If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited the Oregon Wine Board’s COVID-19 toolkit, now is a good time to come on back for new information about vaccine availability. It’s in the kit under the Resources & Guidance section. Start with this general information from the Oregon Health Authority and then take a look at these FAQs from the CDC. At the bottom of the CDC’s first page is information about hosting a vaccination event, although if that is not possible where you work, other sites can probably use assistance. Volunteers can express their interest with this form.
The OHA is also asking us to help spread the word that COVID-19 shots are provided at no charge and that no one showing up for treatment should be asked for verification of their immigration status or be required to show proof of insurance.
In other news, Travel Oregon’s “State of the Industry” webcast aired earlier this month with timely information about the outlook for the hospitality sector’s recovery. PowerPoint slides from the presentation are provided here. Tourism economist Adam Sacks delivered his forecast for short-haul leisure travel this summer and wrapped up his remarks with a concise overall summary at the 21:45 mark of the recording. Of special interest to our industry was news about the re-opening of the Wine Country License Plate Grant program on May 10. That’s at 47:50 into the webinar. There is $400,000 available this spring for those matching grants, and non-profits can see this page on the OWB’s industry site with details about funding for grant writing assistance from the OWB.
The OWB hosted its own webinar a few weeks ago dedicated to Oregon Wine Month, which returns in May. The recording with Wine Month details is parked in the program’s toolkit. I’ve already heard from a few wholesalers especially interested in the free Education Series OWB will deliver in four installments. This series starts in two weeks on the morning of Monday, April 12. Details and registration links for your staff members and customers are right here.
One of the critical factors helping generate more enthusiasm for Wine Month is Oregon’s accelerating sales momentum reflected in marketplace volume metrics. High-growth segments like Oregon in a slowly-growing global wine category can attract a lot of interest. See the exhibit below, which revisits Nielsen’s 2020 off-premise sales trends. The chart looks at first glance like one that ran here a couple weeks ago. However, there are some new details that reflect well on Oregon.
Look at Oregon’s 43% growth rate for Chardonnay. It’s four times the level for all Chardonnays nationally. Then see Oregon’s performance in the $15+ per bottle segment. This is the afterburner helping drive Oregon’s overall volume.
Finally, although not shown here, the availability of Oregon wines reached an all-time high last year. Oregon wines are now available to consumers in more stores than ever.
Looking ahead to next month, please join our all-industry Zoom forum on Tuesday, April 13 at 11 a.m. to hear special guest Danny Brager sharing more insights from the Nielsen data set along with additional observations about the DTC channel. Also included on the April 13 industry meeting agenda are Mary Margaret McCamic MW with an introduction to the diversity and equity work of Wine Unify and Dr. Patty Skinkis from OSU with news about ODA standards to ensure virus-free plant materials for Oregon growers. And if there are new developments related to the federal government’s $28.6 billion Restaurant and Tasting Room Stabilization Fund, you’ll hear them on April 13. Here is a preliminary overview of that grant program, which is still being finalized by the Small Business Administration.
While most Oregon wineries are focused on their business opportunities here in the U.S., an increasing number are looking ahead, past the pandemic, at the volume potential beyond our borders in the years ahead. If you’d like to hear more about the OWB’s plans for investing its USDA grant funds for international programming, then Save the Date: April 22 at 10 a.m. for the next virtual meeting of the industry’s International Marketing Committee. Let us know if you’d like further details on that meeting, which is open to all.
I’ll close this letter with the last call for responses to Oregon’s annual Vineyard and Winery Survey and a reminder that your participation by tomorrow, March 31 gives you a shot at randomly-drawn passes to next year’s Oregon Wine Symposium. If you haven’t yet seen the questionnaire, get a hold of Bob Parker at the University of Oregon today.
New COVID Toolkit Section Houses Workforce Vaccination Information
Under Resources & Guidance in the OWB’s COVID-19 Toolkit is a new Vaccine Resources section. In addition to general vaccine information for employers, there are also links to information about vaccination support now being provided specifically for Spanish speakers by ¡Salud! Services in the Willamette Valley and La Clinica in Medford.
Share Your Brand Story
The new Oregon Wine brand was inspired by you and belongs to you. Please share your story of place, power and purpose with us by completing this short form. We will share your responses on social media, use them to inspire future creative for the Oregon Wine brand, and simply celebrate your awesome work.
Introducing the Oregon Wine Month Education Series | Starts April 12
In April and May, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Take Vineyard Nutrition Survey to Support OSU Grant Application
A multi-institutional research team involved in the HiRes Vineyard Nutrient Management Project seeks to understand current vineyard practices and the technologies that may be used for improving nutrient management practices. All commercial grape growers, consultants and vineyard management companies are asked to complete a survey on what, how and why nutrient practices are used in vineyards. Contact Dr. Patty Skinkis at OSU with questions.
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.
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 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.
Late Submission for TEXSOM International Wine Awards | Deadline: April 11
TEXSOM is still accepting submissions for judging in its International Wine Awards competition, and they have extended the $95 entry fee period until April 11. 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.
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.
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.