Last week marked the end of the Oregon Wine Board’s fiscal year, so it’s a good time to reflect on some milestones that demonstrate the power of our collective commitment when growers and winemakers joined us to get in position for this year’s recovery.
Last fall when wildfires raged across the state, consensus emerged for additional OWB investments in grape sampling and lab analytics, enhancing a gift from the Erath Family Foundation. For the year, OWB’s Research spending was up +11% from our pre-wildfire baseline budget;
In February, we all rallied to make the first fully-virtual Oregon Wine Symposium one for the record books. We had 1,100 registrants and an attendee satisfaction score equal to the highest one recorded during the previous decade;
At the Symposium, we unveiled the “True Character” global brand identity platform built on the accomplishments and aspirations of our true characters;
Oregon Wine Month 2021 results from Nielsen confirmed a +29% off-premise sell-through trend for Oregon compared to pre-COVID period in 2019. That’s more than 3x the category’s +9% growth;
Direct-to-consumer shipments from Oregon wineries Oregon Wine Month grew +31%, also outperforming the category’s +24% increase;
And we successfully tested “Pour It Forward,” the virtual chain of winemaker endorsements for one another’s efforts. It was launched during Oregon Wine Month and generated timely press attention as tasting rooms continued to resume “nearly normal” operations.
Building on those achievements, we look ahead to a new year with innovative programs and improved execution on continuing classics.
One of those new offerings was mentioned here a couple weeks ago. The OWB’s industry website is refreshed and revitalized. The redesigned landing page includes a PARTICIPATE-EXPLORE-ENGAGE section outlining timely actions to take, relevant resources to help your business, and ways to find out more about the OWB. The Resources page is more searchable too, making it easier to scan the hundreds of resources available. These include educational workshop recordings, technical research updates, market research studies, program toolkits, and much more.
We’ll also continue bringing you regular installments in our ongoing series of all-industry Zooms. Register here for the next session on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Greg Jones will join us with his latest observations on the historic climate dynamics we’re witnessing. We’ll also have guest experts on hand with news about crop insurance and claim filing tips for those who might have coverage for the first time since Oregon’s insured vineyard acreage surged +48% versus last season.
The third annual Women in Wine conference is coming up the week after next. It’s an exceptionally rich all-day program on Monday, July 19. It will be delivered virtually with a new twist this year: watch parties around the state. Some generous wineries are offering up spaces in the Portland area and also at locations in Ashland, Newberg, Turner, and Dundee. After registering for the conference, you can check for available space and RSVP for a party. And don’t forget to pass this scholarship link on to those in your network who might be interested in applying to experience the conference and learn more about our industry.
Last week’s all-time record heat emergency is a serious reminder about the severe dangers of exposure. The Oregon Winegrowers Association provides this heat training guide for employers from OSHA to help protect workers during periods of extreme risk. It reminds employers to make drinking water available that is “suitably cool and in sufficient amounts, taking into account the air temperature, humidity and nature of the work.” They must also inform employees of practices “to minimize exposure to the hazards in the field from heat.” Oregon OSHA also put out this information in 2019 in English and Spanish. Thank you for giving it the attention it deserves as we move further into the season.
2021-22 Oregon Wine Touring Guide available to stock in tasting rooms
The newest edition of the official Oregon Wine Touring Guide is available for complimentary order and delivery in 40-count cases. Request your copies of this comprehensive tourism resource for display in your tasting room. Or, slip copies into your next wine club shipment to inspire visits from enthusiasts around the country.
2020 preliminary grape pricing report available
The preliminary pricing report for grapes from the 2020 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report is available. It includes median, weighted average, minimum and maximum prices per ton, including breakouts by region and variety where possible, to provide a comprehensive picture of grape pricing around the state.
OWB-SPONSORED V&E RESEARCH UPDATE
Botrytis bunch rot: Who, where, when, and what to use
Dr. Walt Mahaffee, research plant pathologist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, and his team have prepared an update about their research to develop a better understanding of how and where Botrytis bunch rot disease epidemics start and progress.
OWB-SPONSORED V&E RESEARCH UPDATE
Determining optimal irrigation initiation time
Dr. Alexander Levin, assistant professor at OSU and viticulturist at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, has prepared an update about his research into the relationship between irrigation initiation timing and crop yields and quality metrics.
July 2021 Weather and Climate Forecast
On July 2, Dr. Greg Jones published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at June conditions and forecasts conditions for July, August, and September.
Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism sessions available to view
Travel Oregon hosted the Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism virtually in June. The opening keynote session and all breakout sessions are now available to view on Travel Oregon’s YouTube channel.
Wine Media Conference seeking sponsors
The Wine Media Conference will be held Aug. 5-7 at Eugene’s Valley River Inn with 138 attendees registered, most of whom are writers. Want to tell your winery’s stories to a national audience? Consider a Wine Media Conference sponsorship, starting at $500 for the Live Wine Social, or click here for more opportunities.
Register for 2021 Canada virtual wine mission for Oregon & Washington | Deadline: July 31
The Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA®) and the Oregon and Washington State Departments of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Northwest Wine Coalition, have opened registration for the 2021 Canada Virtual Wine Mission. The event will take place Oct. 18-22 and winery selection is first-come, first served. Register by July 31.
Portland’s Tourism Outlook: A conversation with Travel Portland | July 22
OWB invites you to join us for a virtual conversation with Jeff Miller, CEO of Travel Portland, on July 22 at 10 a.m. Jeff will share his perspectives on the resources supporting Portland’s recovery and how stakeholders are coming together and contributing to the city’s revitalization. Register now and submit your questions for Jeff in advance.
Oregon Wine Industry Forums | Next meeting: August 10
Join the OWB and partners on Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. for the next Oregon Wine Industry Forum. Special guests will include Dr. Greg Jones and crop insurance specialists. These monthly discussions are open to any proprietor, employee, or consultant of an Oregon winery or vineyard. Register for this opportunity to stay current on industry trends, connect with industry members across the state and stay informed on OWB programming and opportunities.
New climate normals
In May the new 30-year climate normal values were released after careful calculations by NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI). Dr. Greg Jones recently wrote a piece that describes these normals and how they relate to our lives in a changing climate, which you can read at Science & Wine.