If you are among those who have had just about enough of 2020, take your mind off it for a minute, look ahead a few months, then mark your calendar for the virtual Oregon Wine Symposium unfolding over four straight days starting Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. The industry’s Education Committee has designed an outstanding event schedule with a daily session from each of the three curriculum areas: viticulture, enology and business. Further Symposium details are on the way next week including ticket prices, which are coming down significantly in recognition of the unique stresses on business owners this year as well as the lower costs associated with the move to an all-online format.
Although we won’t be able to gather in person for the Symposium, we will be continuing the longstanding tradition of honoring exceptional service with our annual industry awards. Your nominations make that part of the program a memorable highlight every year. Click here to see past winners by category and to recommend a co-worker or colleague for the recognition so many of our peers richly deserve honoring their contributions during the pandemic and fire smoke emergencies.
If you missed last Friday’s Executive Order from Governor Brown, it extends the enhanced health and safety requirements for ag worker housing through April 30, 2021. The Food Security & Farmworker Safety program offers reimbursements to help offset costs incurred in complying with the more stringent housing, transportation and field sanitation regulations. Check here in the OWB’s COVID-19 Toolkit for details on the deadlines for submitting applications and payment requests.
While we are careful about pushing out surveys, we will be responding to industry requests that we help gather accurate information on the economic impact of this year’s wildfires and smoke events. The OWB’s Economic Impact study will reopen later this week to capture updated information following the wildfires. Those who have already participated can expect to hear from the researchers directly.
In addition, we will be participating with our California and Washington state counterparts in an upcoming effort to aggregate smoke impact data across the three states supporting the advocacy effort seeking to get federal relief dollars allocated to grape growers via programs such as WHIP+, the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program. The data provided to researchers will also assist industry advocates in Salem as they educate state lawmakers about the difficulties our industry has experienced this year.
More on those soon.
For now, two of our anchor alliance partners need your assistance this week:
Rob McMillan at Silicon Valley Bank reports that Oregon is a little underrepresented among SVB’s annual survey respondents so far. Our 26 completed questionnaires even trail Virginia’s total. While the pandemic, smoke and wildfires have rightfully absorbed Oregon’s attention, they have only increased the need for reliable information. SVB promises that each participating state will get its own deck of complete data and information.
Please dedicate the 15 minutes needed. The survey link can be found here.
In closing, the Oregon Wine Board Directors and management extend our sympathies to the Evenstad and Domaine Serene families as we join them in mourning last week’s passing of winery co-founder Ken Evenstad at 77. Ken’s legacy will live on through his family, their wineries and vineyards in Oregon and Burgundy and the many charities Ken and Grace devoted themselves to. Our industry will be a special beneficiary of Ken and Grace’s generosity as the work of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education at Linfield University will continue to advance Oregon’s global reputation for extraordinary talent development and wine scholarship.
Oregon Wine Industry Wildfire Smoke Toolkit
The OWB’s Wildfire Smoke Toolkit provides links to expert resources and other information to help growers and winemakers navigate challenges brought on by smoke. The toolkit is updated as new information and resources become available.
¡Salud! Flu Vaccination and COVID-19 Testing Schedule
¡Salud! offers flu shots free of charge at locations throughout the Willamette Valley to vineyard/winery and labor contractor employees and their immediate family members over the age of 14. The schedule includes COVID-19 testing on Wednesdays and instructions for scheduling an appointment; you’ll also need this vaccine request form.
Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry Survey | Deadline: Oct. 30
Silicon Valley Bank’s annual survey of U.S. wineries is open through Oct. 30. The survey questions, which should take about 15 minutes to answer, can be previewed here. Respondents will receive full anonymous results, top-level analysis and relevant charts.
October 2020 Weather and Climate Forecast
On Oct. 3, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield University published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at September conditions and forecasts conditions for October, November and December.
Webinar Recording: Contracts, Crop Insurance and Federal Disaster Assistance – Navigating Smoke Exposure
On Oct. 22 the Oregon Winegrowers Association hosted a webinar regarding crop insurance, contracts and where to access financial relief. The hour-long recording and several related documents are available to all industry members.
Webinar: De-escalation Strategies for Frontline Staff | Nov. 2
COVID-19 has dramatically shifted the hospitality experience, and many businesses with visitor-facing staff are experiencing conflicts with guests who may resist public health mandates. A training session presented by Travel Oregon delves into diffusing and de-escalating conflicts and best practices in effective communication, resulting in positive visitor experiences and ensured guest and staff safety.
AHIVOY Accepting Applications for 2021 Wine Industry Professional Training | Deadline: Nov. 15
A few scholarships remain for AHIVOY’s 2021 Wine Industry Professional Training program. Working vineyard stewards and wine industry employers interested in learning more about the program can find information on AHIVOY’s website, along with the application form.
Webinar Series: Grape Red Blotch Disease | Through Dec. 15
Join OSU’s Oregon Wine Research Institute (OWRI) for a free live webinar series on Grape Red Blotch Disease. These seminars will focus on research findings from Oregon-based studies conducted by researchers at OWRI and partners at the USDA-ARS covering virus epidemiology, vector identification and biology, grapevine performance, wine production, fruit and wine composition, and wine sensory results. Each seminar will allow a live Q&A session, and ODA pesticide credits are approved for the first five seminars in the series.
CALLS FOR WINE
Wine & Spirits Seeks Syrah and Rhône-Style Red Blends | Deadline: Oct. 30
Organic Certification Cost Sharing Program | Application Deadline: Oct. 31
Oregon producers who have paid eligible organic certification costs between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020 can apply for cost share assistance from the USDA. Costs of certification received from or renewed through a USDA-accredited certifier are eligible for 50% reimbursement up to a maximum of $500 per annual certification scope. Apply by the Oct. 31 deadline.
Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy Accepting Applications | Deadline: Dec. 4
The Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy is designed for professionals currently employed in Oregon’s tourism and hospitality industries. Interested program participants should have supervisory, managerial or executive responsibilities in the private or public sector. Applications for the 2021 program are due Dec. 4.
Share Your Community’s Story with the OWB
The Oregon wine industry is full of clubs, committees, co-ops, partnerships, friends and neighbors. We want to get to know you and your community. One Tuesday afternoon each month, the OWB team will host representatives of 3-4 wineries for a 90-minute virtual happy hour. Sign up to share what brings you all together, your collective goals, challenges and, of course, your wines.
Travel Oregon Tourism Industry Stakeholder Survey | Deadline: Oct. 30
As work begins on developing a new strategic plan that is responsive to Oregon’s dynamic tourism economy, Travel Oregon seeks input from communities, local businesses and individuals. Respondents will be asked what they are currently experiencing as a result of wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, and what’s needed most to rebuild and support a strong, resilient and racially just Oregon tourism economy.
2021 Oregon Wine Industry Awards Nominations Open | Deadline: Nov. 15
Nominations for the 2021 Oregon Wine Industry Awards are being accepted until Nov. 15. The awards recognize contributions to the industry and will be presented during the Oregon Wine Symposium in February.
2021 Federal Crop Insurance | Deadline: Nov. 20
Oregon vineyards can obtain federal crop insurance through the USDA Risk Management Agency at a subsidized rate depending on the scope of the policy. Growers have until Nov. 20 to sign up for insurance for the 2021 crop year.
The OWB’s industry website hosts a calendar that includes 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.