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Wildfire Updates
COVID-19 Updates
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Dear Friends,
Tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. the Oregon Wine Board’s Zoom room will re-open for a discussion focused on grapes and wines affected by wildfire smoke. Register here and send your questions in advance if you’d like.

The program opens with a climatological perspective from Dr. Greg Jones. Then we’ll hear from research scientists and a panel of growers and winemakers who have experienced smoke events in the U.S. and Australia. 

We recognize that some business owners are dealing with serious hardships due to the fires. Many are assisting friends and neighbors while others are supporting co-workers who have suffered tragic losses. With those pressing demands, it’s understandable that not everyone can participate in another meeting right now. So Wednesday’s session will be recorded and available when you are ready.
Another result of the recent emergency is a surge of media inquiries beyond what’s normal for this time of year. Although wildfires here are not new, this season quickly presented unexpected dangers with fires burning closer than ever to a greater number of vineyards and wineries across Oregon.
Quotes given to writers that characterize the situation in your area, or reflect on this unusual season, can have long-lasting and sometimes unintended effects on perceptions of the state and the vintage. So Sally Murdoch at the OWB has prepared this advice for responding to media and urges you to let her assist when journalists get in touch.

You’ll also find embedded near her advice this 90-minute presentation from the 2019 Oregon Wine Symposium about handling smoke-affected grapes.
Two final announcements:
  • If you were unable to join, or if you wanted to revisit, some of the excellent sessions held on Sept. 2-3 during the Wine Industry 3-Tier and Direct Sales Symposium, they are available for free here.
  • You may have seen the recent media coverage about the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts today, and the panel events on Oct. 1. Six participating wineries are offering special wines to raise funds for the Oregon Community Foundation’s Latino Partnership Program. Thanks to those pictured below—Carla Rodriguez, Sam Parra, Cristina Gonzales, Ximena Orrego, JP Valot and Sofia Torres—for dedicating their time, talent and wines to the cause. Look for more information here.
The winery owners and winemakers of “Celebrating Hispanic Roots”



Office Hours with Dr. Anita Oberholster of UC Davis | TODAY (Sept. 15) at 2 p.m.

Join Cooperative Extension Specialist Dr. Anita Oberholster today, Tuesday Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. as she answers questions about the information provided on the UC Davis Department of Viticulture & Enology resource page for wildfire and smoke exposure.

Oregon Wine Industry Round Table on Wildfire Smoke | September 16

On Sept. 16 from 1-2:30 p.m., OWB will host a round table discussion with research scientists as well as growers and winemakers who will offer critical information to address vineyard and cellar challenges brought on by the wildfires. Registrants will receive a link to the discussion recording even if they are not able to join.

Oregon Wine Industry Wildfire Smoke Toolkit

This week, the OWB introduced a new a resource for members of the Oregon wine industry on the topic of the impacts of wildfire smoke on grapes and wine. The Wildfire Smoke Toolkit provides links to expert resources as well as some frequently asked questions. It will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

Researchers Seek Smoke-Affected Grapes

In order to incorporate the 2020 harvest into their atmospheric modeling about smoke-affected grapes, researchers would like to collect any grape and/or wine samples from the current vintage that may have been smoke impacted. Note, this is not a substitute for timely commercial lab analysis.


Harvest and Crush Safe Operating Guidelines | Outbreak Communications Plan

COVID-19 safety guidelines for vineyard and winery operations have been developed by an industry task force in conjunction with partners at ODA, OHA and Oregon OSHA. An example emergency response plan and guidance for communications to employees, customers and press are also provided to assist in the event of a workplace outbreak. All of these documents are pinned at the top of the OWB’s COVID-19 Toolkit.


Keep Your Tasting Room Status Current

If your tasting room’s open or by-appointment status has recently changed, don’t forget to update your entry on the OWB’s tasting room directory. We regularly refer consumers and media to, and we rely on you to keep your information updated.


Participate in the 2019-20 Oregon Wine Industry Economic Impact Study | Extended Deadline: September 30

Every three years the OWB commissions a critical piece of research that provides important information when communicating with the media, lawmakers, granting entities, county commissioners, and more. Please take a few minutes to gather information and complete the economic impact questionnaire that will enable our research partners to produce a comprehensive report for 2019 and estimate the pandemic’s impact on our industry this year.

September 2020 Weather and Climate Forecast

On Sept. 2, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield University published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at August conditions and forecasts conditions for September, October and November.


Webinar: Website Optimization for Tourism Businesses During COVID-19 | September 17 (updated)

With the world turning to the internet for ideas on what can be done (and done safely) during a global pandemic, now is the time to make sure your website is up to date, informative and ready to shine. Join Jessica Tate, senior art director at ThinkShout and Kate Jorgensen, products & platforms manager at Travel Oregon, for a discussion about website best practices during COVID-19.

7th Annual State of Black Tourism | September 17

The 7th annual State of Black Tourism virtual event, hosted by the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, will be held Sept. 17. Panel discussions will explore the future of the industry post COVID-19 and George Floyd. Registration is open and complimentary.

Webinar: Panel on Communicating with Customers in a Pandemic | October 1

Communicating with customers during the pandemic can feel like an overwhelming challenge. Join Travel Oregon for a conversation with Oregon small business owners to learn how these industry leaders make use of newsletters, websites, social media and in-store signage to tackle the challenges presented by physical distancing and gather ideas for how to adapt your communication strategies to be agile and responsive.


Wine Enthusiast Seeking Examples for Two Stories

A freelancer for Wine Enthusiast is compiling two stories and would like to include Oregon wineries. Email Sally Murdoch with examples of the following: (1) sparkling wine producers using honey for dosage (deadline: Sept. 18), and (2) wineries with profit-sharing practices for vineyard workers (deadline: Sept. 30). 

The Wine Advocate Now Accepting Wines for Review | Deadline: Sept. 30

Erin Brooks, Oregon reviewer at the Wine Advocate, has issued her annual call for wines to review. If you plan to submit wines, be sure to read the submission criteria and procedures for shipping wine to Erin’s home in Napa. The deadline for wine delivery is Sept. 30.

James Suckling’s Nick Stock to Review Wines in Australia | Deadline Extended: Oct. 31

James Suckling’s Oregon reviewer, Nick Stock, will not be making his annual trip to Oregon this year. Instead, he requests wines be shipped to him to taste in Australia. Read details about Nick’s process for receiving wines. He has extended his deadline to receive wines through the end of October. 


Help Your Neighbors: List Offers for Crush Help on the OWB Marketplace

Some industry members have asked how they can publicize that they have spare capacity to assist with crush in the event of another winery needing to unexpectedly halt operations in response to COVID-19. The Marketplace on the OWB industry site now has the option to list “Services,” and any wine business offering services such as helping neighbors take in fruit is encouraged to create a post.

ETS Laboratories 2020 Harvest Guide Now Available

With harvest right around the corner there are always challenges that may arise, and ETS is here to help. Their popular annual Harvest Guide provides a toolkit highlighting the most requested harvest testing, COVID-19 precautions, a feature on aromas to detect and prevent common sensory flaws, and a new extended panel to test for volatile smoke and glycosylated markers.


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.

Copyright © 2020 Oregon Wine Board. All rights reserved.

4640 SW Macadam Ave., Ste. 240
Portland, OR 97239

September 15, 2020|Grapevine Newsletters|0 Comments

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