Our industry’s research effort is being funded at a record level this year as your Oregon Wine Board of Directors invests tonnage tax money, supplemented by new funding streams, in important projects designed to further elevate Oregon’s viticulture and winemaking standards. As part of its effort to maximize the return on that spending, the OWB’s Research Committee is eager to hear your thoughts about the value of recent research projects as well as your ideas for areas of future study. You are invited to attend one of the dialogue sessions to be held around the state during the week of Aug. 27. Click here to register for a date and location that work for you. All growers and winemakers are welcome.
Speaking of hearing your thoughts, once a year the OWB asks for your open and honest assessment of how we’re doing and how you’d like to see us allocate our time and your money. It’s not too late to give us your feedback. We’ve extended the survey deadline to next Monday, Aug. 6 so more can complete the survey and enter to win a pass to the 2019 Oregon Wine Symposium along with a one night stay at a Portland hotel.
OWB’s marketing program continues to emphasize wine country tourism and the conversion of Oregon visitors into Oregon wine buyers. As background, you might recall that in 2016 OWB created this online tool to help visitors plan their itineraries. This summer we’ve been focusing with Travel Oregon on updating their Oregon Tourism Information System (OTIS) with the tasting room data you provide to us. Working together ensures the information Travel Oregon pushes out to tourism partners, as well as the winery listings hosted on TravelOregon.com, which welcomes 350,000 visitors each month, is complete and accurate.
This new solution responds to your request that we eliminate the need for redundant updates across multiple databases and instead enable you to make a single entry with the relevant tasting room details that will populate the various OWB and tourism sites.
Kai McMurtry at the OWB has taken the lead for our industry on this critical project, and you’ll be seeing the first of his messages on this subject tomorrow. For those who can’t wait until then, Kai has created a sample page so you can see what winery information will be folded into OTIS and made easily accessible to consumers planning wine country excursions. To ensure your tasting room information is correct, follow these instructions.
Your tasting room details will also be included for free in 70,000 copies of the OWB’s next Oregon Wine Touring Guide, made available to consumers online, shared on TravelOregon.com and accessible via OTIS to tourism partners statewide.
Related to marketing and our work with Travel Oregon is this important announcement about the next round of Competitive Small Grants applications, which can now be submitted for funding up to $20,000. The window is open for just four weeks and requests for OWB letters of support are due Thursday, Aug. 23. See this link from Travel Oregon for details about submissions and the 10% cash match requirement.
Finally, OWB is forwarding this news at the request of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association Board. The WVWA, as you may have heard, has chartered a subcommittee to explore the possibility of new labeling and fruit sourcing requirements for Willamette Valley wines. The Association held an open forum yesterday offering any industry member the chance to learn more about the proposals under consideration by its Board of Directors.
You can view WVWA’s Overview of Potential Oregon Legislative Statutes here. The WVWA Board also suggests reviewing this web page loaded with additional information and invites any Oregon grower or winemaker to direct questions to email@example.com.
News from the Oregon Winegrowers Association:
During the 2017 legislative session, manufacturing employers, including wineries covered by daily overtime laws, won an important victory. The state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) had previously required employers to calculate weekly overtime (more than 40 hours) and daily overtime (10-13 hours) for their employees, then pay both. A 2017 bill that OWA worked on changed this back to the longtime practice of calculating weekly and daily overtime but paying only the higher of the two, not both, effective Aug. 8, 2017.
The law also included new overtime rules that apply to many Oregon winery workers starting Jan. 1, 2018. These include obtaining employee consent to work more than 55 hours per week and claiming an “undue hardship” exemption from BOLI to allow employees to work more than 60 hours per week when processing perishable products such as wine grapes. More information can be found on BOLI’s website. OWA member wineries are strongly encouraged to review these new requirements in preparation for the fall crush by opening the OWA Reference Toolbox.
Be aware that these overtime pay provisions do not apply to vineyard workers.
The OWA and Davis Wright Tremaine have changed the previously published date of their webinar, which will provide further details about these important new overtime rules. OWA members should mark their calendars now for Aug. 20 at 10 a.m.
Oregon Wine Board
Verify Your Tasting Room Information | Deadline: Aug. 28
In anticipation of the next edition of the Oregon Wine Touring Guide, coming February 2019, please take a few minutes to ensure that the information the OWB has on record about your tasting room is accurate. Starting this year, OWB will also be providing your data to the Oregon Tourism Information System maintained by Travel Oregon and shared with tourism partners around the state. Learn more and get instructions.
2018 Oregon Wine Touring Guide Available
In our recent survey of Touring Guide recipients, 92% agreed the guide was useful during their visit to Oregon’s wine regions. Take advantage of this strong resource in your tasting room. The 2018 Oregon Wine Touring Guide is available for complimentary order and delivery now. Order your case.
OWB Workshop Recording Available: Oregon Grape and Wine Profit Calculator
In March, OWB released the Oregon Grape and Wine Profit Calculator. This web-based tool is designed to give Oregon’s wine businesses accurate forecasting and a complete financial snapshot of their production, sales, marketing and distribution divisions. Two workshops were held to introduce the Calculator, the first edition of which provides a calculation of wine cost of goods and gross margins. Learn more and view the workshop recordings.
New Viticulture “Bootcamp” from Linfield College’s Center for Wine Education
The Center for Wine Education at Linfield College is launching a five-day intensive field course titled “Introduction to Viticulture,” taking place Aug. 18-22. The course is open to current Linfield students as well as non-degree students. Learn more and register.
Register for OWB Research Listening Tour Near You in August
The OWB Research Committee is inviting interested industry members to attend one of a series of listening sessions to be held around the state in late August. The purpose is to invite your candid comments, ideas and suggestions for making the OWB’s viticulture and enology research program as responsive as possible to the industry’s present and emerging needs. These are important sessions at which your opinions and guidance will help the OWB dial in the research initiatives our industry must undertake to grow and thrive in the decades ahead. See the schedule and register for a session near you.
July 2018 Weather and Climate Forecast
On July 5, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at June conditions, provides an updated drought watch, and forecasts conditions for July, August and September. Read the report.
Oregon Wine Board of Directors Applications Due TODAY
Today is the last day to submit an application to be considered for the Oregon Wine Board of Directors. There are expected to be two openings on the nine-member Board starting in January 2019. The Governor’s Oregon Wine Board appointees are also invited to stand for ratification by members of the Oregon Winegrowers Association to serve concurrently on both Boards of Directors. Read more and learn how to apply.
Wine Spectator Fall Advertising Opportunities | Deadlines: Aug. 28 and Sept. 27
Wine Spectator is offering cooperative advertising opportunities in November’s Holiday Planning issue and December’s Top 100 Wines of the Year issue, providing exposure in the magazine at a more affordable price than standalone advertising. Up to 18 first-come, first-served spaces are available per issue. Read more and secure your participation.
Travel Oregon Competitive Small Grants | Deadline: Aug. 29
Travel Oregon’s 2018-19 Competitive Small Grants program is for grants up to $20,000, with a 10% cash match requirement. The application deadline is Aug. 29, and requests for letters of support are due to the OWB by Aug. 23. Learn more.
Sovos/ShipCompliant Launches New Direct to Consumer Compliance Resource
Sovos, the company behind ShipCompliant, recently announced a new freely accessible resource on its website, which provides state-by-state compliance information for wineries shipping directly to consumers. Learn more.