As we approach the 60th anniversary of our industry’s founding, Oregon grapegrowers and winemakers have proven this is one of the Earth’s great wine regions. We’re now a diverse lot producing thousands of creative wines. Thankfully, we still have vintage variation, but our products are more highly regarded and cellar worthy than ever. Enthusiasts and media have embraced us.
Certainly there are global demographic and psychographic consumer shifts that we need to address. And now we all face a very uncertain economic future as a result of an historic pandemic. But I’m encouraged by our behavior as an industry over the past several weeks. While in lockdown, we gathered together electronically to share, discuss and plan for recovery. Many thanks to those industry leaders who found the resilience to draft necessary statewide guidelines that allowed us to begin serving customers again. It’s worth noting, too, that had it not been for those guidelines and the advocacy work of the OWA and OWC in Salem, tasting rooms would not have been included in the Phase I reopening of businesses. Once again, advocacy, preparedness and collaboration paid off.
We can celebrate our direct-to-consumer sales that have kept cash flowing to our businesses. We opened this market channel by sustained advocacy for it both in-state and out-of-state. No one winery accomplished that alone. Those advocacy efforts required concerted cooperation and our collective commitment over time.
As we sail on through challenging seas, I urge us all to work together to forge a new future, just as we’ve done since the beginning. We’ll never agree on everything, but our common needs are best addressed through cooperation. No one knows exactly what the wine market will look like going forward, but be assured it will be different than the past. Working locally within regional associations and common interest groups makes sense, yet we haven’t exhausted the value of cooperating as a state.
Let us sustain the collegial spirit that got us here. Together we will thrive.
OWB Vice Chairman
Oregon Wine Reopening Guidelines for Tasting Rooms
We’re assembling a database of all tasting rooms open for onsite hospitality using visit.oregonwine.org. As of today we will refer consumers and media to that site for up-to-date information. Filtered results will only capture tasting rooms that have been updated as open for onsite consumption. Please help us keep it accurate.
Sell More Wine with Oregon Vine Perks
OWB recently launched Oregon Vine Perks, a new consumer rewards program aimed at inspiring sales of Oregon wine now and visitation as tasting rooms reopen and people start traveling again. Visit the Oregon Vine Perks toolkit to learn more and for assets to promote the program to your customers.
WISE Academy introduces a new online course, Digital Mastery, which starts May 28. The three parts—Email Marketing, Social Media, and Websites in the Year 2020—can be taken separately for $99 each or as a package for $200. Contact WISE Academy if you cannot afford to pay at this time.
Online Workshop: Getting Started with Facebook Ads | June 3
MTO Agency is offering affordable access to its monthly online workshops. Sign up for a $49/month membership using code MTOFORALL to access workshops designed to help wine businesses develop and optimize social media and e-commerce strategies. This includes the upcoming June 3 workshop, Getting Started with Facebook Ads.
Webinar: Beverage Alcohol in a COVID Environment | June 3
Webinar: Consumer & Trade Perceptions of Sustainable Wine | June 5
As part of a multi-state group dedicated to raising awareness about sustainable wine growing, the OWB is helping to host a free webinar on June 5. The focus will be on recent consumer and trade research that indicates an increasing market for sustainably grown and produced wine.
Stoel Reeves LLP and the Oregon Farm Bureau will host their third annual Agriculture Law conference in-person in Bend with the option to join by live webcast. The program will include a recap of the 2020 legislative session, a look ahead to the 2021 legislative session and updates regarding key areas of environmental law.
CALLS FOR WINE
Enter the Oregon Wine Competition | Deadline: June 12
As the foundation of the annual Oregon Wine Experience event, the Oregon Wine Competition invites all licensed Oregon wineries to submit wines to be evaluated by a panel of world-renowned judges, including Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, wine writers and DWSET educators. Read Bree Stock MW’s take on what makes this a worthwhile competition. The entry deadline is June 12.
Matching Marketing Grants Available to Oregon Businesses
The Oregonian | OregonLive and Pamplin Media are both offering matching marketing dollars up to $2.5 million and $1 million respectively to local businesses impacted by COVID-19. Applications are being accepted now.
Oregon Wine Industry Calendar
As a reminder, the OWB’s industry website hosts a calendar with entries that include 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.