The quick and surprisingly damp end to our hopes for another Indian summer is a reminder that while you’re picking and crushing grapes, those of us here at the Oregon Wine Board are now into the final stages of our planning for the 2020 Oregon Wine Symposium, which is set for Feb. 11-12 in Portland.
Although that’s still a few months away, don’t wait to lock in the best prices on the most deeply discounted tickets. You can review the options and register today right here.
A traditional highlight of the Symposium has been the Oregon Wine Industry Awards ceremony. Consider this announcement the kickoff of awards season. Click here to see descriptions of the various categories and a listing of past winners, then nominate a friend or colleague for consideration by the industry’s selection committee.
And while we know you’re busy, many have asked when the annual Vineyard and Winery Report will be released. The grape pricing information was sent out earlier this summer, and the full, final report with all the latest industry statistics was distributed to growers and winemakers last Thursday alongside a separate news release to media. If we somehow missed you, here it is again.
For those looking ahead to next year, please see further down in this newsletter for information about the upcoming cycle of grant applications invited by Travel Oregon for 2020. Remember the Oregon Wine Board is happy to provide any letters of support an applicant requires and may also be able to assist associations or other industry groups with some funding for the services of a professional grant writer.
Finally, a hearty congratulations to the growers, winemakers and event organizers who joined forces to make the 2019 Oregon Wine Experience the best OWE ever. 5,123 wine enthusiasts attended all or parts of the week’s activities and total donations edged just past the $1.7 million mark, setting a new record. Every dollar supports innovations in neo-natal intensive care and pediatrics, while also enhancing other Asante Foundation health care programs such as cancer services, behavioral health and cardiac care across Southern Oregon and parts of Northern California. Well-played.
NEWS FROM THE OREGON WINEGROWERS ASSOCIATION
The USDA announced that agricultural producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019 can apply for assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) starting Sept. 11, 2019. Oregon’s U.S. Senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, were instrumental in securing an estimated $3 million for winegrowers at the OWA’s request. Impacted winegrowers should contact their USDA service center or visit farmers.gov/recover for more information and to establish eligibility.
Wineries all across the country are hearing from plaintiffs’ attorneys about alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) due to lack of website access for disabled or handicapped customers. Background and recommendations have been provided by WineAmerica. While the ADA does not specify website access requirements, the ADA does make it illegal for any public or private entity to provide goods and services to the public that are not also accessible to individuals with disabilities. Contact the OWA and WineAmerica if you are targeted in a lawsuit.
As a reminder, winery overtime rules are in effect this crush, including obtaining written employee consent to work more than 55 hours per week and timely notification of the Bureau of Labor and Industries of an “undue hardship exemption,” which allows winery employees to work extra hours. Employees must receive a minimum 10 hours off work if the previous shift was eight hours or longer. These provisions do not apply to vineyard operations. OWA members are strongly encouraged to review these requirements and associated webinar in the OWA Reference Toolbox.
Wine Spectator Fall Advertising Opportunity | Deadline: Sept. 24
Only two spaces remain: 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. Participation is first-come, first-served.
TEXSOM Conference Sponsorship Recap
The OWB returned to the TEXSOM Conference for our third year of sponsorship last month. The Oregon footprint at this conference of influential trade members was bigger than ever before: both OWB and WVWA sponsored lunches, and a handful of Oregon brands poured at the final grand tasting.
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.
September 2019 Weather and Climate Forecast
On Sept. 3, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at August conditions and forecasts conditions for September, October and November.
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.
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.
Any winery wishing to be considered for inclusion in the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration, to be held Feb. 22 in Newberg, must submit samples for a blind tasting panel by Sept. 27. The OCC organizers will notify selected wineries by November.
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.
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.