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
Urgent: Contact State Leaders About COVID-19 Economic Impacts
The Oregon Winegrowers Association announced Sunday that there is a perception with state policymakers that the wine industry is doing fine during the COVID-19 crisis. OWA encourages wineries and vineyards to tell lawmakers their stories of how the crisis has created an economic hardship for individual businesses and the industry. Emails should be sent today. See the OWA announcement for guidance and where to send your message.
Oregon Wine Industry COVID-19 Toolkit
Stay up to date with industry news related to this crisis period through the OWB’s COVID-19 Oregon Wine Industry Toolkit. There, you can also find other ways of staying in touch such as industry Facebook groups and the OWB’s COVID-19 bulletins.
Oregon Wine Trail Seattle Postponed
The Oregon Wine Trail event scheduled for May 11 in Seattle has been postponed. We are working on identifying a new date and will be in touch with registered wineries as the situation develops. Please contact Kai McMurtry with related questions.
Update on OWB International Events
OWB’s busy slate of spring and summer international events has been significantly impacted by the global outbreak of COVID-19. If you are registered for an event that is being impacted, we will be contacting you directly and we appreciate your patience as we work through the logistics. Please contact Margaret Bray with related questions.
Participate in the 2019 Vineyard & Winery Survey | Deadline: April 30
All Oregon vineyard and winery owners should have received an invitation to participate in the annual Vineyard & Winery Survey on Monday, March 30. Your participation is vital to ensuring we can benchmark the 2019 vintage to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on our industry. If you did not receive an invitation to participate, please contact the study’s organizer, Bob Parker at the University of Oregon.
OWB Market Insights Report: Oregon Wine Performance in Off-Premise Retail
OWRI Oregon Red Blotch Disease Survey | Deadline: May 1
The Oregon Wine Research Institute Red Blotch Study Team is working to understand the status of Red Blotch Disease in Oregon and related industry needs as they develop future research into the disease. Please help by completing this brief online survey by May 1.
OWB-Sponsored Research Update: Red Blotch Virus Transmission and Management of Associated Vectors
Dr. Vaughn Walton, professor and horticultural entomologist at OSU, has prepared an update about research he is conducting to improve understanding of the transmission of grapevine red blotch virus and management of key vectors associated with its transmission.
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.
Webinar: A Look at Online & Direct Wine Purchasing in a New Reality from Wine Market Council | April 3 at 10 a.m.
Join Christian Miller of Full Glass Research and Danny Brager of Nielsen for a 30-minute webinar that will revisit research on Consumer Online and Direct Wine Purchasing. Normally offered only to Wine Market Council members, the OWB has arranged for any Oregon winery to enroll. Pre-register if you plan to attend.
Webinar: Creating a Digital Sales & Marketing Roadmap for Resilience & Profitability | April 8 at 3:30 p.m.
Popular Symposium speaker Gretchen Fox of MTO Agency is offering a free live webinar exclusively for Oregon wine producers on April 8. Hear strategies for maximizing your wine business online and steps you can take to protect your business in the months ahead.
Save $25 on Webinars from DTC Wine Workshops
OWB has negotiated a discount for all Oregon wineries on the current offerings from education partner DTC Wine Workshops. Their catalog includes “Virtual Wine Tasting Setup in 5 Steps or Less” and “Direct Wine Telesales & Account Management.” Use code OWB20 to get your discount when registering.
To Be Welcoming: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Curriculum from Starbucks
Starbucks has partnered with Arizona State University to produce a 15-part curriculum to help hospitality associates create a more welcoming environment. The short courses are available to all for free in a self-paced format.
WSET Offering Flexible Payment Options for New Diploma Students
The Grape Experience Wine & Spirit School is offering new WSET Diploma students the option of deferring part of their enrollment fee. This is in recognition of the fact that prospective students may find themselves with extra time while experiencing added financial constraints at this time.
CALLS FOR WINE
Josh Raynolds Seeking Wines for Upcoming Oregon Report | Deadline: April 17
Josh Raynolds is currently accepting wines for his upcoming Oregon Report in Vinous, which has a monthly visit count of more than 100,000. This is an open call with no specific restrictions on vintage or variety. Samples must arrive by April 17.
Decanter Seeks Oregon Chardonnay for Article | Deadline: April 18
Wine reviewer Charles Curtis MW has been commissioned to write an article on Oregon Chardonnay for a summer issue of Decanter. He is gathering samples through April 18. There are no vintage requirements, but the wine must be available to consumers in New York through distribution or direct shipment.
International Wine Review Seeks Oregon Rosé Samples | Deadline: May 15
The International Wine Review is compiling its annual rosé review, and this year it will focus on Pinot noir, although not exclusively. For that reason, the editors have specifically reached out for Oregon submissions. Samples must be received by May 15, but earlier is appreciated.
The Globe and Mail Seeks Wines for Review
The wine and spirits columnist at one of Canada’s most widely read newspapers, The Globe and Mail, invites producers to submit samples for review. An upcoming theme will feature alternative packaging, while rosés, sparkling wines and value selections are of ongoing interest. Wine must be available through the liquor monopolies in Canada.
The Wine Advocate’s Oregon Report to Publish April 9
For those awaiting Erin Brooks’ Oregon Report in The Wine Advocate, the reviewer has let OWB know that it will be published in its entirety on April 9, rather than in two parts as it has appeared in years prior. As always OWB will provide a summary of the report shortly after its release, and the best way to get breaking news and full tasting notes is to subscribe.
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.
Advice on Virtual Meetings
We’ve put together a primer on virtual meeting etiquette and troubleshooting, in the hopes of making this new virtual life just a little easier and more manageable for everyone.