The nine Directors on the Oregon Wine Board held their most recent quarterly meeting earlier this month and discussed the funding recommendations made by the industry’s Research Committee, which is made up of 58 viticulturalists and winemakers from all over Oregon. After carefully reviewing and ranking 35 project applications, the committee proposed that the Board allocate funding in 2018-19 for a slate of nine scientific studies designed to improve our understanding of pests, viruses and the management practices critical to ensuring Oregon maintains and enhances its competitive position among the world’s most esteemed winegrowing regions.
The Directors ratified the committee’s proposed project list and approved an all-time record amount for viticulture and enology research: $437,500.
This represents a significant increase compared to past years and a substantially greater investment, on a per ton basis, than is being made by our colleagues in Washington state.
In dedicating a greater portion of your tax money to science, the Board and the leadership of the industry’s Research Committee recognize the urgent need expressed by growers and winemakers to focus those dollars for impact. To address that desire and maximize the return on research spending, the 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. Their purpose is to invite your candid comments, ideas and suggestions for making research as responsive as possible to the industry’s present and emerging needs.
These will be open sessions with no preconceived outcomes in mind and no topics off limits. You do not need to be a Research Committee member – or a viticulture expert – to attend.
Tuesday, Aug. 28
1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Walla Walla Valley – Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla, WA
Wednesday, Aug. 29
8 – 10 a.m. – Columbia Gorge – OSU’s Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Hood River
2 – 4 p.m. – Umpqua Valley – Southern Oregon Wine Institute at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg
Thursday, Aug. 30
9 – 11 a.m. – Rogue Valley – OSU’s Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, Central Point
We invite you to register using the links above so we can provide sufficient seating, coffee and doughnuts. 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.
This next announcement is for growers who may be experiencing first-hand, or hearing about, the unintended effects on grapevines from phenoxy herbicide applications near vineyards. The best way we can enlist support for a solution is to shine a spotlight on this recurring calamity by reporting drift incidents to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. I’m sure that is an unpleasant prospect when one is already dealing with the more profound indicators of vine damage, especially as the delayed signs of herbicide exposure express themselves days or weeks after the chemicals were used, sometimes miles away, and the toxic compounds have gone airborne to be blown randomly into vineyards or other farm acreage. The Oregon Winegrowers Association has resources on its website to help you communicate with neighbors to prevent drift incidents and has provided this advisory on dealing with off-target herbicides. OWA strongly urges growers to follow the “split sample” protocol in case the lab results can be helpful when seeking compensation for lost or diminished tonnage.
I’ll close with a big, fat, hearty Congratulations to Anna Maria Ponzi who was recently named by Governor Kate Brown to one of nine coveted positions on the Board of Commissioners governing our state’s tourism agency, Travel Oregon. Maria has been serving on the Board of Travel Portland and will bring to this new statewide role a lifetime of experience in our industry and a special appreciation for the ways in which Oregon’s family-owned wine businesses leverage tourism to forge enduring and meaningful relationships with customers and consumers. Maria joins Richard Boyles, co-owner of Iris Vineyards near Eugene, on the Travel Oregon Board. Thank you both for volunteering to represent your fellow growers and winemakers to our hospitality partners around the state.
Oregon Wine Board
Oregon Wins Big at TEXSOM International Wine Awards
The Oregon wine industry made its mark among preeminent wine influencers this year at the TEXSOM International Wine Awards. Many wineries took advantage of the OWB’s complimentary shipping program, resulting in more Oregon wines evaluated and a 20% increase in award-winning Oregon wines. Read more about Oregon’s performance in the 2018 awards.
2018 Oregon Wine Touring Guide Available
In our recent survey of Touring Guide recipients, 92% agreed the guide was useful while visiting 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 Webinar Recording Available: 2017 Oregon Wine Industry Salary Survey
Linfield College’s Professor Jeff D. Peterson shared the results of the first-ever salary survey specific to the Oregon wine industry in this webinar, held on June 13. The survey results provide a framework within which small Oregon-based growers and producers can plan for hiring in an increasingly crowded marketplace. This study was conducted by Linfield College with the support of the OWB Education Committee, and includes data from 188 growers and producers. View the webinar and presentation.
OWB Workshop Recording Available: WISE Academy’s 7 Secrets of Sales
The OWB brought the WISE Academy’s Seven Secrets of Professional Sales workshop to the industry in April. The full-day seminar covered key aspects of sales such as leveraging your brand, understanding the buyers’ continuum, positive profiling, building rapport, buying signals, codifying your sales successes, wine club features & benefits, asking for the order, and capturing data. This content is password protected under the password OWBWISE. View the workshop recordings using the password.
OWB Workshop Recording Available: Oregon Grape and Wine Profit Calculator
In March 2018, the OWB proudly 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.
OWB Research Listening Tour Coming to You in August – Register Now
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.
June 2018 Weather and Climate Forecast
On June 5, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at May conditions, provides an updated drought watch, and forecasts conditions for June, July and August. Read the report.
Research Update: Nitrogen Management in the Vineyard and in the Winery
Dr. Paul Schreiner, research plant physiologist, USDA-ARS-HCRL and OWRI, has prepared an update on the research he is leading on how nitrogen availability in the vineyard affects vine productivity and wine properties in Pinot noir and Chardonnay. This project receives funding from the OWB as part of its viticulture and enology research grant program. Read Dr. Schreiner’s update.
Research Update: Understanding the Yield-Quality Relationship in Cool Climate Pinot noir and Chardonnay Production
Dr. Patti Skinkis, OSU viticulture extension specialist, has prepared an update on the research she is leading on short- and long-term impacts of increasing or decreasing yield of Pinot noir through cluster thinning. This project receives funding from the OWB as part of its viticulture and enology research grant program. Read Dr. Skinkis’ update.
CALLS FOR WINE
Sip Northwest’s Best of the Northwest 2018 | Deadline: July 13
Apply Now to be Considered for the Oregon Wine Board of Directors in 2019
There are expected to be two openings on the nine-member Oregon Wine Board starting in January 2019. Applications for those positions are being accepted until July 31. 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.
ODA Announces Funding to Help Offset Organic Certification Costs
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has announced the availability of cost-share rebate funds for certified organic farmers and processors. The funds will reimburse up to 75 percent of certification costs, or up to $750 per year per certification scope. The rebates are available to cover certification expenses paid between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017, or for the period of Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018. Learn more.
Take the OWA Member Satisfaction Survey for a Chance to Win $100
The 2017-2018 Oregon Winegrowers Association membership satisfaction survey is now open. OWA is asking for full participation as it uses this data to evaluate its current programs and create more advantageous membership benefits. The survey takes less than five minutes and you can enter to win one of three $100 gift cards if you complete this survey by June 30. See OWA’s recent accomplishments and get survey link.
Join the Oregon Wine Industry Collaboration Space on Facebook
The OWB recently introduced a closed Facebook group called the Oregon Wine Industry Collaboration Space. This online community is open to all employees of Oregon wineries, vineyards and regional associations across the state and is an informal platform to discuss issues, ask questions, collaborate, and stay apprised of updates and time-sensitive action items from the OWB. Whether you work in sales, marketing, grapegrowing, production – or wear many of those hats – you are encouraged to join the 400+ existing members of this group to get connected with your colleagues around Oregon. Learn more or join now.