We’re at the midpoint of Oregon Wine Month and here’s a quick look at a few numbers that reflect the continued expansion of the program:
Wine country tourism events listed on the OWB’s website and promoted online: 185
On-premise accounts across the country executing Oregon wine promotional activities and listed on our site: 80
Number of distributors across the country receiving the OWB’s free Oregon Wine Month point-of-sale materials for both on- and off-premise accounts: 40
Consumer impressions in Oregon and Washington from Oregon Wine Month messaging in The Oregonian and oregonlive.com: 4.26 million
Regions represented by wines poured for visiting journalists hosted recently by the OWB: 17 out of Oregon’s 19 AVAs
New York-area trade professionals, media members and fine wine consumers hosted at OWB events last week: 650
If you are passing through Portland’s airport, you might notice that Oregon Wine Month was cleared for takeoff there too reminding thousands of travelers to make a wine country visit part of their travel planning. See more details here.
A couple weeks ago I mentioned the four-part “Learn Oregon” series of free, online sessions focused on our regions, climate, soils, wines and history. The curriculum was unveiled two months ago in anticipation of Oregon Wine Month. Many of you helped us spread the word to colleagues and business partners. As a result, participants came from a total of 45 states and 27 countries around the world. 336 wine professionals—two-thirds of them trade, media or distributor staff members—comprised the first class of graduates and earned their certificates by answering four sets of weekly study questions. Read here for a list of those grads and for further information about “Learn Oregon.” You can still get your winery associates, wholesalers and retail partners in on the program anytime.
The OWB’s recent statewide tour to invite input that will guide future Marketing and Communications programming included eight industry meetings at which the importance of driving wine tourism and helping to increase direct sales came up regularly. Anticipating those sentiments, two OWB-sponsored learning opportunities were already in the works. They are coming your way starting tomorrow and have been designed with mid-sized and early-stage family businesses in mind:
Grant-funded consumer research is now complete and two workshops are scheduled to share information specifically profiling visitors who came to the Rogue Valley and those who visited the Columbia Gorge. Details on the Willamette Valley’s visitor profile research presentation are right here as well;
In partnership with the Oregon Wine Brotherhood, we’re glad to announce a free, two-part, web-based series on “ConvertingGuests to Club Members.” Click here for more information and to register for the 90-minute sessions which will be held May 29 and 30.
Finally, the OWB’s Education Committee meets again at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 in McMinnville. There is a dial-in option for those who can’t make it in person that day. Consider this an open invitation to join the group and guide the curation of seminar subject matter and content for the Oregon Wine Symposium while also contributing to the OWB’s other industry workshops. We’re especially interested in adding new Education Committee members from beyond the Willamette Valley and in hearing from those with ideas to expand our marketing, sales and guest service sessions. Contact OWB Education Manager Bree Stock MW for more details about the committee or to RSVP for May 30.
NEWS FROM THE OREGON WINEGROWERS ASSOCIATION
Thank you to the dozens of OWA member wineries that have committed to joining us in Portland for our wine and food tasting event on June 2. We’re expecting about 400 Portland-area enthusiasts to be with us to discover wineries representing 16 of Oregon’s 19 AVAs. If you’re with a participating winery and have questions about June 2, contact Jessica Blauert.
And as lawmakers in Salem enter the final six weeks of the 2019 session, OWA continues to engage on a few pieces of legislation that are of particular interest to our members:
Senate Bill 111-A has catalyzed some long-overdue conversations with growers and winemakers all across the state about the future of our statewide wine enterprise. OWA is holding its third open meeting this morning in McMinnville to hear from the industry about the bill. Thank you to those who came out for the listening sessions held May 1 in Southern Oregon. If you haven’t had time to follow the evolution of SB 111-A, see this list of responses to some of the questions we have gotten about it over the past couple of months. The likely next step for SB 111-A is a public hearing to be convened by a sub-committee of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. The hearing date has not yet been determined.
If you missed the earlier news about Senate Bill 7, the measure written to lower Oregon’s legally permissible Blood Alcohol Content level, that proposed legislation is off the table for 2019.
Senate Bill 595, which was aimed at redirecting some of the money generated by local lodging taxes away from wine tourism, will face political headwinds as lawmakers are forced to focus on their highest legislative priorities.
Senate Bill 257 seeks funding for Oregon State University’s Agricultural Experiment Stations and includes at least half of the fermentation science research money that is primarily dedicated to grape and wine projects. SB 257 passed out of the Senate Education Committee last month and is with the Joint Committee on Ways and Means awaiting further action.
Order Oregon Wine Touring Guides for Your Summer Visitors
With maps, itineraries and 500 tasting room listings, the 2019 Oregon Wine Touring Guide is a strong addition to any tasting room or tourism business. Order your complimentary case of 40 copies now in advance of the summer travel season.
Recapping Learn Oregon: An Online Oregon Wine Training
This March, OWB launched Learn Oregon, a 4-week online master class curriculum. More than 2,000 members of the trade, media and industry from 45 states and 27 countries enrolled, with 336 participants receiving a certificate for fully completing the course by answering all of the weekly critical thinking questions.
Oregon Researchers Awarded “2019 Best Viticulture Paper” by ASEV
The American Society of Enology and Viticulture recognized the research team helmed by Paul Schreiner and including James Osborne and Patty Skinkis with the award for “2019 Best Viticulture Paper.” Their paper, “Nitrogen Requirements of Pinot noir Based on Growth Parameters, Must Composition, and Fermentation Behavior,” was based in part on research funded by the OWB.
Workshop: Spring Vineyard Mechanization – Central Point | May 17
Join Dr. Alex Levin for a workshop focusing on vineyard floor management and precision spraying, including the showcasing of a new intelligent sprayer being evaluated by OSU. Advance registration required.
Workshop: Getting to Know the Columbia Gorge Wine Visitor | May 21
Webinar: SVB’s Insights for Successful Consumer Wine Sales | May 22
Join Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank who, along with a panel of experts, will be sharing the highlights from their 2019 consumer wine sales survey, which was completed in March with more than 1,000 participating wineries.
Webinar: Converting Guests to Wine Club Members | May 29-30
The OWB, in partnership with the Oregon Wine Brotherhood, is sponsoring a 4-week series of educational webinars on tasting room and wine club management. Presented by Susie Tucker of VingDirect, the first week’s two-part training will focus on how to convert tasting room guests to wine club members. Note, you must register for each webinar separately to receive links to join.
Seminar: Willamette Valley Visitor Profile Study Final Report | June 5
Wine Press Northwest is seeking sparkling wines produced by Pacific Northwest wineries with fruit sourced from Washington, Oregon or Idaho. Top wines will appear in Wine Press Northwest magazine and online. Wines earning the top rating of “Outstanding” are eligible for participation in the 20th annual invitation-only Platinum judging this fall.
Travel Oregon Competitive Small Grants Application Period Opens May 20
Travel Oregon has published their 2019-20 Competitive Small Grants guidelines. Applications will be accepted between May 20 and June 19. Small Grant requests can be up to $20,000 and only require a 10 percent cash match. If you would like a letter of support for your application from the OWB, let us know by June 7.
Three Regional Associations Awarded Wine Country Plates Grants
Rogue Valley Vintners, Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association and Willamette Valley Wineries Association were all successful in their bids to receive an Oregon Wine Country Plates matching grant in the 2019 cycle. Congratulations!