Last week the OWB’s Kai McMurtry shared an industry overview and reviewed a grab bag of wine tourism resources, such as the Oregon Wines Fly Free materials, with the Travel Portland Visitor Center’s newest volunteers. The center in Director Park will welcome around 60,000 guests this year. And since no orientation is complete without a tasting, wines from the Columbia Gorge, Southern Oregon, Portland and the Willamette Valley were poured. These orientations enable the OWB to create new ambassadors and champions, so if the tourism organization in your area wants help promoting your region’s wines and events, have them contact us and we’ll see how we can assist.
An additional request related to tourism comes from our friends at Travel Oregon who work closely with the OWB and our industry’s regional groups to support the state’s $787 million wine tourism sector. Travel Oregon is seeking your perspective via this survey, which will help planners develop the tools and resources to build out new workforce capacities essential for successful and sensible agritourism.
In case you were not aware, the OWB has applied successfully for well over $2 million in state and federal grant money over the past four years. The awards are invested in promotional and educational programming across a range of high-potential markets around the world. For example, grant money helped launch OWB’s online Resource Studio as well as the statewide Oregon Wine Touring Guide. Grants now fund important parts of the Oregon Wine Trail event series, which includes stops next year in San Francisco and Seattle. We also use the dollars to bring wine buyers here for face-to-face visits with growers to personally experience the vineyards before sitting down for tastings with winemakers from all over the state. The goal is to convert our guests into knowledgeable, tireless cheerleaders for Oregon by the time they return to their home markets.
Communicating the ways in which the OWB uses grants for maximum impact is critical to generating more funding in the future. So earlier this month, we embedded Marie Chambers and Board Treasurer Bob Morus in Governor Kate Brown’s trade mission to Asia where OWB will be building on Oregon’s momentum and leveraging our network of contacts to test out new educational programming in 2020 before rolling it out to other cities.
Separately, Northwest Wine Coalition Chairman Howard Rossbach and I were included in a USDA trade mission where I got a few minutes with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. This particular mission provided a rare opportunity to promote Oregon and our $5.6 billion wine economy at the U.S. Cabinet level. The Secretary and USDA administrators learned about ways in which federal money supplements your grape tax payments to support research scientists in Oregon, assist with wildfire recovery, and deliver Oregon wine educational and marketing programs across the U.S. and internationally.
Finally, if your calendar for next summer is already starting to fill up, make a note now and hold July 20. Whether or not you were able to join the more than 200 industry members and guests who attended the first-ever Oregon “Women in Wine” event last July, don’t miss the 2020 version. More program and registration details will follow.
OREGON WINE SYMPOSIUM
Explore the Many Dimensions of Wine Sales & Marketing
Creating an impactful consumer sales and marketing program involves so much more than providing standout hospitality in your tasting room. The Sales & Marketing track at the 2020 Oregon Wine Symposium will increase your aptitude in media relations, wine marketing compliance, commission structures and more.
Enter TEXSOM International Wine Awards with Free Shipping | Deadline: Jan. 24
OWB is again partnering with FedEx to provide free Ground shipping on Oregon entries to the TEXSOM International Wine Awards. This program is running through Jan. 24.
OSU Extension is offering a workshop covering recent research on Red Blotch Disease. Presentations will include results of Oregon-based studies investigating potential insect vectors, how the virus affects grapevine physiology, vineyard management practices to ameliorate virus effects, and effects on wine quality. A technical wine tasting will be included to show sensory impacts.
OSU Extension and OWRI are sponsoring a full-day workshop to provide grape growers with in-depth information about powdery mildew biology, management, and ways to avoid powdery mildew forming resistance to the fungicides that are currently in your disease management toolbox. Register by Dec. 2.
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Accepting Entries | Deadline: Nov. 15
Submit Wine Trials for 2020 IQ Conference | Deadline: Dec. 13
Each year, winemakers from across the country attend the IQ Conference in Napa Valley to discuss the best methods for producing the best wine. There will be an even greater focus on winemaker trials in 2020, and winemakers are invited to submit their in-house trials or full-scale production experiments and pour the results for their peers at the show.
Travel Oregon Tourism Workforce Study | Deadline: Nov. 15
To better understand what opportunities exist to support the advancement of tourism-related jobs in Oregon, Travel Oregon is conducting the Oregon Tourism Workforce Survey. If you work in Oregon’s tourism industry, which includes tasting room hospitality, please take the survey to ensure our industry is represented.