Welcome to Symposium Week 2021 and a special President’s Day Monday edition of this newsletter.
The team here at the Oregon Wine Board is excited about what’s in store as we embark on our first fully virtual Oregon Wine Symposium. Registration is open through 4 p.m. this afternoon, with the event starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, so act fast if you’re planning to join us.
There have been a few important developments in the expanding realm of OWB research—economic, industry and scientific—over the past week. First, last week we released the latest Economic Impact Report, which assesses the impact of the wine and wine grape industries on Oregon’s economy. OWB commissions this study every three years, enabling us to understand the revenues, jobs, wages, taxes and other contributions made by the wine industry. While this is ordinarily a one-year snapshot, we proactively expanded the scope of this latest study to look at both 2019 and 2020, since understanding one of those years without the other simply wouldn’t provide enough context.
What we learned was that since the last study in 2016, the wine industry’s overall impact in Oregon grew 27% to $7.21 billion in 2019. Yet given the aggregate impacts of 2020, that figure shrank more than 20% last year to $5.73 billion. Tune in during Symposium on Thursday at 1 p.m. to hear researchers Dr. Rob Eyler and Christian Miller discuss their detailed findings and offer a macro-economic recovery forecast and an outlook on the wine industry specifically.
Also on Thursday afternoon’s docket, I’ll be spending about 10 minutes with Bob Parker of the University of Oregon to talk about the annual Oregon Vineyard & Winery Survey. The 2020 study will be Bob’s fourth time producing this report, and it couldn’t be more critical.
As you may know, early data are showing that Oregon suffered greater crop value losses than have been reported in California. Building on the Economic Impact Report, this year’s Vineyard & Winery Report will help quantify the net effects of 2020’s unique confluence of events on harvest and crush, providing additional nuance to our industry’s understanding and ability to garner support needed for recovery. The survey launched last week, and if your business has not received your unique link, you can contact Bob Parker to get one.
Lastly, your OWB Research Committee is now underway with its annual proposal review process. We received 33 applications from scientists around the country requesting funding for viticulture and enology projects. More than 40 industry volunteers will be giving of their time and expertise over the next couple months to read, evaluate and discuss these proposals to recommend projects for funding to the Oregon Wine Board of Directors.
See the OWB’s industry website to learn more about Research Committee service—we welcome all who meet the outlined criteria, and we are especially looking for volunteers from the Columbia Gorge and Walla Walla Valley. If you’d like to learn more about some of the important research that has been funded recently, scientists will present updates on their OWB-funded research each day of Symposium at 10 a.m. Written summary updates can also be found on our website.
The Symposium sessions referenced above are all included in the new free Industry Access pass, which also includes the launch of the new Oregon Wine brand along with several other important industry updates. And access to the complete slate of educational sessions, along with daily networking events and the ability to chat live with the speakers throughout their sessions, is just $99.
I hope to see you there.
Director of Strategic Insights & Industry Relations
Visit OWB’s COVID-19 Toolkit for Updated County Risk Level Maps
Every two weeks in accordance with the Governor’s assessments, the OWB’s COVID-19 toolkit is updated with the latest maps showing county risk levels. Please use this as needed in your communications. There are many other helpful links in Toolkit as well, including the latest Oregon Health Authority guidance for eating and drinking establishments, which was updated Jan. 29.
Confirm Tasting Room Information for Upcoming Oregon Wine Touring Guide | Deadline: Feb. 17
This is your last chance to verify your tasting room information before the 2021 Oregon Wine Touring Guide is printed in early April. Your information is shared with consumers around the country and on TravelOregon.com, so help us ensure it’s accurate. This year’s process is easier than in years past as there’s no sign in required. All edits are due by Wednesday, Feb. 17.
OWB International Marketing Newsletter Published
On Feb. 5 we published a newsletter regarding our international marketing efforts. This bulletin included updates on partners in our focus markets as well as information about in-person and virtual tasting events planned for later this year. Let us know if you would like to be added to our list for future international marketing updates and opportunities.
May is Oregon Wine Month
The Oregon Wine Month 2021 Toolkit is live! New this year, the OWB will be providing Adobe InDesign point of sale files to allow for brand customization and in-house printing in lieu of printing and shipping materials to tasting rooms and distributors. Continue to check back for additional social media graphics, sweepstakes news and more.
2019-2020 Oregon Wine Economic Impact Report Published
On Feb. 10, OWB released the latest Economic Impact Report, which assesses the impact of the wine and wine grape industries on Oregon’s economy. Commissioned every three years, this special edition covers both 2019 and 2020 to understand how the events of 2020 affected the wine industry in Oregon.
February 2021 Weather and Climate Forecast
On Feb. 4, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield University published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at January conditions and forecasts conditions for February, March and April.
Participate in the 2020 Vineyard & Winery Survey | Deadline: March 31
All Oregon vineyard and winery owners should have received an invitation to participate in the annual Vineyard & Winery Survey. Your participation is vital to ensuring the report accurately reflects the 2020 vintage. If you did not receive an invitation to participate, please contact the study’s organizer, Bob Parker at the University of Oregon.
Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research RFA | Deadline: April 1
Virtual Symposium Lets You Customize Your Experience | Feb. 16-19
If you’re curious about how the virtual Symposium will work, we’ve compiled an overview of the features that can make your experience educational, productive and hopefully even fun. The event “venue,” Swapcard, is flexible, easy-to-use and offers a variety of opportunities to engage with other people throughout the event. Registration closes today.
Virtual Forum: Building Resilience in Agricultural & Food Systems through Innovative and Strategic Partnerships | Feb. 17
All are invited to join a virtual forum on Feb. 17 hosted by the USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE) and Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Mission Area. This discussion will highlight how innovative and strategic partnerships between federal, state, local and private partners support the building of resilience in agricultural and food systems, with a focus on food systems and disaster recovery. The presentation will be followed by an open Q&A session.
Online Course: Virtual DTC Experiences Fundamentals with WISE Academy (OWB-Sponsored Oregon Exclusive) | Feb. 22, 24 and 26
OWB is sponsoring a discounted opportunity for all Oregon wine industry members to attend a three-part online course with WISE Academy. The course focuses on the big questions—Who, What, When, Where and How—of virtual DTC experiences. Learn about the planning, messaging, tailored sales techniques and best practices in tactical delivery for various types of virtual tastings to execute a well thought out program. Normally $360, now $99 per person with sponsorship.
Linfield Wine Lecture Series: Women & Wine—A Black Woman’s Story | Feb. 23
On Feb. 23, Hear from a panel of Black women in wine including Chevonne Ball, founder of wine touring company Dirty Radish, and Justin Trabue, assistant winemaker at Lumen Wines, who will discuss the wine industry in light of the events of 2020, topics surrounding Black wine professionals, and their individual wine projects and vision for the future. This free event is part of Linfield’s Black History Month celebration.
Linfield Wine Lecture Series: Black & Wine—A Black Man’s Journey to Wine
| Feb. 25
On Feb. 25, Bertony Faustin of Abbey Creek Vineyard and Marcus Johnson of FLO Wines will join a panel discussion of the wine industry in light of the events of the past year, individual winery projects and how they came to the world of wine. This free event is part of Linfield’s Black History Month celebration.
LIVE Annual Meeting | March 30-31
Join LIVE for two days of educational sessions, networking and the LIVE annual membership meeting. This event is open to non-members in addition to LIVE members. Register by Feb. 28 for early bird pricing.
Online Class: Vineyard Management | Starting March 30
Dr. Patty Skinkis, OSU professor and viticulture extension specialist, is offering an online, non-credit course covering key concepts in vineyard management. The course focuses on the importance of making informed management decisions in the vineyard by understanding impacts on grapevine physiology and economics. Registration is required and space is limited.
Travel Oregon: State of the Industry | March 2
Join the Travel Oregon team for a virtual update on the state of the tourism industry and recovery programs and strategies. The address will cover international and national travel impacts and consumer sentiments, Travel Oregon’s suite of investments and programming focused on recovery, and the agency’s strategic planning efforts.
Oregon Wine Industry Forums | Next Meeting: March 9
Join the OWB and partners on March 9 at 11 a.m. for the next Oregon Wine Industry Forum. These monthly discussions are open to any proprietor, employee or consultant of an Oregon winery or vineyard. Register for this opportunity to stay current on industry trends, connect with industry members across the state and stay informed on OWB programming and opportunities.
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.