right now and the most likely next step is referral of the bill to a legislative subcommittee. That Ways and Means subcommittee will schedule a public hearing and work session before the bill is voted on by the full Committee and, if passed, sent on for Senate and House votes before June 30.
2. How does SB 111A relate to the Senate bills sponsored by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association?
Unlike 111A, the WVWA’s three Senate bills, numbered 829A, 830A and 831A, focus on conjunctive labeling, varietal content and exclusive sourcing respectively. Read here for more on the Willamette Valley proposals. OWA has not crafted, and is not actively lobbying for, the Willamette Valley Wineries Association’s proposals.
3. Why is collection of the grape tax from wineries outside Oregon important now?
Industry members have been puzzling since at least 2001 over ways to collect the grape tax fairly from wineries in adjacent states. It is time for action now that there is statewide survey data indicating an all-time high level of Oregon grapes, surpassing 18,000 tons, left the state in 2017. The clear majority of that volume went untaxed, and those tons represent an increase of approximately 60% versus tonnage exported during the prior year.
4. How does grape tax collection change under SB 111A?
The bill explicitly empowers OLCC to collect from out-of-state producers within the same tax structure that has applied to in-state winemakers since 1983. Oregon’s Attorney General’s office advises that statutory action is the preferred way to clarify OLCC’s authority. The $25 tax rate OLCC would collect is consistent with the $25 an Oregon winemaker owes OLCC today on any ton brought in from out of state.
5. What is meant by “reciprocity”?
Section 9 of SB 111A allows, but does not require, the OLCC to work in conjunction with Oregon’s Attorney General on agreements with other states to enforce the laws of Oregon and the other states.
6. Doesn’t SB 111A require wineries in other states to get new permits and add intrusive, bold lettering to front labels indicating where a wine was made?
Not anymore. The OWA lobbied to have those provisions edited out.
7. What happens when OLCC makes rules?
The rulemaking process includes advance written notices of any proposed rulemaking, followed by a series of open, public hearings at which industry members can ask to go on the record and address the Commission.
8. Why does SB 111A open the door to OLCC regulation of wine labels?
The Commission is already involved in labeling rules enforcement related to our state’s more stringent requirements, and has been for 42 years. Oregon’s distinctive and rigorous labeling rules are recognized across the country and support the state’s reputation for exceptional wine quality. In addition, 111A clarifies OLCC’s authority over other elements of wine packaging, marketing and advertising.
9. Doesn’t TTB have the authority it needs already to enforce Oregon’s wine labeling rules?
TTB’s label review staff and its enforcement capabilities are insufficiently resourced according to the Bureau’s managing Administrator. TTB, dating back at least to 1984, has asserted that state laws and labeling regulations are enforced by the state involved.
Oregon Wine Month Starts Tomorrow!
There’s still lots you can do to get involved with this year’s celebration of all things Oregon Wine. Download graphics for your social media channels, add your winery events to the consumer calendar, and share the link to the Garagistes & Gourmands Sweepstakes with your fans. Everything you need is on the 2019 Oregon Wine Month toolkit.
Oregon Researchers Awarded “2019 Best Viticulture Paper” by ASEV
The American Society of Enology and Viticulture recognized the research team helmed by Paul Schreiner and including James Osborne and Patty Skinkis with the award for “2019 Best Viticulture Paper.” Their paper, “Nitrogen Requirements of Pinot noir Based on Growth Parameters, Must Composition, and Fermentation Behavior,” was based in part on research funded by the OWB.
April 2019 Weather and Climate Forecast
On April 4, 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.
Workshop: Worker Protection Safety Training (English/Spanish) | May 8
On May 8, three 2-hour workshops will be held at Chemeketa Northwest Wine Studies Center covering worker protection safety training: WPS Training for Ag Employers, WPS Training for Handlers (English) and WPS Training for Handlers (Spanish). Advance registration is required.
Workshop: Getting to Know the Rogue Valley Wine Visitor | May 15
Webinar: SVB’s Insights for Successful Consumer Wine Sales | May 22
Join Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank who, along with a panel of experts, will be sharing the highlights from their 2019 consumer wine sales survey, which was completed in March with more than 1,000 participating wineries.
OWA Town Hall Meetings on Legislative Issues in Southern Oregon | May 1
OWA will be hosting two town hall meetings tomorrow, May 1, to discuss some of the House and Senate bills being considered in Salem with the potential to affect Oregon wine and grape businesses. Please register in advance to join in Central Point from 9-11 a.m. or Roseburg from 2-4 p.m.
Oregon Wine Competition Call for Entries | Deadline: June 7
The annual Oregon Wine Competition is accepting entries from all Oregon producers until June 7. Judging will take place in late July and awards will be announced at the Oregon Wine Experience on Aug. 22.
Three Regional Associations Awarded Wine Country Plates Grants
Rogue Valley Vintners, Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association and Willamette Valley Wineries Association were all successful in their bids to receive an Oregon Wine Country Plates matching grant in the 2019 cycle. Congratulations!