I’d like to open by extending an invitation. As you may have heard at the Symposium, the OWB is undertaking efforts to review, revise and refocus the strategic vision and plan for our marketing and communications program. This work touches a wide range of audiences – from tourists to distributors, from writers to restaurants – and aims to address the myriad business challenges of Oregon’s small-to-mid-sized wine producers.
A committee of leaders from around the industry, helmed by OWB Director Donna Morris of Winderlea Vineyard and Winery, is working with the OWB team to refine and prioritize the work we do on your behalf. To that end, we would like to invite you to join us for a marketing and communications listening session. Please come out to one of seven listening sessions we’ll be holding in April and share your perspective on how the OWB can best support the industry’s needs pertaining to trade, consumer and media audiences. From April 17-23, we’ll visit Central Point, Roseburg, Eugene, Hood River, Portland and McMinnville. Space is limited, so RSVP to secure a spot.
A few other things of note:
The 8th annual Oregon Wine Month celebration starts six weeks from today on May 1. Be sure to submit your events to the consumer calendar and tag them “Oregon Wine Month.” Or (and!), you could pitch your on-premise accounts to offer a flight of three Oregon wines throughout May. If they complete the signup form by April 1, they’ll maximize their promotional opportunities with the Oregonian.
Did you know that Nielsen-tracked channels account for approximately 40% of Oregon wine sold through distribution outside Oregon, and reflect scan data from 324 Oregon wineries nationally? We just released a new market insights report on how Oregon wine is faring in off-premise retail across several key U.S. markets.
Last but not least, a quick shout-out to Bertony Faustin of Abbey Creek Vineyard, who is in the media spotlight this month as part of a Meet The Makers article in Food & Wine Magazine. The article refers to Faustin as “The Futurist,” chronicling his history of winemaking and the documentary Red, White & Black: An Oregon Wine Story he co-produced, with mentions of Oregonian winemakers Jarod Sleet, Remy Drabkin, André Mack and the late Jesus Guillén. Congratulations to all on the national coverage of this film.
Director of Strategic Insights & Industry Relations
It’s likely you have heard by now about some of the legislative concepts related to our industry that are under consideration by lawmakers in Salem. The OWA’s Public Policy and Land Use Committees, each made up of volunteer members from across the state, have been meeting by phone regularly over the past few months to offer their perspectives on many of them.
One of the bills that has inspired rich and robust industry dialogue is Senate Bill 111. At its inception, SB 111 was designed to level the playing field and ensure OLCC would be authorized by statute to extend the process for collecting grape taxes in Oregon and apply it to wineries in other states making wine from Oregon grapes. Over the past nine months, it has become clear that additional protections for “Brand Oregon,” and for our distinctive wine labeling rules, should also be included within the scope of SB 111.
Approximately 18,000 tons of Oregon fruit representing 20% of our annual harvest were crushed in other states according to statistics from Oregon’s most recent vineyard and winery report. That number is up significantly from the prior year. While the OWA recognizes the importance of interstate commerce to Oregon’s wine community, we have heard loudly and clearly from many of you who insist on consistency and impartiality in applying Oregon’s tax laws and more stringent labeling rules. Grape tonnage taxes help fund a number of OWB scientific research and promotional programs that benefit everyone selling wine made from Oregon grapes, while our 42-year-old labeling rules help protect our industry’s reputation for exceptional quality.
If you’re interested in learning where the OWA stands on SB 111, see this statement, which went out last week to all industry members. SB 111 is scheduled for committee action on March 21. If you are an OWA member with an opinion to express about the bill, or about any of the legislative proposals affecting our industry this year, please write to the OWA.
Turning to other news, OWA is anxiously looking ahead to Sunday, June 2. OWA member wineries are reminded that it’s not too late to reserve your spot at the tasting and pour for hundreds of Portland-area consumers who are planning to come out and “Crush on Oregon.” The deadline to indicate your interest is March 22.
Check Out the Oregon Wine Month Toolkit
The 2019 Oregon Wine Month toolkit contains resources to help you and your partners get ready for May. Find information about the activity plan, recommendations for getting involved and assets you can use in your own marketing and sales activities.
OWB Market Insights Report: Oregon Wine Performance in Off-Premise Retail
The OWB has commissioned Nielsen data and compiled an overview of Oregon wine’s performance in off-premise retail accounts in 2018. Consider these trends in conjunction with other market intelligence to help develop your business plans.
OWB-Funded Research Update: Determination of Pre- and Postveraison Water Status Targets for Deficit Irrigation of Pinot noir in a Warm Climate
Dr. Alex Levin of OSU has prepared an update about research he is conducting to determine early- and late-season vine water status targets to optimize irrigation scheduling in warm climate Pinot noir vineyards.
OWB-Funded Research Update: Microscopy of Red Blotch
Dr. Bhaskar Bondada of Washington State University has prepared an update about research he is leading to understand the mechanisms by which Grapevine Red Blotch-associated Virus causes infection.
Take the Silicon Valley Bank DTC Survey | Deadline: March 22
SVB and Wine Business Monthly team up annually to survey and report on direct to consumer wine sales. The 2019 survey is open through March 22. Participating businesses receive a personalized report, and the more Oregon wineries that participate, the better benchmarking data our industry receives.
March 2019 Weather and Climate Forecast
On March 2, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at February conditions and forecasts conditions for March, April and May.
Webinar: Sovos DTC Wine Shipping Report | March 28
Join Sovos for a webinar sharing an overview of their 2018 DtC Wine Shipping Report findings, key insights and real-world examples of the growth trends from the past year.
Workshop: DTC Wine Workshop in McMinnville | April 9
DTC Wine Workshops is conducting a half-day workshop that covers how to effectively engage with consumers between visits and how to expand brand awareness with digital marketing tools. A group discount of 20% is available when registering four or more people from your winery. Register by March 30.
Seminar: WAVEx Seminar on Smoke Indicators | April 17
Washington State University’s Dr. Tom Collins, one of the nation’s leading smoke exposure scientists, will present findings from his latest research at a WAVEx seminar in Richland, Wash. He has studied the timing of exposure and the role of fuel source in smoke indicators. He is also working to develop analytical methods to accurately predict the potential for smoke indicators in wines and identify mitigating winemaking practices.
CALLS FOR WINE
Sunset Magazine Seeks Sparkling Wines | Deadline: March 30
Wines for Pairing and Photos in PNW-focused Cookbook | Deadline: April 5
Wine and travel writer Mary Cressler is putting the finishing touches on a cookbook called Fire and Wine: 75 wood-fired recipes and wine pairings inspired by the Pacific Northwest. She is looking for wine samples to be used as pairings in the recipe photos. Wines must be received by April 5.
Register for OWRI Grape Day | April 3 | Registration Deadline: March 22
Join OWRI at Oregon State University in Corvallis on April 3 for Grape Day, their annual event highlighting research relevant to the Oregon wine industry. Registration closes March 22.
Crush on Oregon – OWA Consumer Tasting Event in Portland | June 2
Deadline: March 22
OWA will be holding a consumer tasting event at Castaway in Portland on Sunday, June 2. Winery registration is now open on a first-come, first-served basis and spots will be allocated regionally. The event is open to OWA members only. The deadline to indicate your interest in participating is March 22.
THE Rosé Competition Call for Entries | Deadline: March 30
Entries are now being accepted for THE Rosé Competition, now in its second year. The organizers are accepting dry, sweet and sparkling rosé wines from all over the world for judging to be held April 6. Wines must be received by March 30.
Chemeketa Wine Studies Experimental Wine Tastings | June 5
Join Chemeketa’s Wine Studies students for an experimental wine tasting open to Oregon wine industry members. Taste a variety of experimental wines, provide feedback and discuss current industry topics. You can also present wines from your own trial for feedback. This tasting is possible thanks to support from the Oregon Wine Brotherhood.