A new year often brings renewed enthusiasm and changes to our lives. The Oregon Wine Board (OWB) is no exception where changes are ushering in 2024.
The biggest change coming to the OWB is the hiring of Gina Bianco as its executive director. Gina previously served as executive director of the Rogue Valley Vintners Association in Southern Oregon and was chosen out of a broad and diverse field of candidates. The OWB recognized Gina’s high level of integrity, ethics, and transparency, and her ability to encourage open communication among winegrowers and winemakers across our state. Gina comes to the OWB well-equipped with a positive track record that will serve our state well as we elevate Oregon wine’s profile. She’s an energetic and effective leader and can bring diverse groups together to discuss and resolve issues. Gina will start on Feb. 1, 2024. Please give her a warm welcome and your ongoing support as she guides our industry forward.
Other changes include three directors moving off the OWB board. A big thank you to Donna Morris, Dennis O’Donoghue, and Bob Morus for their service to the OWB. Their leadership has been instrumental in steering the OWB during their terms. The OWB also welcomes three new directors this year: Anna Maria Ponzi (amponzi & company), Austin Kraemer (Kraemer Farms), and Adam Ramirez (Coventry Vale Winery). As we move into 2024, please take a moment to thank our outgoing directors, and welcome our new directors!
I would also like to thank Justin King who has served as OWB chair for the last two years and is now chair emeritus. His leadership has helped guide the board and industry to greater heights; I only hope I learned enough to be as good of a chair as he has been.
Recognition also goes to Tom Danowski, the OWB executive director for the last twelve years. Tom led the OWB during a time of substantial growth and recognition of the Oregon wine industry. His enthusiasm for all things Oregon helped position our industry for the future. We wish him well in his future endeavors.
The OWB continues to focus on our core mission of supporting education, marketing, and research for the Oregon wine industry. Our education team has put together a great collection of sessions for the Oregon Wine Symposium on Feb.13-14. You wouldn’t want to miss this event so get your tickets now.
The research committee is currently accepting proposals for projects for 2024 with the goal of awarding those that best serve the industry’s needs.
The OWB’s marketing efforts have been bolstered by a new marketing committee consisting of staff, directors, and industry members.
In addition, the Industry Partnership Committee will continue to support connections between the OWB and regional wine associations building a statewide approach to all things wine in Oregon.
From my vantage point, the 2024 forecast for the Oregon wine industry points to continued recognition and growth. There are opportunities to do so every day, we just have to recognize them and act accordingly. The OWB will focus on doing so in 2024 and beyond.
Happy New Year,
Abacela Vineyards and Winery CEO
A note from the Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission (OLCC)This information was provided at the end of the e-mail OLCC sent out last month.
Since the Oregon Privilege Tax Online (OPTO) system updates have been completed, the waiver of penalties and interest will be ending on Jan. 20, 2024. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the waiver of penalties and interest, please let OLCC know as soon as possible. If you have an issue to report, or need assistance, please send an email to [email protected].
As always, OLCC and staff are here to do all we can to serve our stakeholders.
Register for the Oregon Wine Month Webinar | Jan. 23 at 10 a.m.
Oregon Wine Month provides the opportunity for producers, wholesalers, and retailers to get involved in the promotion and celebration of Oregon wines before and during the month of May. The upcoming webinar will focus on resources made available by the Oregon Wine Board to create and amplify promotional efforts across all regions and sales channels, including 3-tier and DtC. While plans are still developing, we want to get this meeting on your calendar with plenty of advance notice. Register here.
Wine Industry Insights
Beverage Dynamics Reports on Growth of Alcohol Shipping
Among many trends in the alcohol industry supercharged by the pandemic was direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping. Kyle Swartz explores alcohol shipped to consumers compliantly within the constraints of state and federal laws. These are the faces of the fast-expanding DtC industry, which shows no signs of slowing down as consumers today expect online shopping with convenient delivery. Learn more.
Meninger’s International Explores Reasons for Drinking Sparkling Wine
Prof. Dr. Gergely Szolnoki, Christoph Kiefer, Dr. Alexander Tacer, and Oliver Hennes report on recent market research data that provides insights into how, when, where, and why consumers opt for sparkling wines, and who they are. Learn more.
Oregon Wine Symposium Early Bird Registration Ends Soon
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.
Register to Attend the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium | Jan. 23 – 25
Since the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and the California Association of Winegrape Growers joined forces to create the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in 1995, it has become the largest wine and grape conference in the nation. As one of the industry’s premier gatherings, the Unified Symposium presents a vital platform to focus on the issues shaping today, while interfacing the topics and trends shaping the future of grape-growing and winemaking. Visit the event website.
Register for IMERO’s Free Webinar on E.U. Labelling | Jan.16, 9-10 a.m.
On Dec. 8, 2023, the European Union’s new wine labeling regulation came into force, directly affecting all wineries exporting to Europe. The E.U. allows an “off-label solution” in which the necessary information is transmitted to the customer via a QR code – as a so-called E-Label. One of the leading providers of E-labels, the operator of the e-label.io platform will be hosting a webinar on this topic explaining the background of the regulation and giving a short introduction to their software solution. This free webinar will provide information about this new law and legal experts will answer the main questions that arise:
-Dr. Eichele, from the EU wine law firm Rohwedder & Partner
-Dr. Schandelmaier of the DLR (the largest German Agricultural and Wine School)
-Prof. Fino from the University of Pollenzo in Italy.
Register for this free event here.
Oregon Wine Press Shares Tom Danowski’s Reflection on Twelve Years Leading the Oregon Wine Industry
Sarah Murdoch collected Tom Danowski’s thoughts about where Oregon wine has been over the past 12 years, and where it’s going. Read more.
Wine Industry Network Shines the Light on Oregon Wineries Partaking in 2024 Hospices du Rhône
Following a press release issued by the OWB, WIN Shines the light on Oregon wineries taking part in the highly anticipated 2024 Hospices du Rhône in Walla Walla. Read More.
Oregon Live Welcomes Oregon’s First Autonomous Electric Tractor
Michael Alberty reports on the Monarch Tractor, the new fully electric tractor’s first appearance in Oregon. Even though it can operate without a human driver, Nicolas-Jay co-owners Jean-Nicolas Méo and Jay Boberg couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. Read more.
In May, Decanter is doing a U.S.-focused issue that will include a panel tasting of Merlot. The wines will be tasted blind in London by UK-based experts. Wines need to arrive by Jan. 31 to be considered. Learn more.
Register for TEXSOM Awards | Deadline Feb. 2
TEXSOM Awards is now accepting wine submissions. Judging will take place at the Irving Convention Center, Feb. 17 -20, 2024. Wineries do not need to have distribution in Texas to submit entries. The OWB has partnered with FedEx to support this opportunity and can cover ground shipping of your wine entries. Please contact Trade Relations Manager David DeWitt or click here for shipping details and instructions.
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.
Submit a Request for Proposal for Viticulture and Enology-Funded Research | Deadline Jan. 31
Join the OWB Vit & Eno Research Committee | Deadline Feb. 25
OWB appoints an industry-wide Research Committee, which reviews applications and makes funding recommendations to the Board. OWB is looking for reviewers to join this Research Committee. Learn more about the criteria to join here. An orientation session for reviewers will be held via Zoom in February.
Register for OWB’s Draft Budget Presentation I Jan. 11 at 2 p.m.
The agenda includes OWB’s 2024-25 draft budget presentation and a review of resources available for industry members to submit ideas and make programming suggestions with the idea submission form. Attendees will have the opportunity to provide input and ask questions. Register to attend.
OWB Renews Partnership with Community Benchmark | Claim Your Account
On Nov. 30 Community Benchmark hosted a webinar about their DtC data dashboard and presented their new AI-powered tool designed to automate how wineries monitor and boost sales. View recording. OWB has extended its partnership with Community Benchmark for another two years. Any Oregon winery not yet registered can still claim their account for just $199 for the two-year program. Claim an account.
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.
Register for PSP Free Waste Pesticide Collection | Jan. 13
The Pesticide Stewardship Partnership (PSP) Program is a multi-agency program funded equally by pesticide registration fees collected by ODA, and general funding from the Oregon legislature. Its primary focus is to reduce the concentration of pesticides in surface waters through voluntary educational and technical support efforts. To register for the disposal event, complete an application and inventory sheets, available on the ODA website. For general registration questions, eligibility and a list of accepted products call or email: Kathryn Rifenburg, (971) 600 5073 or [email protected].