LETTER FROM TOM DANOWSKI
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