Here’s a final reminder that the Oregon Wine Board’s Zoom room will be open for business again tomorrow, July 20, at 1 p.m. The idea for this webinar occurred around the time of the April frost “surprise” as we were in touch with winemakers across the state about early-warning alerts related to unexpected weather conditions or those with particularly high-impact potential.
Tomorrow’s presenters, including OWB Director Dr. Greg Jones, will be sharing tips and advice so grape growers and winemakers can make full use of the tools and tracking technologies offered by the National Weather Service.
We’ll also hear about the Service’s WRN Initiative and how wine industry members can assist friends and neighbors by serving as Weather-ready Nation Ambassadors. Register for Wednesday’s session if you haven’t already.
I should also say on the subject of weather tracking that some veteran growers like this free app, which relays warnings from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In other news, this link will take you to a meeting recorded last Tuesday during which we reviewed some of the results from Oregon Wine Month 2022. There’s a lot of juicy data points relevant to Oregon’s overall performance in both the DtC and three-tier segments. The comprehensive review includes trend information from SipSource, Nielsen, Wines & Vines Analytics, and SOVOS/ShipCompliant.
This exhibit below from that webinar goes a little further than the numbers I referenced a couple weeks ago in this space. You can now clearly see how Oregon’s off-premise growth over the past year, compared to the twelve months immediately preceding COVID, stands in dramatic contrast to much slower growth in California and a decline in Washington.
During an industry meeting last week, an observation was made about “transparency” in OWB operations. It was a good reminder to again extend an open invitation to OWB’s public Board meetings. Past meetings and minutes can be viewed here.
Your nine-member Board of Directors meets again in open session via Zoom on the morning of Thursday, August 11.
Presenters include representatives from the Oregon Winegrowers Association and the Oregon Wine Council each offering their perspectives and assessments of what the upcoming 2023 legislative session may hold for our industry. Next year’s session will be the first following the election of our new Governor.
Let us know if you’d like to join us on the 11th, and you’re welcome to submit advance questions for the guest speakers, or OWB Directors, by next Thursday, July 28.
Finally, Oregon’s sustainability credentials were further strengthened when B Lab published its “Best for the World” list of distinguished B Corp.-certified businesses. A to Z Wineworks and Sokol-Blosser were standouts in the Environment category, and Et Fille Wines is featured in the Community list. The three Oregon wineries on this “Best” list represent more than the number of wineries from California and Washington combined. CONGRATULATIONS!
P.S. How about a few high fives and a virtual group hug for OSU’s Dr. Vaughn Walton? Vaughn is a Professor of Horticulture and a globally esteemed entomologist. He specializes in vine mealy bug, BMSB, spotted wing drosophila and viruses in grapes. Vaughn has been listed among the top 1% of the world’s most frequently cited research scientists for 2019-21 by Clarivate, a global company that provides analytics and insights in the sciences. Dr. Walton’s work averages 1,000 acknowledgements a year in other scientists’ published articles. Very well played Dr. Vaughn.
Russell Rainey, 70, died from complications of Frontotemporal Dementia, a rare neurological brain disease. He found the perfect piece of land, in West Salem, that would become Evesham Wood Vineyard and Winery, established in 1986. A freethinker, he cultured a proprietary yeast from a bottle of Henri Jayer and was one of the ﬁrst winemakers in the Willamette Valley to leave his wines unﬁltered, as was done in Burgundy. He, along with winemaker and friend John Paul of Cameron Winery, became founders of the Deep Roots Coalition (DRC). Russ was instrumental in writing the petition to the TTB to establish the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Russ was considered one of the most Burgundian of winemakers in the Willamette Valley. His wonderfully created brain was donated to the Oregon Brain Bank at Oregon Health and Sciences University. Memorial donations may be made to the AFTD.
Reminder: Order Your Complimentary Oregon Wine Touring Guides
As planning begins for the 2023 edition of the Oregon Wine Touring Guide, OWB is down to the last batch of 2020-22 editions and now is the perfect time to order copies. It is available for complimentary order and delivery to tasting rooms and tourism businesses throughout Oregon. This publication not only helps people find their way in Oregon’s diverse wine regions, but it also inspires them to travel throughout Oregon.
Update Your Winery and Event Listings on the New OregonWine.org
In April, OWB soft-launched its new consumer website centered around the True Character brand identity. We received excellent feedback from our industry members that has allowed us to continue to refine the site, and additional feedback can be submitted any time via our website toolkit. With tourism season kicking off, we encourage you to access your winery listing and make sure that all information is current and up to date. You can also submit events. Any technical questions or issues can be sent to email@example.com.
Alaska Airlines Relaunches Promotion of Wine Flies Free Program
As we come out of the pandemic, Alaska Airlines has restarted the promotion of their Wine Flies Free program. As promotion of Wine Flies Free starts to ramp up, we ask that you:
Check your listing in the tasting room directory to make sure your status as a participating winery is correct
Wine Flies Free is a great sales tool for wine tourists and also provides an opportunity to educate customers on proper packaging of wine for air travel. If you have questions about the program, reach out to Jean Carlon at Alaska Airlines at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biodynamic Viticulture 2.0 Seminar Taking Place Aug. 5
The Montinore Estate is hosting an all-day seminar that will offer practical information on effectively implementing Biodynamic practices to achieve results in our vineyards and wineries. Presentations from local and international speakers, panel discussions, and wine tasting will provide attendees insights into the “how to” of Biodynamic practices to produce better grapes and wine. The $100 attendance fee includes lunch, and the event is limited to 50 attendees. Register to attend
2022 Oregon Wine Labor Survey Presentation Now Available
Since 2017, Sociologist & Anthropologist, Dr. Jeff D. Peterson, with funding support from the Oregon Wine Board and its Education Committee, has conducted a survey of Oregon wineries and vineyards to understand average pay across 20 winery and vineyard positions. The data gathered can help small businesses plan for personnel costs as they expand their teams. Recently, the team released their 2022 presentation, which can be viewed here.
Press and Media
Food & Wine Captures Magic of Oregon in ‘Understanding Oregon Pinot Noir Country’
Novelist Chang-rae Lee explores the Willamette Valley and meets winemakers stubbornly protecting their independence while also illustrating what makes Oregon as a whole such a special winegrowing state. The article was featured in Food & Wine and syndicated on Yahoo!, reaching an international audience of consumers.
Oregon Awarded 23rd Nested AVA
On July 5th, Mount Pisgah, Polk County, Oregon, became the newest appellation in Oregon and nested American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the Willamette Valley. Drawn to reflect distinct soil, topography, and climate attributes, Mount Pisgah, Polk County, Oregon AVA becomes the 23rd federally recognized winegrowing region in Oregon and the 11th nested AVA within the Willamette Valley. Ten vineyards and three wineries make up this AVA, and more info with maps can be found here, with a great article by Wine Spectator’s Tim Fish.
Media Opportunities: Calls for Wine
Wine Enthusiast Wine Enthusiast is seeking samples for the Wine Enthusiast Best of the Year 2022 edition, out later this year. It’s the first call for Portland-based reviewer Michael Alberty. Deadline to send samples is August 17. Learn moreNote on submissions to The Wine Advocate
If you submitted wines to Erin Brooks at The Wine Advocate late last year, please know she has reached out to us and needs a little more time with the challenges she has experienced this year. When we know the publish date, we’ll let you know but here is what Brooks said: “Please be assured that I will review most of the wines submitted to the OWB, but they may end up as part of a double issue (this year’s releases and last year’s releases)”
Northwest Center for Small Fruit Research’s Annual Conference Taking Place Nov. 14-16
Save the date! The NCSFR’s Annual Conference will be held from Monday, Nov. 14 to Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Red Lion Columbia Center in Kennewick, WA. A room block is open for hotel reservations now, and more details will be posted later this month. Attendees can call (509) 783-0611, mention the conference, and get the room block rate.
Oregon Wine Board Seeking to Fill Position
OWB is currently looking for a Communications Manager to join our team. See more details below and please share the job posting with anyone you know who might be qualified and interested.
This position builds relationships and maintains contact with key media influencers across all platforms providing focused content that builds “Brand Oregon” in support of OWB’s strategic plan, among other responsibilities. Job posting
Wine Authenticity Verification Ensures a Wine’s Legitimacy and Combats Counterfeits
The California Wine Institute (CWI) has obtained a USDA Technical Assistance grant for 5 years of funding to build a robust database of wine samples in order to determine authenticity. Oregon has been invited to contribute to this effort. This important set of data will provide references for wine varieties and winegrowing regions. The only costs to the winery are for the sample collection (50 ml.) and shipment to, or drop-off at, the laboratory. Samples must be comprised of 95% or more of the principal grape variety. Learn more about how you can assist in helping identify Oregon’s standards of identity, and contact Dr. Patricia Howe phowe@WineNMR.org for additional information.
OLCC Rulemaking on Senate Bill #829: Conjunctive Labeling
The OLCC has recently issued Wine Label Guidance for Willamette Valley wines that utilize a “Nested AVA” designation. The guidance is associated with Senate Bill 829 on Conjunctive Labeling that was passed in the 2019 legislature. A link to the OLCC Wine Label Guidance is available here. A recording of a Webinar on Conjunctive Labeling and the OLCC Wine Label Guidance is available here.