As our industry moves further into reopening and towards recovery, it’s a good time to remind everyone that the Oregon Wine Board’s COVID-19 toolkit is still available as a reference center and still being built out as new information becomes available for growers and winemakers.
While the pandemic has obviously disrupted normal business operations, the OWB remains focused on fulfilling its charter. At its most recent Board meeting last week, OWB Directors affirmed their support for the slate of eight scientific studies recommended for funding by the statewide research committee. The scope of the approved projects for next year embraces all four core imperatives in the strategic research plan:
Additional investments totaling $246,700 will supplement our industry’s funding and come from the American Vineyard Foundation for projects designed by Drs. Elizabeth Tomasino and Michael Qian from Oregon State University.
Also at their meeting, Board members and OWB managers reflected on the feedback from last month’s presentations made to four regional associations during which the OWB summarized the industry’s five-year strategic plan. The feedback from those meetings was consistent with what we heard from growers and winemakers in earlier listening sessions and confirmed the priorities in education, media relations and brand-building marketing.
Those industry discussions also reinforced the thinking behind moves we’re making towards more virtual educational events and media engagements as well as a narrower focus on local tourism in support of the county-by-county reopenings. Enhancing our relationship with Travel Oregon is part of that local tourism game plan and it pays off when their marketing campaigns promote wine, as the banner ad did in last week’s e-newsletter, which went out to 125,000 consumers. Travel Oregon offered that ad space at no charge.
Turning to some announcements of interest:
Congratulations to the successful petitioners who last week were rewarded with the news that their applications for Oregon’s 20th and 21st AVAs, Tualatin Hills and the Laurelwood District, received final TTB approval. New Oregon and Willamette Valley maps have already been added to the Oregon Wine Resource Studio. If you’re unfamiliar with the Resource Studio, it is an online toolkit to help winery staff and your business partners sell more wine with its comprehensive collection of maps, stats and facts available in free, downloadable, customizable presentations.
Long overdue congratulations are also in order for the Applegate Valley’s Craig Camp. Craig was elected earlier this year to the national Board of Directors of the Rhône Rangers, the leading trade organization for producers of wine from the classic Rhône varieties that continue to earn critical acclaim for growers and winemakers in southern and northeastern Oregon.
Mark your calendars for Monday, July 20. At 9:45 a.m. that day, the second Women in Wine: Fermenting Change in Oregon conference gets underway with compelling speakers, small group networking and a lively panel on Building a Culture that Supports Women in the Workplace. Tickets are $99. Registration for this virtual event is now open.
Since managing state-by-state sales tax calculations and reporting can be a confusing but critical component of a successful DtC program, check out this free webinar from Sovos ShipCompliant to be held on Thursday, June 18 at 10 a.m.
Take a look at this report on the year’s activities and accomplishments at the Oregon Wine Research Institute. It covers OWRI activities including educating the workforce of tomorrow, undertaking industry-relevant research, communicating research findings and engaging with our industry.
Make sure to register for the two remaining 90-minute discussions to be held with your fellow Oregon tasting room managers. Join DTC experts from WISE Academy for an Oregon-exclusive Winery Leadership Forum series focused on tasting room reopening challenges and opportunities.
In closing, I’ll remind you that it’s application season once again for industry members wishing to be considered by the governor for a 2021-23 appointment to the Oregon Wine Board. The Board has nine Directors who volunteer from around the state to serve three-year terms. This two-page overview document offers some helpful insights to those interested in learning more about Board service along with instructions on how to apply directly to the Executive Appointments office. Applications are due in Salem by Friday, July 31.
Oregon Wine Reopening Guidelines for Tasting Rooms
We’re assembling a database of all tasting rooms open for onsite hospitality using visit.oregonwine.org. We are referring consumers and media to that site for up-to-date information. Filtered results will only capture tasting rooms that have been updated as open for onsite consumption. Please help us keep it accurate.
Prepping for Harvest Industry Forums | Thursdays at 10 a.m.
Starting June 11, the Willamette Valley Wineries Association will host weekly calls for vineyard and winery teams to discuss particular questions and concerns related to harvest 2020 in the COVID-19 environment. These are open to anyone interested; you do not need to be a WVWA member to join.
Sell More Wine with Oregon Vine Perks
OWB recently launched Oregon Vine Perks, a new consumer rewards program aimed at inspiring sales of Oregon wine now and visitation as tasting rooms reopen and people start traveling again. Visit the Oregon Vine Perks toolkit to learn more and for assets to promote the program to your customers, including recently-added tasting room POS materials.
2019 Preliminary Grape Pricing Report Available
The preliminary pricing report for grapes from the 2019 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Survey 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 pricing around the state.
June 2020 Weather and Climate Forecast
On June 3, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at May conditions and forecasts conditions for June, July and August.
To Be Welcoming: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Curriculum from Starbucks
Starbucks has partnered with Arizona State University to produce a 15-part curriculum to help hospitality associates create a more welcoming environment. The short courses are available to all for free in a self-paced format.
Discussion: Leading By Example—Lessons in Race and Antiracism | June 11
On June 11, U.S. Travel Association National Chair Elliott L. Ferguson II will lead a candid discussion about race and racism in the travel industry. Industry leaders will discuss how to combat racial inequality, commit to developing a diverse workforce at all levels, and create a more inclusive environment for the travel and tourism industry.
Webinar: Sales Tax and the DTC Shipper | June 18
Managing sales tax calculations and reporting is a critical component of any successful DTC beverage alcohol shipping business. Join Sovos ShipCompliant for a webinar on the evolving sales tax landscape, how it applies to DTC shippers, and what you should be aware of to maintain your sales tax compliance.
Wine Summit Piccolo from Sovos ShipCompliant | June 25
Join Sovos ShipCompliant for a free half-day online summit. The event will feature an update on regulatory issues, a state of the industry address and an open Q&A forum.
OWB-Sponsored VingDirect Online DTC Courses Extended through June 30
As the direct sales landscape is shifting, OWB is committed to providing quality DTC education opportunities. We are sponsoring access to six courses from VingDirect, enabling all members of the Oregon wine industry to access these courses, normally priced between $199 and $399, for only $25 each. Courses include Guest Experience Bootcamp, Navigating Through a Crisis and more.
Women in Wine: Fermenting Change in Oregon Conference | July 20
The second-annual Women in Wine conference, a gathering of women and men dedicated to advancing and supporting women in all facets of the Oregon wine industry, is going virtual. Topics covered at the July 20 conference will include career journeys, implicit bias, sustaining excellence and building a culture that supports women in the workplace.
Seminar/Webcast: Agriculture Law | July 23-24
Stoel Reeves LLP and the Oregon Farm Bureau will host their third annual Agriculture Law conference in-person in Bend with the option to join by live webcast. The program will include a recap of the 2020 legislative session, a look ahead to the 2021 legislative session and updates regarding key areas of environmental law.
Viticulture Seminar from Linfield College | July 29 – August 12
Linfield College offers a hybrid online coursework/field experience seminar designed to introduce students to where and how grapes are grown. Emphasis will be given to understanding varieties of grapes, their general biology and physiology, and the environmental factors required to grow grapes including climate, geology, soil and landscapes. The course will also cover the basic aspects of vine growth development and training, trellis systems and vineyard management.
CALLS FOR WINE
Enter the Oregon Wine Competition | Deadline: June 12
As the foundation of the annual Oregon Wine Experience event, the Oregon Wine Competition invites all licensed Oregon wineries to submit wines to be evaluated by a panel of world-renowned judges, including Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, wine writers and DWSET educators. Read Bree Stock MW’s take on what makes this a worthwhile competition. The entry deadline is June 12.
Wine & Spirits Seeking Oregon Chardonnay | Deadline: June 17
Wine & Spirits Magazine will feature Chardonnay in its October edition and is accepting samples now through June 17. Be advised that there are new submission protocols in place due to COVID-19.
Wine Press Northwest Seeks Fortified Wines | Deadline: June 19
Wine Press Northwest seeks fortified wines produced by Northwest wineries for editorial consideration and competition. Specifically they are looking for grape or non-grape wines with at least 17% ABV. There is no cost to submit and the deadline is June 19.
Oregon Tourism Commission Meeting | June 16
The Oregon Tourism Commission, d.b.a. Travel Oregon, meets five times annually and all meetings are open to the public. Their June 16 agenda includes updates on the organization’s budget modifications, grant programs and market recovery campaign among other topics that may be of interest.
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.