Around this time each fall, the Oregon Wine Board submits an annual report that looks back on the highlights of our work for the industry in Research, Education, Media Relations and Marketing. Over the past year, your Board and management team have partnered with growers and winemakers across the state to identify the critical elements of an updated strategic plan that will guide OWB efforts over the next five years. This latest annual report presents those strategies in greater detail and illustrates ways in which we are translating them into programs and resources to help you develop your businesses.
One especially encouraging section in the annual report mentions the strength of global demand for Oregon wines. As you may have seen in the OWB’s latest Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report, Oregon’s international volume was up +10.7% in 2018 versus a year ago. With more Oregon wineries now looking to export markets for new customers and broader distribution, the OWB has been successful in accessing additional streams of federal grant funding. The new dollars enable OWB to invest in educational programming and tastings in high-potential markets while also allowing us to bring influential decision makers from around the world here to Oregon for more seminars, tasting events and relationship-building meetings.
The OWB’s global activity calendar reflects input from winemakers who meet regularly and together make up the OWB’s International Committee. The committee’s 2020 event schedule was sent last week and wineries are invited to pre-register for OWB events to be held next year across three provinces in Canada, in Mexico as well as in Europe and Asia.
Turning to the OWB’s domestic events calendar, take a look at the West Coast cities where the acclaimed Oregon Wine Trail leads in 2020. Oregon Wine Trail events each include a Master Class for trade members followed by separate trade and consumer tastings with spaces for approximately 50 wineries. Next spring, Oregon Wine Trail events offer opportunities to meet new customers in our important neighboring states, California and Washington.
Pouring positions for those tastings will be allocated proportionately by region but they tend to go quickly, so be on the lookout for the registration announcement coming this Thursday. The recap of our New York City Oregon Wine Trail stop may be helpful for those less familiar with the format.
Finally, congratulations to these Oregon nominees for Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2019 Wine Star Awards. Winners will be recognized at the gala event in San Francisco on Jan. 27.
Social Visionary of the Year: Bertony Faustin Innovator of the Year: Oregon Solidarity American Winery of the Year: Domaine Serene Wine Region of the Year: Walla Walla Valley, Oregon/Washington
NEWS FROM THE OREGON WINEGROWERS ASSOCIATION
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley was receptive to OWA’s recent request and kept Oregon grape growers and winemakers in mind as ranking minority member on the U.S. Senate’s sub-committee for ag. appropriations. Sen. Merkley included $5 million for smoke exposure research in Senate Bill 2522. The money is intended for studies to help establish threshold levels of wildfire smoke compounds and expand our understanding of the way these complex phenols can negatively affect grapes. Research scientists at UC Davis, Oregon State University and Washington State University have been in contact over the summer to map out potential research approaches. S. 2522 still requires full Senate approval as well as reconciliation with a bill in the House of Representatives, which earlier included $1.5 million for this research. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.
And if you missed the passage of Oregon House Bill 2509 before it was signed into law by Governor Brown last June, you were not alone. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, retailers including winery tasting rooms in Oregon may not provide “single use” bags to consumers. “Single use” means the bag does not contain at least 40% recycled paper, reusable fabric or plastic. The retailer is also to charge at least 5 cents each for “recycled” paper or reusable plastic/fabric bags. A “recycled” bag is defined as one containing at least 40% post-consumer recycled fiber. The law also allows wineries to give away free reusable fabric bags for tasting room guests up to 12 times a year, which could be a part of a winery’s branding campaign.
You may be hearing about this new law from your vendors. Be aware that each day after Jan. 1 on which the retailer commits a violation qualifies as a separate offense and each one can result in a fine of up to $250.
Registration Open for OWB’s 2020 International Events
Registration is now open for OWB’s 2020 slate of international tasting events. Included are events in Mexico City, Toronto, Montréal and Calgary, as well as two tradeshows: ProWein in Germany and Vinexpo in Hong Kong. These events are suited to those already exporting or seeking an importer.
In 2020 OWB will take the Oregon Wine Trail, our consumer and trade tasting event, to San Francisco (March) and Seattle (May). Winery registration for both events will begin Oct. 3 primarily on a first-come first-served basis. An invitation to register will be sent via email Thursday morning.
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.
Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry Survey | Deadline: Oct. 22
Silicon Valley Bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry survey is open through Oct. 22. From the data gathered, SVB produces its annual report on the industry, and your participation helps enable SVB to report Oregon-specific results. Survey participants will receive anonymous results, detailed analysis and dozens of charts.
2018 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report Now Available
The 2018 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report was recently released, indicating steady growth within many areas of our state’s wine industry. The report details planted and harvested acreage, tonnage and yields by region and variety, as well as data on crush by region and sales by a variety of channels.
Dr. James Osborne on Dealing with Compromised Fruit
Given the recent wet weather, now is a good time to revisit an article written by Dr. James Osborne, OSU asssociate professor & enology extension specialist, in Wines & Vines on dealing with compromised fruit in the winery.
BioChar Workshop | Oct. 18-19
Join biochar consultant Kelpie Wilson for a free two-day workshop that explores how charred biomass can increase soil productivity, reduce wildfire risk, and slow climate change. The workshop includes a demonstration on making biochar and teaches methods for using biochar in compost and animal barns to recover nutrients for use in soil.
OSU Vineyard Red Blotch Workshop | Nov. 20
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.
CALLS FOR WINE
Submit Wines for Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book | Deadline: Oct. 15
If you have an experiment or trial you would like to develop and share at the 2020 Oregon Wine Symposium, contact Scott Dwyer. You may also reach out with an idea for which you need help developing a protocol. The Symposium organizers are searching for three trials, ideally focused on viticulture, enology and a product/tool.
2020 Travel Oregon Grant Opportunities
It’s not too early for associations to begin thinking about projects or opportunities eligible for Travel Oregon grant funding in 2020. As a reminder, OWB is happy to provide letters of support and may be able to provide funds for professional grant writers.
Funding Available to Help Offset Organic Certification Costs | Deadline: Oct. 31
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has announced the availability of cost-share rebate funds for certified organic farmers and processors. The rebates are available to cover certification expenses paid between Oct. 1, 2018 and Sept. 30, 2019. The deadline to submit applications is Oct. 31.
Come Share Your Winery’s Story with the OWB
The OWB team always likes getting to know better the community we represent. Wineries are invited to sign up to share their wines and brand story with us in our office at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know our organization better, ask questions and share your suggestions.
TONIGHT: Linfield Wine Lecture Series: A Latina’s Path to Wine | Oct. 1
Tonight at 7 p.m. at Linfield College, Latina winemaker Elena Rodriguez of Alumbra Cellars shares her winemaking journey, the history of her vineyard site, the Alumbra brand, and plans for the future.
2020 Oregon Wine Industry Awards Nominations Open | Deadline: Nov. 8
Nominations for the 2020 Oregon Wine Industry Awards are being accepted until Nov. 8. The awards recognize contributions to the industry and will be presented at a luncheon during the Oregon Wine Symposium in February.
OWB 2018-19 Annual Report Released
The OWB’s 2018-19 annual report is now available and has been submitted to the State. The report provides a recap of financials as well as a comprehensive overview of activities performed and results achieved by the OWB during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Find or List Grapes for Sale on OWB’s 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, equipment and job opportunities.