Thank you to the 58 wineries throughout the Umpqua, Willamette and Rogue valleys along with those in the Columbia Gorge and Portland who played such important roles in the Oregon Wine Board’s annual July media tour during which we welcomed six writers from our target media list to Oregon for an extended visit.
Despite the heat, fatigue and intermittent fire smoke, our guests soldiered on relentlessly and were exposed to the resiliency, creativity and obsession with quality that our Oregon wine community displays when we need it most. The early feedback from the group was very positive, even resulting in two immediate articles such as this one on Southern Oregon wineries. We’ll have more for you as the coverage unfolds.
In marketing, we have analyzed the results of Oregon Wine Month (May 2018) and see continued positive volume momentum, improved efficiency and wider adoption of the program’s essential elements. The number of participating distributors doubled compared to last year and the promotion’s footprint expanded from 12 states to 32.
Here in the Northwest, distributor reports confirm off-premise sales growth of +8% in both Oregon and Washington state during Oregon Wine Month. And in the ongoing pursuit of more impact from the OWB’s spending, that +8% was achieved with a marketing budget that was down 15% from last year.
In case we somehow missed those of you interested in helping shape the future of the OWB’s viticulture and enology research program, please make a note to register for one of the listening sessions to be held around the state Aug. 27-30 during which Directors from the OWB and representatives from the industry’s Research Committee will be anxious to hear your feedback and suggestions. Click here for dates, locations and event details. These two-hour sessions are open to every Oregon winemaker and grape grower.
Finally, don’t forget to update your tasting room profile before Aug. 28 so your business information is correct in the 2019 Oregon Wine Touring Guide and included in the Oregon Tourism Information System, managed by Travel Oregon. Click here for instructions on updating your information.
NEWS FROM THE OREGON WINEGROWERS ASSOCIATION
With the harvest and crush coming up, it is timely to offer OWA members a reminder about popular resources that can be helpful when dealing with your business partners. Review the “Top 10 Tips for Grower Communications, Contracts and Collections” and the associated “Tips for Grower Communications” webinar from last year with advice from Davis Wright Tremaine about best practices in communications for growers and winemakers. The webinar runs just under 40 minutes. Members will need to log into OWA’s Reference Toolbox to access these resources.
OWA members are also invited to join a webinar with Davis Wright Tremaine on Aug. 20 from 10-10:30 a.m. for an informative update on employment laws that impact Oregon vineyards and wineries as you prepare for harvest/crush. Topics include new requirements around maximum hours, rest periods and overtime for winery work, as well as quick employment reminders during your busiest season such as rules around volunteers.
Oregon Wine Board
Verify Your Tasting Room Information | Deadline: Aug. 28
In anticipation of the next edition of the Oregon Wine Touring Guide, coming February 2019, please take a few minutes to ensure that the information the OWB has on record about your tasting room is accurate. Starting this year, OWB will also be providing your data to the Oregon Tourism Information System maintained by Travel Oregon and shared with tourism partners around the state. Learn more and get instructions.
Register for OWB Research Listening Tour Near You
The OWB Research Committee is inviting interested industry members to attend one of a series of listening sessions to be held around the state in late August. The purpose is to invite your candid comments, ideas and suggestions for making the OWB’s viticulture and enology research program as responsive as possible to the industry’s present and emerging needs. These are important sessions at which your opinions and guidance will help the OWB dial in the research initiatives our industry must undertake to grow and thrive in the decades ahead. See the schedule and register for a session near you.
August 2018 Weather and Climate Forecast
On August 5, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at July conditions, provides an updated drought watch, and forecasts conditions for August, September and October. Read the report.
CALLS FOR WINE
American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition | Deadline: Oct. 22
The American Wine Society (AWS) invites commercial wineries to compete in the 2018 AWS Commercial Wine Competition being held Oct. 30-31. The AWS is the largest consumer-based wine organization in the United States. Learn more.
Wine Spectator Fall Advertising Opportunities | Deadlines: Aug. 28 and Sept. 27
Wine Spectator is offering cooperative advertising opportunities in November’s Holiday Planning issue and December’s Top 100 Wines of the Year issue, providing exposure in the magazine at a more affordable price than standalone advertising. Up to 18 first-come, first-served spaces are available per issue. Read more and secure your participation.
Travel Oregon Competitive Small Grants | Deadline: Aug. 29
Travel Oregon’s 2018-19 Competitive Small Grants program is for grants up to $20,000, with a 10% cash match requirement. The application deadline is Aug. 29, and requests for letters of support are due to the OWB by Aug. 23. Learn more.
OWA Webinar: Employment Law Updates | Aug. 20
OWA members are invited to join Davis Wright Tremaine on Aug. 20 from 10-10:30 a.m. for an informative update on employment laws that impact Oregon vineyards and wineries. Topics include new requirements around maximum hours, rest periods and overtime for winery work, as well as quick employment reminders for your busiest season such as rules around volunteers. Register here.
Town Hall Meeting on Conjunctive and Varietal Labeling | Aug. 24
All industry members are invited to join the Willamette Valley Wineries Association for a town hall meeting from 4-6 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Southeast Wine Collective in Portland to discuss potential Willamette Valley wine industry state legislative concepts including conjunctive and varietal labeling. The meeting will include a presentation of work by the WVWA’s ad hoc committee and a Q&A session. Learn more and RSVP.
Update on the Wine Advocate Report Publishing Schedule
Thank you to everyone who sent in wines and welcomed Erin Brooks, the new Wine Advocate reviewer, on her inaugural visit to Oregon in June. She enjoyed the warm reception she received and we enjoyed her upbeat and friendly demeanor. We know you’re eager to read her reviews. Part 1 of her Oregon Report will be published on Aug. 31, with a selection appearing in print and the entire set of notes published online. Part 2 will likely come out later this fall, online only.
Sovos/ShipCompliant Launches New Direct to Consumer Compliance Resource
Sovos, the company behind ShipCompliant, recently announced a new freely accessible resource on its website, which provides state-by-state compliance information for wineries shipping directly to consumers. Learn more.