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Letter from 2021 OWB Chair-Elect Donna Morris

I don’t ever recall being so grateful for the dawn of a new year. The tragedies and lessons of 2020 will stay with us and, I believe, make us stronger and smarter as grape growers, business owners and more importantly as a community.

We have a lot to look forward to in 2021. We’ll start the year with a series of virtual regional meetings next week in which the Oregon Wine Board and our creative agency, Watson Creative, will provide an update on the development of the new Oregon Wine brand including how each region’s input contributed to the work—a sneak peek at the work on a statewide and regional level including select creative elements. The formal unveiling of the work is scheduled for the Oregon Wine Symposium in February.

Speaking of the Oregon Wine Symposium, hopefully you’ve all registered. The Education Committee, led by Bree Stock and OWB Directors Eugenia Keegan, Kevin Chambers and Bertony Faustin, has developed one of the most compelling programs in our history. As the Symposium is virtual this year, it will be the most accessible program we have ever provided. The online format will allow us to continue to showcase OWB-supported research presentations; Dr. Greg Jones’s Climatology Report; a virtual tradeshow held Feb.16-17 presented by the Oregon Winegrowers Association; and our annual Oregon Wine Industry Awards ceremony. I am particularly excited about two areas of focus of the Symposium this year. The first is the spotlight on day one on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), opening with Creating an Inclusive Workplace Culture in the Real World. This series of seminars and research, coupled with our keynote presentation by Steve Brown, known as the Bald Futurist, will provide the foundation of our understanding and the future of the Oregon wine industry and wine generally as we consider the impact of new customers, new channels, technology and the realities of the world in 2021 and beyond.

The Symposium continues to be the preeminent educational and communications forum for those of us in the Oregon wine industry. But, it’s not the only place to learn and stay connected to what is happening in the industry locally, statewide or nationally. I invite you all to participate in the OWB industry calls, now held the second Tuesday of each month. These started in conjunction with the WVWA in March 2020 to keep industry members informed of the myriad changes, opportunities, programs and laws associated with the pandemic. We believe these now-monthly calls have become absolutely essential to all industry members to stay abreast of changes in our industry and the associated impact on each of our businesses. You can see the Jan. 12 agenda and register to join us here.

We have a lot to share and learn as we embark in this brave new world. I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with the extraordinary staff and dedicated Directors of the OWB to meet the challenges of the year ahead and to continue to deliver on our mission of Education, Research and Marketing for the entire Oregon wine community.

In community and service,

Donna Morris
Oregon Wine Board


Governor’s County Status Map Available to Embed

Governor Brown’s office recently launched a new COVID-19 portal displaying county risk categories and infection data, as well as statewide statistics. If your association is looking for an easy way to share county data with consumers, charts from the governor’s portal can be easily embedded into other websites. You can see how the OWB is using it here. The corresponding “Ways to Wine” table was produced by OWB and can be downloaded on OWB’s COVID-19 Toolkit.


Participate in the 2021 Oregon Wine Industry Labor Survey | Deadline: Jan. 20

Dr. Jeff Peterson at Linfield University invites all winery and vineyard managers to complete the 2021 Oregon Wine Industry Labor Survey. This will form the basis of the next Oregon Wine Salary Report. The study intends to mirror the Wine Business Monthly salary survey but focuses on Oregon, which is often underrepresented in the WBM report. 

Update from Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research

The Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research (NCSFR) recently shared new priorities that were set during the mid-December conference, including those for viticulture and enology. They are also exploring the possibility of collaborating with small fruit industry groups and their research needs, and have provided a general update on NCSFR communication efforts.


Early Bird Pricing for Oregon Wine Symposium Ends Jan. 15

The 2021 Oregon Wine Symposium provides four days packed with education, insights and inspiration to give you a strong start to this new year. Register by Jan. 15 to take advantage of special Early Bird pricing of $79—a 20% discount. Other discounts apply for groups of four or more, Spanish interpretation programming, and academic partners.

Videocast: SVB’s State of the Wine Industry | Jan. 13

Join Silicon Valley Bank on Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. for a live videocast and release of their 20th annual State of the Wine Industry Report. This will be the first opportunity in 2021 to fully review the impact and magnitude of events that took place during 2020. The panel will also provide predictions about business conditions and consumer changes in 2021 and beyond.

Social Media Summit | Jan. 15

Zephyr Conferences and the International Food Blogger Conference present a Social Media Summit on Jan. 15. The summit offers eight sessions over the course of the day focused on maximizing your brand’s exposure across various social media channels.  

WAVEx Webinar: Does Vineyard Mechanization Pencil Out for You? | Jan. 20

WAVEx seminars feature research from the Washington wine industry in a condensed format. This webinar on the business case of vineyard mechanization dives into the mechanization benchmark study conducted for the Washington and Oregon wine industries by Dr. Clark Seavert, Oregon State University ag economist. Growers will learn how to use the free online AgBiz Logic program to see how mechanization can affect their profitability.


Rhône Rangers Launches Oregon Chapter

The Rhône Rangers, the leading organization of winemakers producing classic Rhône varieties in the USA, is excited to launch its first chapter in Oregon. Membership includes a profile on the Rhône Rangers website, participation in monthly live consumer Zoom sessions and participation in national Rhône Rangers tasting events. For more information, email Craig Camp.

TEXSOM International Wine Awards Accepting Submissions | Deadline: March 28

The TEXSOM organization is now accepting submissions into its 2021 TEXSOM International Wine Awards competition. This esteemed competition aims to identify and champion wines of quality and distinction from around the world, supporting medalists with exposure through the extensive TEXSOM sommelier and wine industry network. The submission period runs through March 28, with judging in late April.

Share Your Community’s Story with the OWB

The Oregon wine industry is full of clubs, committees, co-ops, partnerships, friends and neighbors. We want to get to know you and your community. One Tuesday afternoon each month, the OWB team will host representatives of 3-4 wineries for a 90-minute virtual happy hour. Sign up to share what brings you all together, your collective goals, challenges and, of course, your wines.


Oregon Wine Industry Forums | Next Meeting: Jan. 12

Join the OWB and partners on Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. for the first Oregon Wine Industry Forum of 2021. These monthly discussions are open to any proprietor, employee or consultant of an Oregon winery or vineyard. Register for this recurring opportunity to stay current on industry trends, connect with industry members across the state and stay informed on OWB programming and opportunities.

2020 Vintage Reports: North Willamette Valley, Rogue Valley and Umpqua Valley

On Dec. 15, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield University published a series of 2020 vintage reports for the North Willamette Valley, the Rogue Valley and the Umpqua Valley. The reports, which come from weather, phenology and grower comments from locations in each region, are available on the Industry Resources page of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education at Linfield University.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Application Period Open | Deadline: Jan. 29

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals for the USDA’s 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Approximately $1.5 million is expected to be available to agriculture industry associations, producer groups, processors, commodity commissions, non-profits, for-profits, and local government agencies in Oregon. The application deadline is noon on Jan. 29.


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.

Unified Symposium

Virtual | January 26-29

Oregon Wine Symposium

Virtual | February 16-19

Copyright © 2021 Oregon Wine Board. All rights reserved.

4640 SW Macadam Ave., Ste. 240
Portland, OR 97239

January 5, 2021|Grapevine Newsletters|0 Comments

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