With another successful Oregon Wine Symposium under our belts, I have a chance to say thank you winemakers, travel industry colleagues and industry friends for supporting OWB Communications through a stellar year of media relations. The volume of articles on Oregon wine has gone up 32% this past year, from 20,300 in 2018 to 29,400 in 2019, and the word is spreading further than ever. As a prime example, global wine site JamesSuckling.com kicked off 2020 with executive editor Nick Stock marveling at Oregon wines’ steady quality in his Oregon report. He writes, “This report illustrates another convincing showing from Oregon, which is producing high quality across a number of vintages and demonstrating real consistency of style from producer to producer and vineyard to vineyard.”
Closer to home, Tim Fish at the Wine Spectator reviewed several hundred Pinot noirs for his annual Oregon report and cover story, remarking, “You can feel the dynamism in the air and taste it in the glass…Though Pinot Noir remains Oregon’s strong suit, there are a number of impressive Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and rosé bottlings included here as well, a sign of the state’s growing diversity.”
As well as the critics singing our praises, we have also had success with lifestyle editors thanks to great partnerships with the Washington Wine Commission and Travel Oregon. The two serve to both extend our budget and inspiration for compelling outdoor experiences to writers across Oregon who in turn capture the healthy food-loving lifestyle we enjoy here in Oregon.
In 2019 we hosted nine writers for two distinct media tours, which netted 21 unique and national stories spanning food, wine, lifestyle, fitness, travel and beverage trade. One such article is here, underscoring that when we get magazines outside the wine sphere to write about us, we touch new audience segments. These articles would have never happened without bringing media to Oregon and you telling them your stories.
Our Travel Oregon partnership also helped bring a film crew to Oregon to produce V is for Vino, the #1 downloaded wine show on Amazon Prime. Take a peek at this great spotlight on our state.
In 2020, OWB Communications is looking forward to more of the same. Media tours will occur with Washington Wines in May and Travel Oregon in July, plus 170 writers will descend on Eugene in August for the Wine Media Conference. OWB will coordinate six excursions across the state to ensure conference attendees who have never been to Oregon get a balanced view of winemaking in the state. Excursions will bring these writers to the Gorge, the Rogue Valley, the Umpqua Valley, the Applegate Valley, Elkton Oregon and the South Willamette Valley where the conference is centered. The itineraries for the excursions are developed by heads of AVA associations.
OWB Education and Communications will also launch hospitality training that includes topics such as Bias Awareness and How to Diversify Your Tasting Room with the help of Chevonne Ball of Dirty Radish Tours (pictured here). We’re creating this programming to ensure spring and summer tasting room visitors feel welcome, free from implicit biases and microaggressions through awareness and implementation of positive communication methods. OWB Communications’ aim is that with this more inclusive and welcoming environment, DTC sales will be supported and markets expanded with better, more inclusive hospitality techniques. Stay tuned for more.
As well as beefing up media outreach, and with 19 AVAs to sew together lots of information, OWB’s leadership in getting all 45 members of the Information Sharing Task Force (ISTF) talking is critical to collaboration. The ISTF, which began as an annual meeting, has transformed into a responsive and engaging forum for winemakers and regions to share information. We also have a guest journalist each meeting to talk about what they’re looking for and how to shine. Join us if you’d like by emailing me.
Thanks for a great year and looking forward to more media success in 2020!
Wine Spectator 2020 Co-op Advertising Opportunities | Deadline: March 6
Wine Spectator is offering cooperative advertising opportunities during Oregon Wine Month in May as well as in October, providing exposure in the magazine at a more affordable price than standalone advertising. Participation is first-come, first-served, and only a few spaces remain available. The May deadline is March 6 and the October deadline is July 16.
Sign Up to Pour at Total Wine During Oregon Wine Month
Total Wine & More is planning to celebrate Oregon Wine Month this May in their 193 stores across 20 states. During this focus period, they want to bring as many Oregon wineries as possible to their stores to pour for shoppers. Wineries with placements in Total Wine are invited to sign up for in-store tasting events at locations around the country.
OWB-Sponsored Research Update: Using MLF to Prevent Brett Spoilage
Dr. James Osborne, associate professor and enology extension specialist at OSU, has prepared an update about research he is conducting to investigate interactions between the wine spoilage yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis and the malolactic bacteria Oenococcus oeni in order to reduce the risk of wine spoilage.
Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research RFA | Deadline: March 13
The Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research (NCSFR), funded by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, has released a Request for Applications for FY2020 funding. The full RFA and supporting information is posted on the NCSFR website and the deadline for submission is March 13.
Subscribe to OWRI’s Vine to Wine Newsletter
The Oregon Wine Research Institute at OSU publishes a monthly e-newsletter, Vine to Wine, and all members of the Oregon grape growing and winemaking community are encouraged to subscribe. Vine to Wine includes news and information regarding programs, events, advances in research, resources in your area and much more.
Vineyard & Winery Accounting 101 & 201 Webinar Recordings Available to View
The OWB recently sponsored two webinars on vineyard and winery accounting. In Accounting 101, the presenters discussed how to read financial statements to determine profitability and the process of inventory costing. In Accounting 201, they covered how to build a cost analysis program for a vineyard and wine brand.
Vineyard Management Online Class with Dr. Patty Skinkis | Spring 2020
OSU Professor and Viticulture Extension Specialist Dr. Patty Skinkis will be teaching a non-credit online course suited to current industry professionals or those interested in entering the industry who are looking to increase their viticulture or wine grape production knowledge. The course focuses on the impact of vineyard management decisions on grapevine physiology and economics. Registration is required, and space is limited.
Travel Oregon Rural Tourism Conference | April 26-28
Travel Oregon is hosting its first-ever Rural Tourism Conference this spring. The primary purpose of this event is to support destination management organizations, businesses and industry partners in cities with populations of less than 25,000 that are not adjacent to, or part of, an urban or metropolitan area. Anyone who works in or with Oregon rural communities is invited to attend.
Cascade Employers Association Oregon Wine & Vine Salary Survey
Cascade Employers Association has been partnering with local wineries to develop a pay and benefits survey as a resource to wineries and vineyards in Oregon. See their flyer for more information and to enroll in the study. The final report is provided free to all participants.
Silicon Valley Bank and Wine Business Monthly DTC Survey | Deadline: March 20
Silicon Valley Bank and Wine Business Monthly have been collaborating for almost 10 years on an annual survey on direct to consumer wine sales. Survey participants will get the full results with analysis and benchmarks at no cost in May. The deadline to participate is March 20.