The quick return of warm weather sure caught me by surprise and serves as a good reminder that we are once again moving into peak wine tourism season. That makes this a very good time to review guest service practices with winery hospitality teams and ensure everyone in a consumer-facing role is properly permitted to pour wine. A recent episode involving a wine event on the Oregon coast suggests some of our colleagues would benefit from a quick visit to the OLCC’s alcohol service page. While it might seem obvious to many, servers simply must be in possession of a valid permit when pouring wine for the public.
Oregon Winegrowers Association members can review additional information on this important subject, including an OLCC webinar hosted last year by the OWA, when they log into the Reference Toolbox.
Wineries across the state have the Oregon Winegrowers Association and WineAmerica to thank for the sustained efforts put forth, including face-to-face meetings with TTB and our state’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., urging immediate action addressing the unwelcome and unintentional change to federal excise taxes on wines transferred in bond after bottling to third-party warehouses. The tax code revision was unexpectedly built into last December’s new law. If you were not aware of the seriousness, the law makes finished goods stored offsite at either a bonded wine cellar or another bonded winery ineligible for any excise tax credits unless the producer complies with TTB’s somewhat confusing “alternate procedure.” The problem was compounded by TTB’s earlier stance that the “alternate procedure” would expire at the end of next month. For perspective, the magnitude of the tax benefit involved here comes out to $11,880 per year for a 5,000 case winery storing wines offsite.
Read here for some welcome news from the OWA and Davis Wright Tremaine about the TTB’s latest decision, announced last week, which will allow wineries to continue claiming the tax credits through 2019. OWA members can expect a webinar, to be announced soon, during which the benefits of the new tax law along with the important compliance requirements will be explained in detail. If your business is not yet an OWA member, and costs savings such as these are important to you, click here to learn more about the various OWA programs that are already helping hundreds of Oregon wine business owners save money and manage their operations more effectively.
Since we’re in the thick of Oregon Wine Month, it’s timely to commemorate it with some great news from Wine Business Monthly. WBM’s announcement shines a welcome spotlight on Oregon’s A to Z Wineworks. The winery won the “Vinnie” award for Best Integrated Marketing Campaign with its ‘Exceptionally Food Friendly Wines’ program. The award was bestowed by the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University and Wine Business Monthly. Congratulations A to Z.
Now that I’ve brought up global recognition for our Oregon wine industry peers, how about Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden in Jacksonville? Founding owners Bill and Barbara Steele earned the world’s first Living Building™ Certification ever given to a winery tasting room. This designation is regarded as the world’s most rigorous green-building standard according to the International Living Future Institute. Well-played Cowhorn.
And sadly, we lost an important member of our Oregon wine community last month when Stephen Cary passed away. Stephen played a trailblazing role shaping the industry during its early days, helping to start the annual winemakers conference at Steamboat Inn and championing wider distribution for Oregon wines around the world. Doug Frost, MW and MS, put it nicely in remembering that “Stephen was such a true believer, and had such a radiant intelligence and understanding of where things were heading that I never doubted for a moment.” A memorial for Stephen will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12, at Yamhill Valley Vineyards.
Oregon Wine Board
Share the Oregon Wine Month Sweepstakes
Oregon Wine Month is nearly over for 2018 but there’s still time to share the sweepstakes. One lucky winner and guest will soar over the Willamette Valley for an aerial AVA tour as well as explore the soils and personalities unique to Oregon. Share this great opportunity with your social channels and newsletter subscribers. View the industry toolkit.
2018 Oregon Wine Touring Guide Available
The 2018 Oregon Wine Touring Guide is available for complimentary order and delivery. This third edition of the guide is packed with new photography, editorial content and updated listings for more than 500 tasting rooms across the state. The 2018 guide is for wineries, hotels and other tourism-related businesses. Order your case.
Oregon Wine in L.A. Master Class Available to Watch
As a part of the Oregon Wine Trail trade event in Los Angeles on April 24, OWB’s Bree Boskov MW and Chris Tanghe MS of GuildSomm presented Mastering Oregon. Attended by 70 qualified L.A.-area trade, this master class highlighted eight different varieties from nine Oregon AVAs. Watch the full recording.
OWRI Grapevine Red Blotch Disease Survey
The Oregon Wine Research Institute at Oregon State University is conducting a survey on Grapevine Red Blotch Disease to understand how widespread the disease is in Oregon and what educational information is needed by industry. The survey should not take more than a few minutes. Begin the survey.
OSU Agricultural Water Survey
Researchers at Oregon State University are reaching out to all produce growers in the state of Oregon to investigate water use practices in order to help farmers meet new federal requirements. A short survey has been created to better understand water practices on produce farms. Begin the survey.
May 2018 Weather and Climate Forecast
On May 5, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at April conditions, provides an updated drought watch, and forecasts conditions for May, June and July. Read the report.
CALLS FOR WINE
The Wine Advocate Comes to Oregon – Submissions Due June 4
Oregon has a new critic at The Wine Advocate, Erin Brooks, and she’s headed to Oregon in June. Erin is planning her review of Oregon wines and has invited Oregon winemakers to submit wines for a comprehensive tasting while she visits. To submit your wines for review they must be received in Salem by June 4. See the full submission guidelines.
Oregon Wine Experience Competition – Submissions Due June 15
The Oregon Wine Experience is gearing up for its 15th year this August, with August 4-5 being the renowned Oregon Wine Competition. The organizers are hoping to expand with new wineries throughout Oregon. See the full submission guidelines.
May Calls for Wine
There are a number of opportunities for media placements and calls for Cabernet Sauvignon in the Wine & Spirits holiday issue and WinePress NW. Read more and learn how to apply.
Apply Now to be Considered for the Oregon Wine Board of Directors in 2019
There are expected to be two openings on the nine-member Oregon Wine Board starting in Jan. 2019. Applications for those positions are being accepted until July 31. The Governor’s Oregon Wine Board appointees are also invited to stand for ratification by members of the Oregon Winegrowers Association to serve concurrently on both Boards of Directors. Read more and learn how to apply.
Travel Oregon Publishes Economic Tourism Impact from 1991-2017
The report describes the economic impacts of travel to and through the state and each of its 36 counties over the time period of 1991 to 2017, and includes detailed estimates of travel spending, employment earnings and more. A primary objective of the research is to provide reliable figures that permit year-to-year comparisons at the state and county levels. View the interactive database for your county or region.
Oregon Wine Country Plates Grants Awards Announced
Travel Oregon has announced that eight projects have been awarded a total of $184,200 in grant funding through the Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grants Program for the 2018-19 cycle. The OWB and the Willamette Valley Visitors Association were both awarded grants to pursue wine country visitor insights. Read more about all award recipients.
2016 Economic Impact Report Released
OWB issued a press release on March 19 about the newest economic impact figures compiled by Full Glass Research. The preliminary numbers in the economic impact study, last conducted in 2013, measure the economic contributions the Oregon wine industry makes to the state, and reveals impressive growth from the work of Oregon vintners in 2016. Read the press release and full report.
List or Search Grapes for Sale on the Marketplace
If you are looking for a buyer for your grapes, or are interested in buying grapes, don’t forget to check out the Marketplace on the OWB’s industry website. The Marketplace also includes listings for bulk wine, real estate, equipment and job opportunities. Post items for sale or visit the Marketplace to search items for sale.