LETTER FROM JESS WILLEY
I hope this finds you and your families faring as well as may be expected during these strange and uncertain times.
Like you, we here at the OWB have been immersed in responding to the evolving crisis situation we all find ourselves in. If you haven’t yet seen the Oregon Wine Industry COVID-19 Toolkit, be sure to check it out. Also, we have been sending frequent industry-wide bulletins to share the latest news. If you know of anyone who is not receiving our newsletters, please have them contact us.
While we work to address the urgent and emerging needs of our industry, my colleagues and I are also maintaining our focus on the ongoing work that the OWB undertakes on your behalf.
One of our important annual initiatives is the Oregon Vineyard & Winery Report, which provides insights into Oregon’s grape harvest, wine production and sales trends. Yesterday, business leaders should have received an invitation to participate in the 2019 survey. We implore you to participate as the 2019 report will provide important benchmarks by which to measure the impact of the current pandemic on our industry around the state.
As an added incentive to complete this survey by the April 30 deadline, we will randomly select five businesses to receive a complimentary pass to the 2021 Oregon Wine Symposium. If you did not receive an invitation to participate, please contact our research partner Bob Parker, director at the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement.
Here are a few examples of other key initiatives the OWB team is diligently working on:
Facilitating our Research Committee’s review of dozens of viticulture and enology research proposals to prioritize funding in the 2020-21 cycle
Kicking off curriculum planning for the 2021 Oregon Wine Symposium with our Education Committee leaders
Planning for our International Committee’s annual meeting on April 16 to discuss market strategy and activity plans for 2020-21
Fielding calls for wine from members of the media interested in featuring Oregon in upcoming articles (see opportunities below) and planning for statewide media excursions scheduled for August
Kicking off work to develop a new Oregon Wine brand identity, which will roll out in the first half of 2021 and provide our industry with consistent and compelling branding and messaging to inspire wine drinkers and travelers to choose Oregon
Exploring partnerships to expand online trade education offerings in place of canceled events worldwide
Finally, as events—especially large tasting events—are postponed or canceled, be sure to keep your listings on OWB’s industry calendar up to date. Let us know if you need to make a change, and don’t forget to check the calendar before rescheduling to avoid conflicts. You can find links to post to both our industry and consumer calendars here.
While everyone is consumed with managing new business and life challenges on a day-to-day basis, we want to assure you that OWB is keeping our eyes on the future, even with the knowledge that the future is unlikely to be quite what we anticipated. We are committed to being a strong partner to this industry consistent with our charter to provide support through marketing, research, education and media relations. If you have questions but are not sure who to contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org or learn about the responsibilities of each team member here. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out.
Be well, be kind, and please wash your hands!
Director of Strategic Insights & Industry Relations