Thanks to the industry members who Zoomed in on July 22 to hear Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood offer his perspectives on the temporary rule written to help avoid heat illness in vineyards and wineries. It’s a critically important safety measure for wine businesses as we approach an intensive period in our production cycle and the risks associated with heat exposure are elevated. This recording of Michael’s comments lasts about an hour.
During his presentation, Administrator Wood provided this OSHA fact sheet and pointed us to a handy heat index calculator. The fact sheet illustrates some important distinctions between suggested actions and requirements when the heat index moves from 80 to 90+ degrees Fahrenheit. And lastly, there’s a heat safety app for mobile devices.
Alongside heat preparedness for our workforce is the urgency of anticipating potentially dangerous wildfires again this season. This 64-minute video presentation from the California Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers includes some information you might find helpful. And you’ll hear the first speaker from CAL FIRE recommend visiting readyforwildfire.org.
Since warmer summers and fire events have implications for the Oregon Wine Board’s scientific research priorities, I’m reminded to highlight some of the important work being done by the growers and winemakers who make up OWB’s Research Steering Committee. Several volunteers from the industry’s larger Research Committee deserve extra credit for offering up additional hours in service on the Steering Committee to ensure we maintain a high-functioning and responsive Research enterprise. You can view this updated page dedicated to Research on OWB’s industry website and track the Steering Committee’s regular meeting reports, which are parked there on the right-hand side.
One of the OWB’s top-focus Communications activities over the past 18 months has involved close partnerships with regional industry groups and hospitality partners around the state in anticipation of the global Wine Media Conference. The conference will bring nearly 150 registrants—and their masks—to Eugene Aug. 5-7.
After experiencing some South Willamette hospitality, our guests will embark on adventures to several of Oregon’s other distinctive wine regions. We owe special acknowledgements to our counterparts at Travel Lane County, Travel Southern Oregon, and Travel Oregon for their assistance with excursion planning.
And we have to recognize the six winery associations who jumped in with OWB to pool resources and build out some memorable wine country itineraries in the Columbia Gorge, the Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton AVAs, the Rogue and Umpqua valleys, and, in the conference’s epicenter, the South Willamette Wineries Association. Despite the COVID-19 interruptions, your persistence and tenacity have enabled us to overcome every obstacle together.
In closing, I’ll provide one more link. This one is from the July 15 industry Zoom held as part of OWB’s commitment to transparency and richer dialogue with AVA organizations around the state. The session provided a chance for regional and embedded AVA groups to learn more about one another’s operations and for everyone to exchange ideas about working together for greater efficiency and impact. The 90-minute meeting recording is right here. Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the conversation. We’ll be reconvening again after the harvest and crush.
P.S. One of our industry’s most valued partners, ETS Laboratories, has provided this well-written pre-harvest technical bulletin with grape sampling guidance and answers to some of the FAQs related to smoke-exposed grapes.
Wine Spectator co-op advertising opportunity | Deadline: Aug. 24
Wine Spectator is offering a cooperative advertising opportunity in its November 2021 holiday edition, providing exposure in the magazine at a more affordable price than standalone advertising. Participation is first-come, first-served. The deadline to reserve space is Aug. 24. Click here to learn more or contact Cheryl Lewis.
OWB-SPONSORED V&E RESEARCH UPDATE
Developing a methodology to generate transgene-free edited grapevine
Dr. Laurent Deluc, associate professor of grape genomics at Oregon State University and the Oregon Wine Research Institute, has prepared an update about his research to establish a gene editing methodology to produce transgene-free edited grapevine material.
Participate in OSU Extension water use survey | Deadline: Aug. 31
OSU Viticulture Extension is asking for your input by Aug. 31 on vineyard water use and irrigation management through this survey. They would like to know how water is being used and managed in Oregon vineyards in order to determine industry education needs. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete.
Summer School: Revisiting Symposium 2021
The Symposium team is hard at work getting ready for three days of live virtual education sessions taking place Feb. 15-17, 2022. In the meantime, we encourage you to take some time this summer to brush up on lessons offered at the 2021 Symposium. Go here for quick links to the top-rated sessions from each track, and find dozens more free to access on our website.
Coming soon: Wine Country License Plate matching grants
Travel Oregon is scheduled to post guidelines today, Aug. 3, for the next installment of the Wine Country License Plate matching grant program. The application period will be open Aug. 11 through Sept. 15, with funds awarded Nov. 15. Projects will have just over a year to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022. Learn more here and consider your eligibility and requests now.
OWB is hiring: Manager of Insights & Industry Relations
The Oregon Wine Board is recruiting for a manager of insights and industry relations. This role is primarily responsible for supporting administration of the OWB’s scientific research program, managing communications and activities to drive industry engagement with OWB, and directing market and industry research initiatives.
Oregon Wine Industry Forums | Next meeting: August 10
Join the OWB and partners on Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. for the next Oregon Wine Industry Forum. Guests will include Dr. Alec Levin, Dr. Greg Jones, and crop insurance specialists. These monthly discussions are open to any proprietor, employee, or consultant of an Oregon winery or vineyard. Keep current on industry trends, connect with industry members across the state, and stay informed on OWB programming and opportunities.
Willamette Valley gains global protection of its name
In July, the Willamette Valley received formal recognition and protection by the European Union through Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Status approval. The PGI system protects iconic names of agricultural products, spirit drinks, and wines with a link to their geographical origin. Only two American wine regions—Napa Valley and, now, the Willamette Valley—carry this distinction.