1. Great news confirming the continuing recovery of the Oregon segment comes in the latest sales volume report from Nielsen. The trend lines below reflect national consumer purchase trends in retail scanner stores over the past year compared to calendar year 2019 before C-19 distorted channel dynamics and consumer behavior.
Feel free to use these data in your customer presentations and marketing materials to demonstrate the vitality of Brand Oregon. We’ve circulated them to journalists.
2. While Oregon’s off-premise success is encouraging, we know that wineries across the state rely equally, or more so in some cases, on direct sales.
Over 120 Oregon wineries so far are finding the Community Benchmark tasting room sales tracking platform, combined with interpretative support from WISE Academy, an invaluable management support resource. Click here to view last week’s Community Benchmark webinar during which a new forecasting algorithm was unveiled to Oregon wineries along with some great insights on the latest wine club and tasting room performance metrics. If you’ve been on the sidelines as the Community Benchmark story is unfolding, you can still jump in for 2024. Oregon Wine Board funds have significantly reduced the cost to participating businesses. The first step is claiming your account.3. Some of you are aware that the OWB is reconstituting the industry’s Marketing Committee. It will advise the Board and OWB’s management team as tax dollars are allocated to industry marketing priorities. This announcement went out with more details about the Committee, and we hope to hear from qualified marketing professionals who have time for this critical working group.
4. It’s useful sometimes to take a look at “what went right?” as smart, well-executed plans move to market. Congratulations to the Willamette Valley Visitors Association, the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, Travel Oregon, and the OWB marketing team for coming together to design this focused, tourism-driving marketing planleveraging Wine Country License Plate funds.
5. Final Reminder: Please join the OWB’s all-industry webinar this coming Thursday, Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. during which we’ll have new materials for the Wine Flies Free program, an introduction to the industry’s new grant-funded image library, and agenda time set aside for your comments as the OWB’s 2024-25 budget comes together.
P. S. If you haven’t yet made your Symposium ticket purchases while the final details about each seminar were coming together, your wait is over. Review the individual session details and register now at the early bird ticket prices to be with your friends and colleagues in Portland on Feb. 13 and 14, 2024.
Governor Tina Kotek Appoints Three New Directors to the Oregon Wine Board
As of Jan. 1, 2024, the OWB Board of Directors will welcome three new Directors: Adam Ramirez, Austin Kraemer, and Anna Maria Ponzi. As we welcome them, we would like to thank and honor Donna Morris, Bob Morus, and Dennis O’Donoghue, whose Board terms will expire at the end of the year, for their time and hard work serving the OWB Board.
OWB’s Marketing and Budget Planning Webinar I Dec. 7 at 10 a.m.
The agenda includes OWB’s 2024-25 budget planning, a review of OWB tools/resources industry members can use for providing input and utilizing our organizational offerings, a media and image library unveil and walk-through, and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to provide input and ask questions. See the full agenda and register here.
Wine Industry Insights
BBC Analyzes Factors Driving Prices of U.S. Wines
Vince Mancini dives into the many reasons underlying U.S. wine price fluctuations from climate change to inflation, supply chain, and cost of labor as well as the three-tier system. He notes that, unlike other products, wine cannot react to a supply-and-demand event by lowering prices as consumers often believe a lower price point is indicative of lower quality. Dropping wine prices can change consumers’ perception of the wine in ways that largely can’t be undone when demand rebounds. Read more.
Wine-Searcher Reports on U.S. Wineries’ Increased Focus on Export
Export offers opportunities for Premium and Family brands. Even the smallest U.S.-based wineries looking to increase their sales outside the well-trodden DTC and national distribution paths – both of which are showing diminishing rates of return – may want to seek wine lovers farther afield. Read more.
Seven Fifty Daily: State of the Sparking Wine Wine Market
Pamela Vachon writes: “Sparkling wine consumption grew by double-digit percentages between 2020 and 2021. 2022 has shown a continuation of that growth. Today, sales are still robust across all major regions, but experts are on standby for a potential slowdown”. Read more.
Access OWB’s New Industry Website Page on Labeling and Packaging
Following the many regulation changes and numerous industry webinars resulting in scattered industry resources on the topic of packaging, OWB has created a web page where all packaging regulations and trends will be centralized. This is where you will find the link to the recording of the Nov. 17 OIV Webinar on the New EU labeling Regulation. This page will be regularly updated as new policies are created and new packaging trends emerge. Please contact Celine at OWB if you have any specific feedback or input. View labeling resources.
Mark your Calendars for OWA’s Rescheduled Webinar on California Bottle Bill I Dec. 7 at 1 p.m.
Effective Jan. 1, 2024, wine and spirits containers will be added to the California beverage container recycling program, better known as the California Bottle Bill managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). Beginning July 1, 2025, wine and spirits containers will be required to be labeled with California Redemption Value (CRV) indicia. Join Kelly Luzania from OWA’s legal team at Davis Wright Tremaine on Dec. 7 at 1:00 p.m. to learn more about the requirements specific to Oregon wineries followed by time for Q&A. Go to Meeting.
Register for InnoVint Webinar on Mastering Winery Finances I Dec. 14 at 11 a.m.
Join Innovint and winery finance leaders Geni Whitehouse and Erik McLaughlin to gain insights as they share how to enhance the financial health of your wine business. The session will cover a wide range of topics, including current events affecting the wine industry, common winery financial challenges, how to effectively align with other departments (viticulture, production, sales), and considerations if you’re thinking of selling or buying a winery or vineyard. Prepare your questions as we’ll have plenty of time for Q&A. Can’t make it live? Register to receive a recap and the recording. Register here.
Oregon Wine Symposium Early Bird Registration
The Oregon Wine Growers Association (OWA) and the Oregon Wine Board (OWB) are proud to announce that registration has opened for the largest in-person wine industry trade show and education seminar in the Northwest. On Feb. 13 and 14, the Oregon Wine Symposium will unite experts from the scientific and wine business communities to share the latest learnings, best practices, and industry expertise in a new condensed one day-and-a-half format. Register at the Early Bird rate.
Clive Pursehouse shares insights into the 2021 vintage conditions in Southern Oregon as well as tasting notes and scores for 21 top wines. Standouts from this report include Abacela, Irvine & Roberts, and Troon whose wines and testimonies are featured. The report also highlights new faces such as Goldback Wines and Padigan (formerly 2Hawk). Out of the 21 featured wines, 16 received 90+ scores. Read more.
Forbes shares Jackson Family’s Business Case for Sustainability
Liz Thach, MW reports: While many companies have set strategic goals to adopt more sustainability measures, few have yet achieved a positive return on investment (ROI) for these types of activities. However, Jackson Family Wines, the 9th largest winery in the U.S., producing over 6 million cases of wine annually, and with operations in 8 countries, has recently made their sustainability ROI public. Read more.
SevenFifty Daily Reports on the Rise of Oregon Sparkling Wines
Shana Clarke reports on the growth of Oregon sparkling wine production. As a testimony of the importance of the category, starting with the 2022 vintage, sparkling wine has been assessed as its own category in the annual Vineyard and Winery report, which previously only looked at data from individual varieties. This article continues to review new producers as well as quality and prices. Read more.
VinePair Explains How Crush Collectives Foster Diversity in the Wine Industry
With examples from Oregon and beyond, Shana Clarke explains how custom crush facilities provide an economical on-ramp for aspiring winemakers. She develops how beyond providing access to equipment and services, these collectives foster a safe space for a more diverse wine industry. Read more.
Oregon Live Acknowledges Oregon Wines on Top Magazines Lists
Michael Alberty summarizes the many accolades received by Oregon wines in Top 100 lists for 2023. In addition to 7 Oregon wines in Wine Spectator, several Oregon wines rose to the top of similar lists compiled by Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits magazines. The average score for the 18 Oregon wines listed in those publications is 94.7 on the ubiquitous 100-point scale. The average bottle price is $56.40. Read more.
Oregon Wine Press seeks Syrah, Tempranillo, and other non-Bordeaux red varietals and blends (blend must be at least 75% non-Bordeaux varietals). The tasting panel selections will be published in the Feb. 2024 issue. Learn more.
Oregon Wine Press Seeks Anniversaries and Milestones for Almanac issue | Deadline Dec. 7
Oregon Wine Press is interested in relaying our industry’s significant anniversaries and milestones in its Jan. Almanac issue. Share winery openings, anniversaries, awards and achievements by simply sending an email to [email protected].
Viticulture & Enology
December 2023 Weather and Climate Forecast
Dr. Greg Jones recently published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at November conditions and forecasts conditions for December, January, and February 2024.
Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Seeks Relevance Reviewers
USDA-NIFA is recruiting industry representatives (growers, packers, shippers, staff from commissions and trade associations, etc.) to volunteer to review the industry relevance of pre-applications for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) for 2024. Relevance reviewers ensure that SCRI projects address critical needs for the grape and wine industry. The time commitment is about 15 – 20 hours total, spread over two months (Jan. Feb.) to review and score pre-applications and to participate in the final 1.5-hour grape panel Zoom meeting the week of Feb. 26, 2024. Learn more.
OWB Renews Partnership with Community Benchmark I View Webinar and Claim your account
OWB extended its partnership with Community Benchmark for another two years. Any Oregon winery can claim their account today for just $199 for the two-year program. Comparisons to the aggregated data provided by wineries in your region and across Oregon as well as the new forecasting tool will be part of your Community Benchmark package sponsored by OWB. Upgrades are available to wineries wishing to compare their performances to more specific business segments. Any winery not yet registered can still Claim an account.
On Nov. 30 Community Benchmark hosted a webinar about their DtC sales data dashboard and presented their new AI-powered forecasting tool designed to automate how wineries monitor and boost sales. View recording.
Participate in Industry Talent Needs Survey I Deadline Dec. 20
The Oregon Wine Brotherhood is working with the Center for Marketing and Consumer Insights at Oregon State University to conduct a brief survey to understand our industry’s talent needs better. We all face critical challenges in attracting and retaining talented people to operate our businesses. To help mitigate those challenges, we ask for your help by completing a brief (10-minute) Talent Needs Survey to help focus scholarship giving and wine industry community support. Respond to the survey.
Provide Suggestions and Planning Ideas for Next Fiscal Year | Feb.1
OWB is interested in your budget planning input for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Visit the Annual Business Plan Toolkit for a detailed list of dates, meetings, budget postings, and the idea submission form. Input will be accepted through Feb.1, 2024. If you would like to have a more in-depth discussion regarding your feedback or learn about other feedback we have received, please email [email protected] or reach out to Sally Crawford at [email protected].
Oregon Tourism Commission Meeting | Dec. 6 at 9 a.m.
The meeting will be in person at the Ecotrust Building (721 NW 9th Ave.) in Portland and live-streamed on Travel Oregon’s Industry YouTube channel. Topics for this meeting include updates on the Portland region, Regional Cooperative Tourism Program, and Wine Country License Plate Regional Distribution Program.
Register for CabFranc-A-Palooza Wine Festival I Deadline Jan. 24
The 2nd Annual CabFranc-A-Palooza Wine Festival is a 3-day event that takes place in Livermore, CA on May 3-5 2024. Last year, wineries from 7 states and 5 countries were featured, and over 500 guests attended. The event organizers are seeking Oregon producers to participate at no registration cost. Interested wineries should confirm participation by Jan. 2024 by emailing Matt Toomey at [email protected].
World of Pinot Noir | Feb. 29 – March 2
The event returns to the seaside Ritz-Carlton Bacara resort in Santa Barbara. The program includes tasting seminars, pairing dinners, and tastings showcasing more than 200 premier Pinot Noir producers from around the globe. Winery registration information and marketing opportunities are available here.