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LETTER FROM TOM DANOWSKI
Thank you to all who joined us for the most well-attended and successful Oregon Wine Symposium ever. Your energy and enthusiasm were infectious, and we hope everyone will save the date for next year when we convene again in Portland: Feb. 11-12, 2020.
If you’re wondering how to view the Symposium presentations delivered by our esteemed speakers and panelists, fill out the event survey attendees received yesterday and we’ll alert you by e-mail as soon as the slides are made available. And to those who didn’t walk away with their advance copies of the OWB’s brand new, 88-page Oregon Wine Touring Guide, order your free case of 40 guides here.
For those who were unable to join us at Symposium, the tone was set by a couple of remarkable comments from Wine Spectator Senior Editor Tim Fish, writing in the current edition: “Oregon is the most dynamic wine region in the U.S. right now,” and, “Oregon is only beginning to tap into its potential.” Tim’s glowing sentiments honor a statewide wine enterprise that is recognized now more widely than ever for exceptional quality, innovation and the promise of even better wines to come.
Once again, a highlight of the Symposium was the annual presentation of industry awards recognizing extraordinary contributions to Oregon’s wine community. The audience was touched by a memorial video and heartfelt remarks from OWB Director Bertony Faustin honoring the memory of his late friend, Jesus Guillén. Jesus’s wife, Yuliana, and their son Adrian accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award on his behalf. Click here for the press announcement with additional details about the program and the full roster of 2019 award recipients.
Looking ahead, this month again marks the roll out of the annual vineyard and winery survey. This project will produce a snapshot of our industry enabling all of us to access reliable acreage, yields, grape pricing and winery sales information for 2018. Researchers and data analysts at the University of Oregon, working in tandem with Linfield’s Dr. Greg Jones, are ready for your input via this link.
Finally, for our colleagues in the Umpqua Valley, please hold Wednesday, March 6 at 5 p.m. on your calendars for an OWB industry reception to be held at the Southern Oregon Wine Institute on the campus of Umpqua Community College. The event, and the Oregon Wine Board of Directors meeting the following afternoon, are open to all growers and winemakers at no charge. Click here for further details and to RSVP.
NEWS FROM THE OREGON WINEGROWERS ASSOCIATION
The OWA is active in both Salem and Washington, D.C., as state and federal lawmakers consider a range of proposals relevant to vineyard owners and winemakers.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden joined with Missouri Senator Roy Blunt earlier this month to offer a bill that would make permanent the lower federal excise taxes in effect now on wine, while also correcting some technicalities that have made implementation of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act problematic for many wineries. The more favorable excise tax rates that went into effect in January 2018 are currently set to phase out on Dec. 31. The OWA will work with WineAmerica and the California Wine Institute in an attempt to permanently lock in the current excise tax structure and retain other positive aspects of the law.
OWA is also at work, along with Davis Wright Tremaine and volunteers from the membership, drafting comments to TTB in response to Notice #176, which invites input on changes and updates to the code of federal regulations dealing with wine labeling and advertising. Thank you to those who have made the time to offer their expertise on this complex set of topics.
In Salem, legislative hearings begin this week on proposals to further articulate Oregon’s wine labeling rules and more clearly define OLCC’s authority to equitably collect grape tonnage taxes. We’ll keep you updated as these and other significant legislative priorities advance. There is not much movement yet on Senate Bill 7, which is written to lower Oregon’s blood alcohol content standard to determine if a driver may be under the influence. SB 7 was pre-session filed by Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney.
Reminder: be on the lookout for details coming soon about the OWA’s consumer tasting event scheduled for Sunday, June 2 in Portland.
OREGON WINE SYMPOSIUM
Take Post-Event Survey for Access to Presentations
If you were one of the record number of attendees at the 2019 Symposium last week, be sure to check your email for a link to take the survey. If you do, you’ll receive password-protected access to all presentations and recordings by March 15. These will be made public in June.
Attend the Oregon Wine Month 2019 webinar on Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. to learn about this year’s program and how to make the most of the resources available to you. The OWB marketing team will present the elements of the 2019 activity plan, including consumer advertising and promotions, restaurant engagement, retailer programs, regional association activities and point of sale materials.
New 2019 Oregon Wine Touring Guide Available
The 2019 Oregon Wine Touring Guide is available now for complimentary order and delivery. This fourth edition of the guide is packed with new photography, editorial content and updated listings for more than 500 tasting rooms across the state. The 2019 guide is intended for placement at wineries, hotels and other tourism related businesses.
Order Oregon Wine Month Tasting Room POS | Deadline: March 1
The 2019 Oregon Wine Month tasting room point of sale materials are available to order now. To amplify the program’s visibility in your tasting room, place your order for POS materials by March 1.
Learn Oregon: A Master Class Series for Trade | Sign-up Deadline: March 1
The OWB is offering a free 4-week online Oregon wine training beginning March 4 to help members of the trade better understand and more effectively sell Oregon wine. Share the registration link with your trade contacts and have them register by March 1.
Sign up to Pour at Total Wine during Oregon Wine Month
Total Wine & More is planning to celebrate Oregon Wine Month this May in their 193 stores across 20 states. During this focus period, they want to bring as many Oregon wineries as possible to their stores to pour for shoppers. Wineries with placements in Total Wine are invited to sign up for in-store tasting events at locations around the country.
DTC Wine Symposium Recap
OWB’s education manager, Bree Stock MW, attended the 2019 DTC Wine Symposium in Concord, Calif., Jan. 23-24. She has written a summary of the event with key takeaways for Oregon wine producers.
Chemeketa Community College, Erath Family Foundation and Oregon Wine Board are sponsoring a class on conventional sprayer calibration techniques, including calibration, maintenance and inspections. The $15 registration fee includes snacks, coffee and tea. Space is limited so register now for the class in English or with Spanish translation, held Feb. 27 at the Chemeketa Wine Studies Eola campus.
2018 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Survey Open: Participate Now
The U of O recently opened the survey form for the 2018 Vineyard and Winery Report. Broad participation in this annual study helps ensure accurate figures on industry growth and the ability to tell a compelling story about the wine industry in Oregon. Thank you for doing your part.
Participate in the Linfield College 2018 Oregon Wine Industry Salary Survey
The second annual Oregon Wine Industry Salary Survey from Linfield College is still open and the researcher requests participation from vineyard and winery managers around the state to augment data presented at the Sympsoium. The updated report will be shared with the industry later this spring.
Sovos 2019 Direct to Consumer Wine Shipping Report
Sovos, the company behind ShipCompliant, recently released its 2019 Direct to Consumer Wine Shipping Report. Among other highlights, this report shows Oregon’s DTC shipment volume growing at 19% in 2018 compared with the category average 9%.
February 2018 Weather and Climate Forecast
On Feb. 2, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at January conditions and forecasts conditions for February, March and April.
Register for OWRI Grape Day | April 3
Join OWRI at Oregon State University in Corvallis on April 3 for Grape Day, their annual event highlighting research relevant to the Oregon wine industry. The event provides industry members with an opportunity to network and discuss research with OSU researchers and invited speakers. Register by March 3 for early bird pricing.
CALLS FOR WINE
Share Your Stories with Paul Gregutt of Wine Enthusiast
Paul Gregutt of Wine Enthusiast magazine wants to hear from Oregon winemakers more regularly. He says, “by so doing, wineries become eligible for in-person visits and inclusion in many other features and stories.”
2019 Wine Country Plates Grant Cycle Now Open | Deadline: Feb. 22
Enter the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards | Deadline: March 1
The 16th annual Decanter World Wine Awards is now open for entries, and is especially relevant for wineries doing business in the U.K. and Europe. The deadline for consolidated shipping from California is Feb. 22, with the final submission deadline of March 1.
Participate in the 2019 International Volcanic Wine Conference | June 4
The second annual International Volcanic Wine Conference will be held in New York on June 4 and is now open for wineries to sign up to participate. The conference comprises a full-day educational program for wine industry professionals and members of the media.
Wine Spectator 2019 Advertising Opportunities
Wine Spectator is offering three cooperative advertising opportunities in 2019, providing exposure in the magazine at a more affordable price than standalone advertising. Up to nine first-come, first-served spaces are available per issue.
2019 Oregon Wine Industry Awards
At the Oregon Wine Symposium, nine awards were given in honor of outstanding contributions to the Oregon wine industry. Congratulations to all recipients.
Oregon Solidarity Video Brings Collaborative Project to Life
The Oregon Solidarity project, which brought together Rogue Valley growers and Willamette Valley winemakers in the face of hardship during the 2018 harvest, is brought to life in a new video.
International Wine Review Overview of The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
The International Wine Review recently published a detailed overview of the unique Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA. The paper also includes reviews of dozens of wines from this distinctive region.
Contact Senator Wyden about TTB Delays
If you submitted an application to the TTB before or during the government shutdown and are awaiting approval, if an application that you did not submit due to the shutdown is now urgent, or if you experienced any technical problems with applications submitted during the shutdown, please share your case with Senator Wyden’s staff. They can help ensure TTB is processing applications as quickly as possible and will keep you apprised of progress.
Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism Registration Open | April 14-16
The Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism aims to educate and connect tourism stakeholders and business partners, advancing alignment for a healthy Oregon tourism ecosystem, which inspires travelers to visit Oregon. Register by Feb. 28 to take advantage of early bird rates.
Join Oregon Business for Climate
Oregon Business for Climate is a nonpartisan, nonprofit statewide organization focused on mobilizing industry support and business leadership to advance climate policy and institute a price on carbon emissions while strengthening Oregon’s economy. Join nearly 100 Oregon businesses in supporting thoughtful legislation on climate policy.