Oregon Wine Month is officially underway and off to a great start. Although our budget was constrained due to a reduction in tax revenue, our creativity more than made up for it with the development of new programming and renewed engagement from winery national sales managers around the state.
The month-long celebration of Oregon Wine launched on May 1 with an exciting new social media campaign hosted on Instagram and Facebook called Pour it Forward (#pouritfORward), which serves as a chain of appreciation between Oregon winemakers across the state. Thirty-one Oregon winemakers are featured in the campaign. In videos posted each day of Oregon Wine Month, winemakers talk about wine made by their peers in engaging videos lasting 60 seconds or less.
To see the campaign, go to the OWB’s Instagram and Facebook channels. Videos will also be housed on the Oregon Wine Month consumer site. We’d also encourage you to take this idea and run with it yourself. Just post a simple video shout-out to an Oregon winemaker and wine you admire with the hashtag #PourItForward and you’re done. Thanks to Sally Murdoch, OWB’s communications manager, and industry partner Kayt Mathers of Play Nice PR for creating and launching this new campaign.
I have been impressed with the scores of emails, newsletters, posts and promotions developed by wineries across the state reflecting the new Oregon Wine brand. Obviously, most have seen and started to use the Oregon Wine Month toolkit developed by Kai McMurtry, our consumer relations manager. In it you’ll find updated graphics, logos and digital materials reflecting all of our new branding elements ready to download, use and share.
Rounding out the new elements for Oregon Wine Month are a series of educational seminars created and hosted by OWB Education Director and Master of Wine Bree Stock. Launched in April and continuing through May, these four webinars explore the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, Walla Walla Valley and the Columbia Gorge. They are open to everyone and we highly encourage you to share these learning opportunities with your staff, customers and trade partners.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the work the Oregon Wine Board is funding and undertaking with a wide range of more than 30 wine industry leaders with the assistance of Oregon Solutions. Originally located in the governor’s office, Oregon Solutions migrated to the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State University in 2002. When Oregon departments, organizations and communities face unique issues that require creativity and collaboration to overcome, Oregon Solutions provides a system and process for problem solving, using what is called community governance.
Initiated in Q1 2020 with an expected conclusion in Q4 of this year, this in-depth exploration of our industry was suggested and supported by OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks. Growers and winemakers from across the state have been taking a strategic look at the sources of funding for the Oregon Wine Board as well as the allocation of those dollars across the existing Marketing, Research, Communications and Education mandates of the OWB and within the frame of the current 5-year OWB strategic plan. The group last met on April 13 and the OWB provided a detailed review of the sources and uses of funds that I have linked to here.
The first set of charts shows a representation of our 2021-22 forecasted funding by source and the program areas that will be funded with those dollars. You will also note two pending grants and their intended use.
The second slide reflects how dollars will be allocated against our three Strategic Pillars: Enhance Reputation; Deliver Knowledge and Insights; and Provide Leadership and Partnership. On this page we have also reflected how the time of OWB’s managers is allocated by dollars and headcount against each pillar.
The third chart is a representation of how our budget is planned to be spent across our specific program areas (i.e., Research, Education, Tourism, etc.) and again, we have reflected how staffing expenses are allocated across each program area.
We hope these charts provide another level of transparency and understanding to the work of the OWB. We will keep you abreast of the industry work with Oregon Solutions in the months to come. To view a recording of the OWB’s April 13 presentation with more detailed explanations of this information click here.
On behalf of the staff and directors of the OWB, thank you for all you are doing in support of Oregon Wine Month and your continued support of the industry.
Chair, Oregon Wine Board
Oregon Wine Brand Toolkit: New Assets Available
Your new Oregon Wine brand, first unveiled at Symposium, continues to be deployed across OWB and partner channels. Importantly, the brand’s toolkit was recently updated to include statewide and regional graphics as well as the full Brand Guide. Visit the toolkit anytime to download these assets for use in your digital or print communications.
It’s Oregon Wine Month! Be Part of the Celebration
It’s Oregon Wine Month all May long. The program toolkit is full of content you can post on your social feeds—like consumer sweepstakes details—as well as easily customizable assets that let you highlight your business while participating in the statewide celebration of Oregon Wine. Details on the #PourItForward campaign, downloadable point of sale graphics and more can be found on the toolkit as well.
Share the Oregon Wine Month Trade Education Series (in progress)
This year’s Oregon Wine Month programming features four master class webinars hosted by OWB Education Director Bree Stock MW. Designed for the trade, these sessions focus on Oregon and its major winegrowing regions. Registration links and recordings are available to share with your trade contacts.
Optimize Google My Business with Free Tools
Travel Oregon has partnered with Portland-based company Locl to provide free access to a suite of Google My Business (GMB) optimization tools to help Oregon travel and tourism businesses optimize their GMB profiles. To learn more, watch this informational webinar or visit Travel Oregon’s toolkit.
Wine Spectator Co-op Advertising Opportunity | Deadline: Aug. 24
Wine Spectator is offering a cooperative advertising opportunity in the November 2021 holiday edition, providing exposure in the magazine at a more affordable price than standalone advertising. Participation is first-come, first-served. The deadline to reserve space is Aug. 24. Click here to learn more or contact Cheryl Lewis.
OWB-Sponsored Research Update: Grapevine Trunk Diseases in Oregon Vineyards
Dr. Achala KC, assistant professor of plant pathology at OSU, has prepared an update about research she is conducting to identify fungal pathogens associated with grapevine trunk disease in Oregon, the impacts of different climates on spore dispersal, and cultural practices that can help mitigate grapevine trunk diseases.
OWB-Sponsored Research Update: Using MLF to Prevent Brett Spoilage
Dr. James Osborrne, assistant professor and enology extension specialist at OSU, has prepared an update about his research investigating 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 Q1 Newsletter Published
The Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research (NSCFR) has published the first edition of its new quarterly newsletter, with updates on Pacific Northwest research, news, USDA funding, personnel and NCSFR events. Read the spring 2021 newsletter and subscribe to receive future editions.
May 2021 Weather and Climate Forecast
On May 5, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield University published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at April conditions and forecasts conditions for May, June and July.
Webinar: How To Modernize Your Wine Club for Growth and Retention | May 27
While more and more wineries are moving from traditional clubs towards user-choice models to offer customers flexibility, is that enough to keep up with consumers’ rising expectations? Join OWB and Commerce7 on May 27 for a webinar exploring the current landscape of wine clubs and subscriptions, the differences between the models, the impact of consumer preferences, and the actions wineries can take to modernize their wine clubs for growth.
Oregon Wine Research Institute Spring Seminar Series | May 11-June 8
Join OWRI for a live webinar series Tuesdays from May 11 to June 8. Topics covered in this series will include research projects on Red Blotch, wine lipids, gene editing, powdery mildew, soil moisture, and managing botrytis and spoilage risks. The virtual webinars are free, but registration is required to attend.
Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism | June 15-16
Travel Oregon will be holding its Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism virtually this year at no charge to attendees. The event brings the travel and tourism industry together to celebrate past work, find new inspiration, dive into educational topics, and look ahead as Oregon rebuilds and recovers the tourism economy after a tumultuous year.
Linfield University Wine Studies Summer Bootcamps | July & August
Connoisseurs’ Guide seeks Zinfandel and Rosé | Deadline: May 22
Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine is a monthly wine review newsletter covering thousands of West Coast wines annually since 1974. Its readers, primarily based in California, are trade and avid consumers who buy and recommend Oregon wines. The publication is seeking Zinfandel and rosé wines to review for its July edition. Future review opportunities are also listed.
The Oregon Wine Competition Now Accepting Entries | Deadline: June 11
The Oregon Wine Competition provides an excellent opportunity for Oregon winemakers to have a panel of internationally renowned experts assess their wine. This year’s competition will take place July 17-18, and award-winning wines will be featured at the 2021 Oregon Wine Experience event in August. Wineries may submit up to five of their wines by June 11. All wines must be produced from 100% Oregon-sourced grapes and must be commercially available.
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.