I know surveys are not always popular, but will you answer this one question?Your response is anonymous and will help the Oregon Wine Board (OWB) assess the value of work done in Research, Education, Media Relations, and Marketing. There is also space for growers and wine business owners to add comments that can help the OWB adjust plans for this coming year where needed.
Looking back on our past newsletters, I haven’t called out often enough the critical acclaim that regularly piles up for Oregon winemakers and the state’s distinctive growing regions. Here’s a nice quote about NE Oregon from the 3rd Edition of Karen MacNeil’s Wine Bible: “…the most remarkable place in the U.S. for Syrah is the small, clunkily named appellation The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater, commonly called simply The Rocks.” And as Rocks District Association President Steve Robertson says: “We embrace our clunky name.”
In other news from around the state, you’ve probably heard about the vine mealybug’s (VMB) unwelcome appearance in a few Southern Oregon vineyards. You might not be aware though of the risks the pest presents and the prompt, coordinated actions taken by OSU, ODA, and our industry associations, to combine OWB funding with an infusion from the state legislature to respond efficiently and decisively. That response and the outlook for dealing with VMB are the subject of a webinar coming up on Wednesday, Aug.16. Register here to join us.
Moving to OWB staffing, we hope you’ll join us in welcoming Sally Crawford to the management team as Director of Finance and Administration. Sally replaces Marie Chambers and comes to the wine business with extensive, cross-functional experience in sales, global marketing, finance, and business development. She earned her MS in Finance from Portland State University and her BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.
Looking pretty handsome in this picture are Danuta and Robin Pfeiffer, recipients of the industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award at last February’s Oregon Wine Symposium. The Pfeiffers have volunteered their time and expertise to initiate a new Oregon Wine Ambassador Program that supports the drive to increase consumer awareness and knowledge of our wines. Read more further down in this newsletter about how your brand can benefit from the Pfeiffers’ love for Oregon and their deep knowledge of our vineyards and wines.
P.S. If you are feeling like wine sales this year are a little sluggish, you are not alone. Market conditions are difficult. Data points from the Wine Market Council’s July 13 webinar reflect a beverage alcohol category under pressure and a wine segment facing unique consumer preference and price/value headwinds.
Out of 251 million US adults aged 21 or older, 33% now say they drink wine (regularly or occasionally), down from 41% five years ago.
Wine depletions tracked by SipSource over the past year are down -6.3% through May (twice the rate of beer’s drop-off)
Beverage alcohol inflation rates over the past six months are contributing to overall volume softness and are constraining on-premise sales in particular. Prices for wine consumed at home are up just +1.8% compared to wine served away from home at +6.7%
Tasting room visits over the past six months reported by Community Benchmark’s multi-state winery roster are off -12.7% versus a year ago.
We’ll have more marketplace information and Oregon-centric numbers, along with expert analysis (and some optimism,) during the Wine Board’s Aug. 15 webinar. Register for that one here.
Register Now for Oregon Wine Month ’23 Recap and ’24 Planning Meeting | Aug. 15 at 11 a.m.
Join us as we recap promotional efforts from Oregon Wine Month 2023. We will look at robust national business results from this year’s campaign for all trade channels including DtC, on and off premise depletion data, scan data, and more. Additionally, we will look at results from digital marketing and our social media efforts. We will discuss 2024 planning in an open forum. Register here.
Oregon Wine Ambassadors Introduce Your Wines to New Customers at Sea
2023 recipients of the industry’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer, volunteered to serve as Oregon Wine Ambassadors. They hosted an Oregon wine presentation last month aboard a Ponant Cruise Liner in the South Pacific. Passengers from Switzerland, Germany, Australia, England, France, and the United States were introduced to Oregon and some sensational Oregon wines. Looking ahead to next year, Danuta and Robin are already booked to host tastings during sailings to destinations including Buenos Aires, Santiago, Montevideo, Cape Town, Nairobi, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, and Fiji. Wineries interested in being featured during their adventures should expect to contribute two cases along with supplementary materials such as club information, and wine fact sheets. For further details contact Danuta Pfeiffer by email or at 541-998-8141.
Wine Industry Insights
Forbes Shares Insights on Wine and the World Health Organization (WHO)
The WHO has become increasingly vocal about what it believes are the deleterious effects of consuming any amount of alcoholic beverages. Joseph V Micallef talks to Dr Laura Catena, a medical doctor, and accomplished winemaker, as well as a panelist at the recent IPNC to get a different take on the WHO’s position. Learn More.
Register for the Vine Mealybug Webinar and Q & A | Aug. 16 at 11 a.m.
OWB and OWA Board Directors Dr. Greg Jones and Brian Gruber will provide insights into statewide research and industry association collaboration to fund the control of this pest. Experts from Oregon State University, Dr. Alexander Levin and entomologist Dr. Vaughn Walton, will present recent research, monitoring efforts, and vineyard quarantine procedures. Joshua Vlach will talk about the ODA’s statewide monitoring of the pest. This session is available for Oregon wine industry members only. Register here.
Press and Media
Yahoo! Life Claims Oregon is the Next World-class Sparkling Wine Region
Matthew Kaner says: “It’s becoming more and more clear that Oregon is the place to produce world-class sparkling wine, right under our noses, right here in the USA.” Learn more.
Industry Specialists Discuss Pest Threat Faced by Oregon Vineyards on OPB
Brian Gruber, President of the Oregon Winegrowers Association, Dr. Greg Jones, Vice Chair on the Oregon Wine Board’s Board of Directors, and Dr. Vaughn Walton, professor at Oregon State University’s horticulture department joined Dave Miller to share the industry collaboration and joint funding to address the threat the pest poses. Learn more.
VinePair Requests Pinot gris and Merlot | Deadline Aug. 8 and 22
Vinepair seeks Oregon’s expressions of Pinot gris and Merlot for their upcoming Buy this Booze column. Learn more.
Oregon Wine Press Seeks White Varieties for October Cellar Selects
Oregon Wine Press would like to sample Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, White Pinot, Vermentino, and Albariño. Please send one submission per category. Learn more.
Viticulture & Enology
OWB Research Committee | Aug. 16 at 11 a.m.
During this meeting, the OWB Research Committee will suggest updates to be made to the Request for Application to ensure projects of the highest relevance for the Oregon wine industry will be submitted to be considered for funding in the next fiscal year. If you have feedback or a suggestion on any of OWB’s Research programs, fill out this input form and you will be contacted by OWB staff should your input require a response.
If Research Committee service is of interest, please complete the form, applications will be considered by the Steering Committee in November each year for service the following year. Meanwhile, anyone can attend the upcoming Research Committee meeting. Join Zoom Meeting
This online app (https://uspest.org/risk/grape_powdery_app) funded in part by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection, and Pest Management, Extension Implementation Program (USDA-NIFA-CPPM-EIP) offers a newer, streamlined interface for the existing model, which is also available through MyPest Page. It determines the 7-14 day risk forecast for powdery mildew based on vineyard location.
Review the Preliminary Grape Pricing Report
The preliminary grape pricing report from the 2022 Oregon Vineyard & Winery Census is now available. The report includes median, weighted average, minimum and maximum prices per ton by variety at the state level. Regional prices by variety are reported where enough data points were provided. View Report.
Uncork the Potential of Our Marketplace
Do you have a job to offer? Are you looking for grapes? The Oregon Wine Board Marketplace is a useful tool for getting the word out. Don’t miss out on this free resource. Let’s connect the industry by trading and thriving together!
Call for Nominations to the Oregon Wine Board of Directors | Sept. 29
Every fall, the Governor appoints new Oregon Wine Board Directors for three-year terms beginning Jan. 1 of the following year. To ensure the representation of a diversity of regions and businesses, candidates are sought in the following categories: independent grower, large grower, and eastern Oregon. Anyone with a strong business or marketing background would be a plus. Though, any interested individual is encouraged to consider Board service. If you or an industry colleague is interested in being considered, please read the Oregon Wine Board Service Overview and either, submit your application directly to Salem by Friday, Sept. 29, or, if you would like your application to be endorsed by the OWA and OWC joint committee, please complete this interest form by Aug. 11.
Oregon Wine Experience Tickets available | Aug. 16-20
This five-day event is one of the country’s top wine and culinary events benefiting charity. Located just outside of historic Jacksonville, this distinct experience celebrates the state’s unrivaled wines. Check out this year’s program and get tickets for the Oregon Wine Experience and University series.