New Nielsen data on national wine sales in scanner stores reflect continuing positive momentum for Oregon over the past 12 months. Oregon’s total volume is up +15.6% compared to the wine category’s growth of +1.6%.
Oregon Chardonnay is trending +9.7% in a Chardonnay segment that’s flat, and Oregon Pinot noir is up +17% in a Pinot noir segment that’s growing just +2%.
Although the worst of the summer fire smoke seems to be clearing, local media interest continues to swirl around the effects of smoke on wine grapes. Please be aware that OWB communications manager Sally Murdoch is available and prepared to handle any inquiries so you can turn your attention to the harvest and crush. Media calls can be directed to Sally and you are strongly encouraged to consult with us before responding to smoke taint questions. You can also look further down in this newsletter for details about some helpful media talking points from Sally and OWB education manager Bree Boskov MW, which are available on request if you are contacted by someone on a tight deadline. However, be aware that it is very easy for the best of us to inadvertently make a remark that inaccurately portrays or exaggerates the risks presented by fire smoke.
Thank you to the 74 growers and winemakers from across the state who turned out late last month to six stops on the Oregon Wine Board’s viticulture and enology research listening tour. Your feedback on how best to allocate research funds is invaluable and the tour summary will be available shortly for all to review. The input received during those sessions will help frame the OWB Research Committee’s work this year on a long-term strategic plan to direct the hundreds of thousands of grape tax dollars spent each year on scientific projects.
If you follow general interest news, you might have seen thatUSA Today gave Oregon two reasons to cheer recently after four weeks of national voting when readers honored Stoller Family Estate in Dayton as the No. 1 Tasting Room in the Nation. The annual Readers’ Choice Awards also included another Oregon winery in the Top 10 as Van Duzer Vineyards, based in Dallas, was voted No. 8. Several other Oregon wineries and wine country properties were highlighted among additional Readers’ Choice lists, which are summarized on the OWB’s consumer blog.
In wine media news, after an extraordinarily inclusive review of Oregon wines earlier this summer, Robert Parker Wine Advocate reviewer Erin Brooks published her initial summary report. Erin rated a total of 822 wines, with 51% scoring 90 points or higher. That compares to an average of 44% over each of the past three years. This year’s 90+ wines were drawn from 15 of Oregon’s 18 AVAs and include 21 different varieties.
Finally, congratulations to Oregon Wine Experience event organizers and in particular to executive director Floyd Harmon for another record-setting milestone in the OWE’s fifth year. $1.3 million was raised for medical care delivered by the Asante Foundation. Generous contributions from 105 wineries representing 14 of our state’s AVAs helped propel the fundraising. Mark your calendars for the next OWE: Aug. 19-25, 2019.
NEWS FROM THE OREGON WINEGROWERS ASSOCIATION
Please read this friendly reminder from the OLCC: OWA is in regular contact with the Commission on a range of issues related to our industry, and last week we met with Debbie Amsberry and Angie Nelson. They asked that we pass on this message to approximately 100 wineries that have outstanding grape tax balances due. For those who split their annual tax into two payments, the second half was due June 30. Please be sure to submit payments as soon as possible in order to avoid further penalty and interest. If you have questions, contact Angie Nelson and she will be happy to assist.
Winery owners: make sure to visit the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) website to access forms enabling your employees to give the required voluntary consent for certain overtime hours this fall and to provide notice to BOLI. While the state’s new rules about overtime pay for cellar and crush pad workers do not apply to vineyard workers, if a worker is re-assigned during any part of the season from vineyard work to the winery, that worker becomes overtime-eligible for the week and the new overtime pay rules apply. OWA members can access guidance and a related webinar in OWA’s Reference Toolbox.
Oregon Wine Board
TEXSOM Sponsorship Recap
The OWB returned to the TEXSOM Conference for our second year of sponsorship earlier this month. The Oregon footprint at this conference of influential trade members was bigger than ever before: both OWB and WVWA sponsored lunches; a seminar was dedicated to Southern Oregon wines; and a handful of Oregon brands poured at the final grand tasting. Read a recap and learn how to get involved with TEXSOM.
International Marketing Newsletter
The OWB’s International Marketing Newsletter is now available to read online, with details on grant opportunities for exporting wineries, international event recaps and information about an upcoming inbound tour from Mexico. Read the newsletter.
If you’d like to sign up to receive the International Marketing Newsletter, email OWB.
27th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference | Nov. 8-9
The annual Oregon Water Law Conference gathers the most active, diverse and experienced Oregon water law experts to address the issues of the day. The program will provide an update on recent legislative developments along with discussions of the key issues driving water policy. OWA members can receive a code for $100 off registration. Learn more and get OWA discount code.
September 2018 Weather and Climate Forecast
On Sept. 5, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at August conditions, provides an updated drought watch, and forecasts conditions for September, October and November. Read the report.
The Oregon Chardonnay Celebration (OCC) is now accepting submissions for its 2019 event, to be held Feb. 23 at the Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg. Any winery wishing to be considered for inclusion in the 2019 OCC should submit samples by Sept. 28. See participation requirements and submission details.
Writer at the Washington Wine Blog, Dr. Owen Bargreen, recently visited Oregon as part of the OWB’s July media tour. This trip has inspired him to revisit 2011 Pinot noirs and invites wineries to send samples for an upcoming retrospective. Learn more.
James Suckling Review of 2016 Pinots and Chardonnays | Deadline: Oct. 15
American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition | Deadline: Oct. 22
The American Wine Society (AWS) invites commercial wineries to compete in the 2018 AWS Commercial Wine Competition being held Oct. 30-31. The AWS is the largest consumer-based wine organization in the United States. Learn more.
Wine Spectator Fall Advertising Opportunity | Deadline: Sept. 27
Wine Spectator is offering cooperative advertising opportunities in December’s Top 100 Wines of the Year issue, providing exposure in the magazine at a more affordable price than standalone advertising. Up to 18 first-come, first-served spaces are available. Read more and secure your participation.
Discount off Decanter Premium for Oregon Wine Community
Decanter, the UK’s leading wine industry publication, has offered the OWB a discount code to share with the Oregon wine community. The offer is for 20% off Decanter Premium, which offers exclusive content, less advertising and other benefits like early access to some of their top events. Learn more and get discount code.
Media Calls on Fires and Smoke Taint Affecting Grapes
Many Oregon wine growers and producers are receiving calls on the impact of smoke on this year’s vintage. You may refer those inquiries to OWB communications manager Sally Murdoch, who is prepared to address this sensitive topic. WVWA members may alternatively contact Emily Petterson. If you prefer to answer questions directly, we recommend you first review OWB’s media guidelines document, which Sally can provide. Contact Sally Murdoch for assistance with smoke taint and the media.
Find or List Grapes for Sale on the 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. Visit the Markeplace.
Linfield College Screening of Red, White and Black | Sept. 13
Linfield College’s Wine Lecture Series presents the documentary film “Red, White and Black” in ICE Auditorium Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. The event is admission-free and open to the public, and includes a talkback panel with the filmmakers and a wine reception in Jonasson Hall following the screening. Get more details.
Take Travel Oregon’s 2018 Engagement Survey | Deadline: Sept. 28
As part of its biannual strategic planning process, Travel Oregon invites your thoughts pertaining to the development and sustainability of the Oregon tourism economy. The survey will be open until Sept. 28 and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Learn more and take the survey.
2019 Oregon Wine Industry Awards Nominations Open | Deadline: Nov. 16
Domaine Serene Pledges $500,000 to Red Blotch Research; Seeks Matching Funds from Industry Members and Associations
Grace and Ken Evenstad, founding owners of Domaine Serene Winery in the Dundee Hills, have pledged up to $500,000 for a research project about grapevine red blotch virus in the Willamette Valley. Their pledge is dependent upon matching funds from the industry. Read more about this initiative and how to contribute.
Symposium Raffle Winners from OWB Industry Survey
Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our annual industry survey in July. As promised, we raffled off three 2019 Symposium packages, which include an all-access ticket and one night in a Portland hotel for the conference. Congratulations to our winners: Terry Brandborg of Brandborg Vineyard & Winery in Elkton; Betty Pataccoli of Redhawk Winery in Salem; and Andreas Wetzel of Chateau Bianca Winery in Dallas.