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NEWS FOR MARCH 16, 2021

COVID-19 Updates
Marketing
Research
Education
Calls for Wine
Opportunities
Other News
Upcoming Events

LETTER FROM TOM DANOWSKI


Dear Friends,

Last week was a particularly busy one at the Oregon Wine Board.
It began with a 42-minute webinar available in the Oregon Wine Month toolkit offering details on the program, which is teed up again as it is during May each year. You’ll find a lot of information stuffed into the kit so far including merchandising materials and an invitation to list any events on the consumer calendar that can be held safely at your location in May.

Don’t miss this set of registration links for your team members and business partners to sign up for any or all of the four different online seminars in the Oregon Wine Month Education series starting in just four weeks.
After the Wine Month webinar, OWB hosted the most recent in its recurring series of all-industry Zoom meetings. Special guests included Jesse Lyon from Davis Wright Tremaine at the 32:30 mark, with tips on structuring grape purchase contracts, and Dr. Jeff Murrell at the one-hour mark with information on treating smoke-affected wines.

We also heard positive news from Bob Parker at the University of Oregon who manages the research team working on Oregon’s annual vineyard and winery report. While Bob reports responses so far from the industry are tracking ahead of last year, he would like to hear from everyone so we have an accurate snapshot from one of the most unpredictable years ever. Please let Bob know if you have not yet seen the survey form.

Anyone can register here for our next Zoom on Tuesday, April 13 at 11 a.m.

Then at mid-week, the OWB’s Kai McMurtry was invited to present OWB’s new brand identity work to Travel Oregon staff and regional tourism managers from across the state. They were dazzled.

Kai also mentioned OWB’s new four-color, 80-page Oregon Wine Touring Guide, which will be printed soon for distribution starting next month in advance of Oregon Wine Month. Pre-order your free copies right here.

Encouragingly, those on that call representing the hospitality industry reported positive early signs pointing to increasing interest in trip planning information as consumers look ahead to getting back out there safely. Our travel partners also mentioned the stakeholder meetings being convened by the regional travel teams and Travel Oregon beginning this week. Wine industry members are encouraged to attend the remaining sessions.

Last week concluded with the latest public meeting of the Oregon Wine Board of Directors. The agenda included reports on the OWB’s Research, Education and Marketing activities as well as a report from the Finance Committee.

The Education discussion included an important post-analysis of last month’s virtual Oregon Wine Symposium. The data were collated and presented by the OWB’s Jess Willey pulling information from hundreds of attendee survey responses. You can see Jess’s presentation in the meeting recording starting at the six-minute mark. Thank you to those who offered those survey comments and suggestions for next year.

As you can see in this slide, the Symposium was a smash. The likelihood that attendees would recommend it to others next year tied an all-time high score, averaging 9.0 on a 10-point scale.
During the Finance Committee’s report, the Board discussed industry input on the proposed budget for our next fiscal year starting July 1. OWB’s budget will continue to reflect the impact of last fall’s wildfires and the downward pressure they exerted on grape tonnage. To compensate for that income shortfall, the Board and management team will reduce overhead and other operating expenses in order to lower overall spending by 18% versus our last budget.

In preparation for last week’s Board meeting, OWB Vice President Marie Chambers aggregated the industry’s budget questions that came in during the public comment period. Marie has provided clarifying information here in response. Thank you to those who took the time to review the plan.

The OWB will meet again in public session on Tuesday, April 20 at 3 p.m. Industry members and guests are welcome to participate in further discussion of the 2021-22 budget and hear a report from the industry’s Research Committee. Please let us know if you are able to join in and if you have any additional budget questions.

Since I’ve run long again, I’ll let this graph reflecting Nielsen’s scanner store sales growth rates speak for itself.

Tom Danowski
President

COVID-19 UPDATES

COVID Toolkit Contains Updated Risk Maps and Tasting Room Guidelines

The OWB’s COVID-19 Toolkit has been updated with new maps reflecting county risk levels effective March 12. The updated Tasting Room Guidelines in Response to COVID-19, published late February thanks to the efforts of a group of industry volunteers, can also be found in the Toolkit. 
 

¡Salud! Services COVID-19 Vaccine Webinars

In early March, ¡Salud! Services held webinars to discuss common questions about how the COVID-19 vaccine was developed, side effects and distribution in Oregon. The webinars were conducted in English and Spanish.

MARKETING

Oregon Wine Month Industry Webinar Available

The Oregon Wine Month 2021 Toolkit has been updated to include a recording of the March 8 webinar. In this brief session, the OWB marketing team shared program elements and what to expect in the lead up to May as the industry prepares for this annual program. 
 

Introducing the Oregon Wine Month Education Series | Starts April 12

OWB Education Director Bree Stock MW will present four master class webinars designed for the trade focusing on Oregon and three of its major winegrowing regions. Learn more and access the registration links to share with your trade contacts.
 

Discover Your New Oregon Wine Brand

Last month, after months of industry engagement and creative exploration, your new Oregon Wine brand was debuted at Symposium. Explore the brand‘s elements, watch the launch video and submit your business’s interpretation of True Character. 


Order Oregon Wines Fly Free Materials

To make Oregon Wines Fly Free a more effective sales tool in your tasting room order a suite of printed materials—or join the program if you haven’t yet. The complete suite is available for complimentary order and delivery to all participating wineries.

RESEARCH

March 2021 Weather and Climate Forecast

On March 4, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield University published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at February conditions and forecasts conditions for March, April and May.
 

SOVOS ShipCompliant 2021 DTC Wine Shipping Report Published

SOVOS ShipCompliant recently published its 2021 DTC Wine Shipping Report, indicating that 27% more cases were shipped to consumers in 2020 compared with 2019. Click here for the recording of the webinar presenting these results.
 

Take the SVB Annual Direct to Consumer Wine Survey | Deadline: March 19

Silicon Valley Bank has publicly researched the wine industry for over 20 years and spent more than a decade producing annual nationwide benchmarks for direct to consumer wine sales. This year, all producers are being offered the chance to participate once again in SVB’s direct to consumer wine survey, which takes 15-20 minutes and is open through March 19.  
 

Participate in the 2020 Vineyard & Winery Survey | Deadline: March 31

All Oregon vineyard and winery owners should have received an invitation to participate in the annual Vineyard & Winery Survey. Your participation is vital to ensuring the report accurately reflects the 2020 vintage. If you did not receive an invitation to participate, please contact the study’s organizer, Bob Parker at the University of Oregon.

 

Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research RFA | Deadline: April 1

The Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research (NCSFR) has released its Request for Applications for 2021. All applications must be submitted by April 1. If you have any questions, contact the Northwest Berry Foundation.

EDUCATION

2nd U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit | April 19-21

Complimentary registration is open for the second U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit on April 19-21. Learn about the driving forces behind the increasing interest in sustainable winegrowing and become inspired with new ideas on how to bring sustainability education and outreach to your region’s vineyards and wineries, your consumers and to trade.

CALLS FOR WINE

Wine & Spirits Magazine Seeks Oregon Riesling | Deadline: March 19

Wine & Spirits Magazine will focus on domestic Riesling in its August issue and is now accepting Oregon Rieslings for consideration. The window is open until March 19.

OPPORTUNITIES

Expose Your Brand to Key Buyers in Canada | Deadline: March 17

The OWB is expanding programming in Canada this year by hosting a series of six virtual seminars for key trade in Ontario this summer. These seminars will target decision makers including the LCBO and buyers for major hotels and restaurants in the province as well as top influential media. Wineries with distribution in Ontario are invited to apply to participate by March 17.
 

Showcase Your Wines in Sweden, Denmark, Canada and/or Mexico this Summer

Registration deadlines are coming up for OWB’s international events scheduled for this summer. With no registration fees, these events provide unique opportunities to explore key global markets at a low cost and high return on investment. 
 

Join a Travel Oregon Engagement Session for Your Region | March 15-30

As work begins on developing strategic plans that are responsive to Oregon’s dynamic tourism economy, Travel Oregon and the state’s seven official RDMOs are hosting engagement sessions to seek input from communities, local businesses and individuals that drive the state’s tourism economy. Find your region’s session and sign up to participate.
 

TEXSOM International Wine Awards Accepting Submissions | Deadline: March 28

The TEXSOM organization is now accepting submissions into its 2021 TEXSOM International Wine Awards competition. This esteemed competition aims to identify and champion wines of quality and distinction from around the world, supporting medalists with exposure through the extensive TEXSOM sommelier and wine industry network. The submission period runs through March 28, with judging in late April.


Join the New Walla Walla Valley VitTech Group | First Meeting: April 7

The new Vineyard Technical Group of Walla Walla Valley is open to all members of the wine industry currently working in the Walla Walla Valley and/or The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVAs. This group of like-minded growers and producers will host wine industry professionals and professors to speak about current research and evolving wine growing practices.

OTHER NEWS

Oregon Wine Industry Forums | Next Meeting: April 13

Join the OWB and partners on April 13 at 11 a.m. for the next Oregon Wine Industry Forum. 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. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

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.
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