Welcome back and Happy New Year! We hope you are refreshed and renewed. We’re just 12 days away from the end of the early registration discount period for next month’s Oregon Wine Symposium and are glad to be bringing it back live and in person to the Convention Center in Portland on Feb. 14 and 15. The program looks sensational and details on the Enology, Sales, and Viticulture sessions are available here.
Looking now to next Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 10:30 a.m., the Oregon Wine Board (OWB) will offer an early look at the 2023-24 draft budget. Register here for that Zoom. We’ve extended the date by which industry members can submit ideas and suggestions for that budget. Go to OWB’s budget planning toolkit on our website and scroll down to the form “Send Us Your Budget Planning Ideas.”
OWB’s budgeting cycle starts off every year with the industry survey. Thanks to the 80 respondents who completed it last fall. For reference, half of the wineries reported annual production of under 5,000 cases and 61% were from the Willamette Valley. Among growers who replied, 56% are farming 60 acres or fewer.
A majority of this year’s respondents gave OWB an overall rating of 7 or higher on a ten-point scale when asked to express their overall satisfaction with OWB’s use of tax dollars for V & E Research, Marketing, PR and Education. That’s not much different than a year ago, and we are striving to improve.
In the exhibit below, you can see 2022 ratings by functional discipline versus a year ago.
While the sample size of 80 respondents was unfortunately not statistically valid or reliable, the verbatims from growers and winemakers are of great interest. Here is a grab bag of some from those explaining their ratings:
“We pay a lot of $ from Pinot Gris and I see very little effort to promote.”
“Preen the golden goose, allocate resources to promoting Willamette Valley Pinot noir.”
“Tax dollars should be allocated to the region the money came from. I think Rogue Valley has seen very little return on the $ we have sent to OWB.”
“Include the Portland Metro Area in marketing.”
“Develop programs to help the profitability of farming.”
“OWB needs to recognize that there are 1,000 wineries in Oregon, 80% of which are under 2,000 cases. OWB needs to showcase the smaller wineries and not just the Top 100.”
“More resources for small wineries in distribution channels.”
“Have a better image of the industry that reflects the reality of the business world.”
“Work on an elevation set of designations for the Willamette Valley AVA.”
“I don’t fully comprehend what the OWB does. Is it similar to the California Wine Institute?”
This is a small sample of the observations we received, and we’ve read them all.
As you can see in those comments, OWB serves a diverse collection of stakeholders and interests. As one industry leader mentioned recently, managers “at the OWB have a lot of bosses.” We will take all your feedback into consideration as we work with the industry to portion out funding as equitably as possible across a wide range of program opportunities and requests. Thanks again to every survey participant.
Finally, the Oregon salary and workforce survey is open for a few more weeks. As a reminder, OWB will not see any information you provide since this study is conducted independently by Dr. Jeff Peterson, formerly of Linfield University. Jeff’s results will provide a valuable, unduplicated, Oregon-centric set of snapshots representing compensation levels across a broad spectrum of vineyard and winery positions. Jeff will be with us on Tuesday, Jan. 10 in OWB’s Zoom room to talk about this year’s study.
P.S. Save the Date: Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. for the next in the series of opportunities for the industry to learn more about Oregon Wine Month ’23. Register here.
Oregon Wine Month 2023 Toolkit Now Available
OWB is deep in the planning process for Oregon Wine Month 2023 and the toolkit has recently been updated. Updates include our recent webinar and discussion, a budget breakdown, a 2023 sell sheet, a schedule, and more. In the coming weeks, OWB will share a Wine Month editorial calendar and social media guide, among other assets. View the toolkit.
Registration for OWB International Marketing Events is Now Open
If you are interested in growing your brand globally, consider participating in one of the many OWB international events. To view the calendar and to register, visit the International Marketing page.
Wine Market Insights
Wine Searcher’s List of the World’s Best Pinot Noirs
A curated list of the best Pinots outside of France according to Wine Searcher is offered in this article providing consumers an opportunity to discover great Pinots, at more affordable prices than some Burgundy superstars. This article also provides a starting point for Oregon wine producers and winemakers willing to benchmark.
The Shout Analyzes Drivers of Change for Alcohol Industry
IWSR (International Wines and Spirits Record) data shows that the key trends will be ranging, from the growing importance of home consumption to a moderation trend driven by the need to cut household spending. On the bright side for premium-and-above wine brands, consumers with lower levels of debt and secure employment will continue to provide opportunities with high-end gaining in particular across all sparkling wine segments. Read the full analysis.
Forbes Shares Findings on Wine Consumer Habits
In her article “3 hot trends in Wine and Champagne…”, Liz Thach MW shares trends influencing consumer purchases of wine and champagne. These were identified by a market study focused on occasions, behavior, and spending habits of shoppers conducted by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, the luxury products company headquartered in France).
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento, CA | Jan. 24 – 26
The program features sessions and a two-day trade show. Speakers and conference schedules are available here. Registration information and program guide are available for download here.
Save on Oregon Wine Symposium Tickets with Early Bird Discounted Rates | Deadline Jan. 15
The largest, in-person, wine industry trade show and education seminar in the Northwest unites scientific and wine business specialists to share the latest learnings, best practices, and industry expertise. After two years of hybrid events, the 2023 Oregon Wine Symposium will reunite the Northwest wine industry for two days of learning, connecting, and growing together at the Oregon Convention Center. Register here for Early bird rates.
Wine Spectator Advertising Opportunity I Deadline Jan. 9Wine Spectator is offering Oregon wineries the opportunity to be featured together in its March ’23 “Oregon report Issue.” The co-op page, designed by Wine Spectator will encourage readers to visit Oregon and buy Oregon wines. This ad and digital amplification have the potential to reach an audience of nearly 3 million readers who are high-frequency wine consumers. Read more.
View all Calls For Wine here.
The national HiRes Vineyard Nutrition Project Team has a podcast teaching wine industry professionals how to monitor and manage vineyard health through grapevine nutrition research. The podcast is hosted by Dr. Patty Skinkis, Professor and Viticulture Extension Specialist at Oregon State University. Season 1 includes interviews with the experts on the project.
OWB Seeks Director of Finance and Administration
This position is accountable for all bookkeeping, business analytics, and financial forecasting/reporting as well as human resources and legal compliance. Interested candidates can view the role description on the OWB website.
Become a “Women in Wine” Mentor | Deadline Jan. 4
Women in Wine is seeking mentors in the areas of viticulture & vineyard management, business planning/scaling, career development, financial background, distribution/sales, wine education, events, and leadership. The program is less than a 20-hour commitment over a six-month period. If you have any more questions you can learn more here or reach out directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participate in the Development of OWB 23-24 Budget | Webinar Jan. 10
During our all-industry forum, OWB VP of Operations and Finance Marie Chambers will present an early look at the draft OWB Budget for 2023-2024. To attend, register here.
You can still provide your ideas and feedback using the OWB’s Business Planning toolkit on our website. Scroll down to “Send Us Your Budget Planning Ideas” and you will see a few fields where you can submit your ideas and suggestions for activities or programs for consumers, trade, or industry.
Participate in the Oregon Wine Industry Salary Survey | Deadline Jan. 31
This survey, which started in 2017, collects data and identifies trends in salaries and wages for a broad spectrum of wine industry positions in Oregon. Past studies are available on our website. The findings of the 22-23 study will be presented in February at the Oregon Wine Symposium and available for use by vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms in hiring and benchmarking. A webinar will follow in the spring to assist those interested in using the information for their business. Dr. Jeff Peterson of Vinum Docet, LLC. provided OWB with the survey link. Only he has access to the data respondents will provide. We encourage you to fill out the survey, it only takes 15-20 minutes to complete.
Wine America: Legislative Opportunities for 2023
As the current Farm Bill expires on Sept. 30, 2023, Wine America will ensure that the many grant programs beneficial to the wine industry included in the bill, (such as specialty crop block grants and research programs) are maintained. Wine America will also be working on including an Agritourism Act in the 2023 Farm Bill, aiming to create an Office of Agritourism within USDA, to promote agritourism businesses such as wineries and tasting rooms. On Wine America’s agenda is also the re-introduction of the United State Postal Service Shipping Equity Act, which would let the USPS ship alcohol in states where it’s legally permitted. Read the full article here. For more information about WineAmerica and how to get involved, visit www.wineamerica.org.