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COVID-19 Updates
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Greetings Friends,
I’m pleased to have the opportunity to update you on a strategic initiative of great importance and interest to our industry. As shared during our industry calls in May, June and July, the OWB’s new 5-year strategic plan has identified three strategic priorities that will act as the foundation of our investments and work over the next five years. Those priorities are:
  1. Enhance the Reputation of Oregon Wine
  2. Deliver Knowledge and Insights
  3. Provide Leadership and Partnership
In support of priority 1, Enhance the Reputation of Oregon Wine, we will establish a well-defined Oregon Wine brand with focused messages, attributes and brand guidelines.

We are pleased to announce that we have selected Watson Creative as our branding partner for this foundational work. Watson was chosen for their strength as a research-based studio, their creativity, their relevant experience and their cultural fit. 

During our presentations of the new OWB strategic plan, we heard loud and clear that the industry wanted the same voice in the creation of the Oregon Wine brand identity as they had in the development of the strategic plan. I am happy to share that the discovery work that Watson will direct will include conversations with regional groups and a cross-section of industry representatives, as well as market and competitor analyses and trade insights. The agency will aggregate these data and more to help us detail where Oregon Wine currently stands and build a roadmap to where we want it to be in the future. That way we can tell the right story, to the right people, at the right time and for the right reasons.  

We are also pleased to share that OWB applied for and received a $50,000 Wine Country License Plate grant to fund a significant portion of this work, which will start this week. 

I’d also like to call your attention to a very important industry meeting on Aug. 18 at 9:30 a.m. in support of our goal to Deliver Knowledge and Insights to our industry. A special edition of our all-industry gatherings established during COVID-19 will focus on habits, standards and management practices required during harvest and crush to maintain a virus-free workplace. We will also address, to the extent possible, the potential implications of positive COVID-19 test results and their effects on our workforce. Register here for this Zoom meeting.

And finally, on behalf of the Board, I invite you to take five minutes before the end of the week to let us know how you think the Oregon Wine Board has been doing lately. This survey is your annual opportunity to provide detailed feedback into our planning, and the Board and management team take the input provided seriously.

I look forward to working with many of you as we start the next phase of our brand work and I wish you all success and best wishes as we enter August and anticipate our 2020 harvest.

Donna Morris
Winderlea Vineyard & Winery
OWB Board Treasurer and Marketing Committee Chair


Deadline to Win Symposium Tickets: Friday, Aug. 7

The Oregon Wine Board and staff invite input from all industry members into our annual industry satisfaction survey. We’re giving away three passes to the 2021 Oregon Wine Symposium for those who complete the survey by Friday, Aug. 7.

And, be sure to check out our video recapping highlights from our recently-ended fiscal year.


Pre-Harvest & Crush Meeting: Considerations for Vineyard & Winery Operations | Aug. 18, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

All are invited to join a meeting on Aug. 18 about practical considerations for vineyard and winery operations during this year’s harvest and crush. Hear from industry leaders and regulatory partners about guidelines to ensure worker safety and comply with protocols to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19 in your vineyard or winery. Register in advance to join this forum, which will be recorded to share.

Prepping for Harvest Industry Forums | Thursdays at 10 a.m.

The Willamette Valley Wineries Association is hosting weekly calls for vineyard and winery teams to discuss particular questions and concerns related to harvest 2020 in the COVID-19 environment. Links to recordings from previous calls as well as registration for the next meeting on Thursday can be found in the Prepping for Harvest Toolkit Google doc. These calls are open to all interested industry members.

COVID-19 Photography Best Practice and Call for Photos

The OWB recently published a reminder that photography posted to social media should feature current health and safety practices to ensure expectations are set for visitors. Wineries that have photography featuring staff or customers in face coverings, practicing physical distancing, or other measures are invited to share their photos for use in the OWB’s communications channels.

Keep Your Tasting Room Status Current

If your tasting room’s open or by-appointment status has recently changed, don’t forget to update your entry on the OWB’s tasting room directory. We regularly refer consumers and media to, and we rely on you to keep your information updated.


Oregon Vine Perks in Your Tasting Room

If your winery is one of the 160 participating in Oregon Vine Perks, prepare your staff to begin seeing the Vine Perks Passes in your tasting room. Visit the Oregon Vine Perks toolkit to access a PDF of program information and best practices to share with your staff.


OWB-Sponsored Research Update: Identification and Assessment of Smoke Odorants in Grapes and Wine

Dr. Michael C. Qian, professor of wine and grape flavor chemistry at Oregon State University, has prepared an update about research he is conducting to investigate the complex conversion mechanisms of smoke compounds and develop a quantitative measurement to ensure grape and wine quality.

August 2020 Weather and Climate Forecast

On Aug. 3, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield University published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at July conditions and forecasts conditions for August, September and October.

Survey Request: Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Evaporation During Barreling | Extended Deadline: Aug. 15

Masters students in the Food and Resource Economics program at the University of British Columbia are conducting a study among U.S. wineries to understand how predictions from climate change modeling could potentially impact “angel share” evaporation of wine during barreling. As a thank you, the research team will share aggregate feedback with wineries that participate in the study, which should take less than 5 minutes.


Notes from WISE Academy Tasting Room Reopening Conversations

WISE Academy hosted three community conversations regarding challenges and opportunities presented by reopening tasting rooms during the pandemic. The summary notes from these discussions include ideas generated and key points to takeaway.

Use the Profit Planner to Get Ready for Harvest and OND

With bottling and harvest looming and the Q4 sales season in sight, it’s a good time understand your business’s cost of goods and align pricing to your optimum sales channels. The recently upgraded Profit Planner can help you make informed decisions about your vineyard or winery business and is free to all Oregon wine industry members.

Vineyard Steward Education from AHIVOY and Chemeketa

AHIVOY (Asociación Hispana de la Industria del Vino en Oregon y Comunidad) has collaborated with Chemeketa Community College to develop a professional training program for current vineyard stewards. In addition to enrolling vineyard stewards for the 2021 class, they are also seeking industry professionals interested in contributing to instruction.


James Suckling’s Nick Stock to Review Wines in Australia | Deadline: Aug. 31

James Suckling’s Oregon reviewer, Nick Stock, will not be making his annual trip to Oregon this year. Instead, he requests wines be shipped to him to taste in Australia. Read details about Nick’s process for receiving wines, and be aware that the wines must be received by Aug. 31.

Update on Wine Advocate Review Process

The Wine Advocate’s Oregon reviewer, Erin Brooks, will not be traveling to Oregon this summer as she normally does. She is in the process of planning her call for wines and will request wine be shipped to her home in Napa where she’ll taste and review them. Stay tuned for more.


Post Harvest Internships on the OWB Marketplace

The Marketplace on the OWB industry website is frequently used by producers to post grapes, bulk wine and equipment for sale. Did you know it can also be used to post job opportunities? If you have harvest internship jobs—or others—available, post them to the Marketplace so we can spread the word to other organizations that might know of good candidates.

Post Vineyard and Cellar Jobs through the Oregon Wine Research Institute

Reach the Oregon State University community with job opportunities by posting with OWRI. To post, simply email OWRI a link to the job description or a PDF that outlines the details. At a minimum, include job title, company name, specific location of position, instructions on how to apply, and your contact information.


The OWB’s industry website hosts a calendar that includes industry-facing events as well as events with significant industry participation. Consult it when scheduling or rescheduling events to avoid conflicts, and don’t forget to post entries as well.

Links to post to both the industry calendar and the OWB’s consumer-facing calendar can be found here.

August 11

OWB Board Meeting


August 11-13

Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction


August 17-23

Oregon Wine Experience


Copyright © 2020 Oregon Wine Board. All rights reserved.

4640 SW Macadam Ave., Ste. 240
Portland, OR 97239

August 4, 2020|Grapevine Newsletters|0 Comments

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