Over the last few years, our industry has experienced tectonic change. We have navigated enormous challenges, internal and external, in pursuit not only of survival, but of a healthier and more resilient future. We’ve gained an even deeper appreciation for the importance of our viticultural and enological research, and we have become more awake to the imperative for meaningful engagement and inclusivity across our industry community. Meanwhile, consumer demand and appreciation for Oregon wine has continued to increase, widening the path for all to prosper. From Rogue to The Rocks, Umpqua to Willamette, we recognize that when we row together, we grow together. Much work remains but our potential beckons. We are writing the story of one of the most unique wine regions in the world and it is up to each and all of us.
A great year is ahead, beginning Feb. 15-17, when the OWB will again host the virtual Oregon Wine Symposium. We encourage you to register here at your soonest opportunity. Last year’s virtual Symposium was met with high praise from participants, with record attendance and a meaningful array of programs and speakers. I’m happy to report that registration for virtual Symposium ’22 has already surpassed last year’s numbers. Take a look at this year’s program schedule and speakers.
We have redoubled our commitment to developing Oregon Wine Month, with two dedicated committees looking at the needs of DTC/independent and three-tier distribution channels, respectively. It’s encouraging to have so many experienced industry volunteers working in concert with OWB staff to advance this important program and it is characteristic of Oregon Wine’s collaborative spirit. The print point-of-sale order form has just been published. Please invite your trade contacts to place their complimentary order by March 1. The form, along with all program details, can be found in the Oregon Wine Month toolkit.
Last year we concluded formal industry discussions mediated by Oregon Solutions. Individuals representing a diversity of Oregon Wine business profiles and geographies took part in the process, finding areas of agreement and identifying where more work is needed. The completion of the Oregon Solutions process marked the beginning of a renewed commitment to transparency and constructive dialogue that we collectively accept responsibility to carry forward. To that end, open channels of regular communication have been established, including quarterly AVA and industry association leadership conferences sponsored by OWB. I want to thank everyone who took part in the Oregon Solution process, which was conducted in good faith by all, with sincere intention of building trust, understanding, and broader representation.
In addition to OWB’s board meetings, which are open to the public, another important opportunity for industry dialogue is the continuation of our monthly Oregon Wine Industry Forum. This live, online forum enables anyone active in the industry to hear from the OWB and other relevant organizations about news, initiatives, and opportunities related to marketing, education, and research. One can register for these monthly zoom meetings and access the archive of past meetings here. If you have a topic you’d like to suggest for a future Oregon Wine Industry Forum, you may contact OWB’s Stacey Kohler.
Finally, I want to make sure all are aware of the Oregon Wine Board’s Annual Business Plan Tool Kit. This resource is intended to provide insight to OWB’s annual budget and business plan, which is in place to support the board-approved strategic plan.
It has been an honor to serve alongside the dedicated staff and directors of the Oregon Wine Board for the last few years, learning from so many across our state. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to chair the Oregon Wine Board in 2022 and I’m confident that with active participation from all, we will make significant progress toward greater security and prosperity for our industry in the years to come.
I will strive to make myself available to all when there is need for dialogue. Please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com.
Let’s look to the horizon.
Thank you for reading and cheers to a great ’22!
Oregon Wine Board Chair
Finance Committee Vice-Chair
Oregon Wine Month POS Available for Order
Printed POS is available for order now through March 1 on the Oregon Wine Month toolkit. Wineries, retailers, distributors, and any promotional partners are invited to place an order for complimentary printing and delivery in early April. Share with your trade contacts today.
Register for the 2022 Oregon Wine Symposium: Coming to You Virtually in February, Then In-person in March
The annual premier education event and trade show for the Northwest wine industry, the Oregon Wine Symposium, will once again unite experts from the scientific and wine business communities to share the latest research, best practices, and industry expertise in a virtual format Feb. 15-17, 2022. The Early Bird price of $79 per person is available through Jan. 14. Groups of four or more receive an additional 20% off Full Access tickets per registrant, and there are other discount opportunities for educators, students, and Spanish language speakers. Learn more about the educational program details and register.
In addition to the virtual event, Oregon Wine Symposium LIVE will take place in-person March 8-9, 2022 at the Oregon Convention Center. The event will explore the theme of climate, business and workforce resiliency, and provide practical, actionable takeaways to help manage your business in these uncertain times. The in-person Symposium will include six main sessions and mini seminars, a trade show featuring valued industry partners, technical tastings, continuing education and certification opportunities, networking, and socializing. This will include a reimagined Soiree featuring Oregon’s diverse winegrowing regions and more. Early bird pricing ends on Jan. 31, 2022. Register to attend.
Assemblage Presents: DE&I Statements that Work with Dr. Kim Perkins
In this 60-minute workshop taking place Monday, Jan. 31 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. PST, you will have the opportunity to craft a first draft DE&I statement that works for your community and your company. Perfect for business and organizational leaders and tailored to all learning levels, attendees will leave this workshop with a draft DE&I statement that’s meaningful, actionable, and personalized. Also appropriate for those wanting to revisit or reimagine their existing DE&I statement. Register to attend.
Press and Media
Lower Long Tom AVA Stirs Up Press Coverage
The Lower Long Tom is on a tear! Since OWB and WVWA wrote a press release together, the region has received 124 mentions in news articles with a potential audience of nine million people. Oregonian wine columnist Michael Alberty has penned three articles alone with more to come, including this Jan. 10 piece on RainSong Vineyard.
Decanter Spotlights Umpqua and Rogue Valley
Decanter reaches 392,000 wine lovers across the globe, and earlier this month the publication ran a beautiful story showcasing Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley and Rogue Valley AVA. Writer Stacy Slinkard reviewed a number of wines, calling the regions “authentic and exciting.”
Travel and Leisure Mentions Oregon Wine Destination in Wellness Guide
Lithia Springs Resort & Wine Garden is mentioned as one of eleven global retreats to find wellness. The article states guests can “practice self-compassion and overhaul negative mindsets, interspersed by dips in the sulfur-rich mineral waters and sips of Applegate Valley vino in the verdant wine garden…” The magazine reaches 5.9 million people.
Dr. Greg Jones recently published vintage reports from a reference vineyard network in the North Willamette Valley, Rogue Valley, and Umpqua Valley. This is the last year for the research, which has spanned 19 years covering the climate, phenology, and harvest fruit composition in the regions.
Join the OWB Vit & Eno Research Committee
With the request for applications for 2022-23 research projects now open, OWB is still looking for reviewers and members to join the Research Committee. Learn more about the criteria to join here.
Oregon Wine Industry Forum | Next meeting: March 15
Due to the Oregon Wine Symposium, the next monthly Oregon Wine Industry Forum will take place March 15 at 11 a.m. Register for the meeting to stay current on industry trends, connect with industry members across the state, and keep informed on OWB programming and opportunities. Register for the series of meetings.
Call For Wines: Paul Gregutt Launches New Website
Paul Gregutt, who previously reviewed Oregon wines for 23 years at Wine Enthusiast, has set out independently with his own media entity called paulgwine.com. He is asking for Oregon winemakers to please ship him current and upcoming releases. Learn more about this new endeavor and how to submit wines.
Registration Now Open for Governor’s Conference on Tourism
Registration is now open for Travel Oregon’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism, taking place March 14-16, in Sunriver, Oregon. Health and safety guidelines are subject to change, but at this point in time COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative test will be required to attend.