You might have noticed that this edition of your Grapevine newsletter has a new look. The makeover is an industry-facing graphic expression of our new global brand identity, which was funded in large part by grant award dollars while being shaped and refined by industry input. If you haven’t yet seen the full kit of parts including the statewide and regional packages connected to the “True Character” campaign, look no further.
With the official start of summer just around the corner, we’re only six weeks away from the third annual Women in Wine event coming up on Monday, July 19. Guest speakers at the virtual conference include Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, as well as LPGA golfer and Kerr Cellars owner Cristie Kerr. Tickets are still available and the generosity of attendees and sponsors is once again making scholarships possible to expand access and include more members of our wine community in the program and networking conversations. And you can see this page for details on the group ticket discount.
As many of you are well aware, the allocation of your tax money to scientific research is a fundamental element of the Oregon Wine Board’s founding charter. That responsibility is specifically articulated in the Board’s enabling legislation, House Bill 3442, drafted 18 years ago. OWB’s Directors rely on expert advice from experienced viticulturists, winemakers, and research scientists when making annual budget decisions about research and assessing the program’s overall progress. Here is the page from the OWB’s website listing the volunteers who generously offer their time, advice, and insights in service to the Research Committee.
The Committee and the Board are guided in their work by the Strategic Plan for Research. This blueprint was debated and created by growers and winemakers after careful consideration during a rigorous process that included listening sessions and surveys before culminating in an intensive two-day planning retreat:
Detailed reports from scientists on the work funded by industry dollars to advance our knowledge in these areas are consolidated here on OWB’s website.
During recent Board meetings, OWB Directors have dedicated extended discussion time to Research. Although wildfires last fall significantly diminished harvested tonnage and, correspondingly, OWB’s grape tax income, the Board determined that continuing investments in critical scientific work were essential. So, by squeezing hard to achieve significant expense reductions in administrative costs and other budget line items, the money allocated to scientific research will actually be higher this year by 11% compared to OWB’s pre-wildfire budget. To make that increase possible, aggregate OWB spending in all other categories will be down -16%.
And during the next fiscal year, starting in about three weeks, Research is again funded at very nearly its normal, pre-wildfire level while other program areas absorb the residual effects of the 2020 harvest shortfall that continue to ripple through the OWB’s 2021-22 budget.
Turning to Education, industry volunteers are well into their planning for next year’s Oregon Wine Symposium. So please Save the Dates: February 15, 16, and 17, 2022 for the full program of enology, viticulture, wine business, and general sessions. Once again, they will be presented virtually. More information on the Symposium seminars and ticketing for all educational content in 2022 will be available later this summer.
And for those who have been wondering about the sessions from last February’s Symposium, visit this page for a full listing of the 34 recorded presentations, which are available now to everyone.
Finally, the Oregon Wine Board is hiring. During the last round of listening tours, the OWB heard the industry’s call for programming and support in reaching new customers and consumers beyond our state’s borders. So Market Expansion was identified as a critical element in the Strategic Plan for Marketing & Communications. Consistent with that intention, OWB is recruiting to fill a vacant Marketing position that will focus primarily on Trade Relations. See the role description on our website here and feel free to pass it on to qualified candidates in your networks.
P.S. As global markets slowly emerge from the COVID-19 freeze, we are deploying federal grant money to jump start our international marketing events. Here is one example in partnership with a London retailer, which was broadcast via Instagram Live just before the Memorial Day weekend. OWB also recruited influential buyers from the Toronto area last week, along with decision makers from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, in an enthusiastically received Zoom meeting with Oregon winemakers.
You can hear more about the International Marketing Committee’s plans, as well as listen in on updates from the Communications department and OWB’s Education and Research Committees at the next public meeting of the Oregon Wine Board of Directors, Thursday morning, June 10.
New Oregon Wine trade education seminar recordings available
This year’s Oregon Wine Month programming featured four master class webinars hosted by OWB Education Director Bree Stock MW. Designed for the trade, these sessions focus on Oregon’s major winegrowing regions. All recordings are available on the Oregon Wine Resource Studio and are great to share with your trade contacts at any time of year.
Share your Juneteenth events (Willamette Valley opportunity)
With the passage of House Bill 2168 in April 2021 to establish Juneteenth as a legal state holiday in Oregon, the first official celebration of Juneteenth can support the local business community. If your business intends to celebrate, the Willamette Valley Visitors Association asks that you share your plans through this online form so they can help amplify your event, exhibit, special menu, etc.
June 2021 Weather and Climate Forecast
On June 3, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield University published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at May conditions and forecasts conditions for June, July and August.
OWB-sponsored research update: Rootstock effects on mature Pinot noir growth
Dr. Patty Skinkis, professor and viticulture extension specialist at OSU, has prepared an update about her research investigating rootstock effects on mature Pinot noir growth and vine productivity under cool climate, dry-farmed conditions.
OWB-sponsored research update: Soil moisture and vine response
Dr. Patty Skinkis, professor and viticulture extension specialist at OSU, has prepared an update about her research to characterize soil moisture among three common Willamette Valley soil types and associated grapevine response under drying seasonal conditions.
2021 Oregon Wine Symposium recordings now available to all
Password protection has been removed from all 2021 Symposium session recordings on the OWB’s industry website. Recordings and presentations covering wine business, viticulture, and enology are now available for anyone to view and download.
Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism | June 15-16
Travel Oregon will be holding its Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism virtually this year at no charge to attendees. The event brings the travel and tourism industry together to celebrate past work, find new inspiration, dive into educational topics, and look ahead as Oregon rebuilds and recovers the tourism economy after a tumultuous year.
American Society for Viticulture and Enology Conference | June 21-24
ASEV, the American Society for Viticulture and Enology, will hold its 72nd National Conference June 21-24. The schedule includes keynote presentations, flash talks on research, seminars on viticulture and enology, and more. Registration is open now with early-bird pricing ending June 15.
Webinar: Maximize your Google My Business profile | June 22
On June 22, Travel Oregon will team up with Locl to show tourism businesses how to take advantage of Google My Business (GMB) and optimize their profiles using Locl’s platform. If you are a tourism business operating in Oregon and want to elevate your presence on Google, don’t miss out on this opportunity. To learn more, visit Travel Oregon’s toolkit and register for the June 22 training.
Calls for wine
The Oregon Wine Competition accepting entries | Deadline: June 11
The Oregon Wine Competition provides an excellent opportunity for Oregon winemakers to have a panel of internationally renowned experts assess their wine. This year’s competition will take place July 17-18, and award-winning wines will be featured at the 2021 Oregon Wine Experience event in August. Wineries may submit up to five of their wines by June 11. All wines must be produced from 100% Oregon-sourced grapes and must be commercially available.
James Suckling seeks wines for 2021 Oregon Report | Deadline: June 14
The JamesSuckling.com team invites all Oregon wineries to submit up to three different wines to be reviewed for its 2021 Oregon Report. The wines may be any new release that has not yet been reviewed by JamesSuckling.com. All varieties are welcome, and the wines should be currently in the market or slated for release soon.
Let ODA know about your summer PPE needs | Deadline: June 11
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has an opportunity to make a request and ship PPE for ag and farmworkers heading into the summer. This might be the last opportunity for PPE request in advance of harvest. Complete this form and email it to Jonathan Sandau at ODA, who will consolidate requests for KN95 masks, gloves, face shields, and disposable/single use gowns.