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Dear friends,

At the end of August, a group of OWB Directors and staff and OWRI representatives spent a week touring Oregon with the goal of hearing from you about your desires and expectations of the OWB’s viticulture and enology research program. We traveled from the Willamette Valley to Walla Walla, from the Columbia Gorge to the Umpqua and Rogue valleys, and had the opportunity to speak directly with 75 of you who came out to spend a couple hours sharing your thoughts with us.

We heard from you about red blotch. You shared your concerns over smoke. We discussed the many ways climate change manifests into a need for new knowledge and understanding. You offered suggestions on how to balance research for vineyards and wineries; small and large producers; immediate and longer-term issues; and regional and state-wide concerns. And we had many spirited conversations on how to best connect you with current, past and future research that can benefit Oregon’s growers and winemakers.

If you’re interested in seeing the synthesized output of these conversations, you can read this summary. This report will serve as important input into the Research Summit being held this fall, at which about 20 industry leaders will work towards setting a new strategic vision for our research program and how we allocate funding across projects.

Speaking of feedback you’ve given us, thank you to the nearly 150 people who provided their thoughts on our overall performance and priorities in our annual industry survey this summer. Below is a chart summarizing your priorities for OWB’s focus areas, as compared with the past three years.

While Tourism and Media Relations initiatives perennially float to the top, Trade Marketing and Education has risen to priority No. 3 this year, indicating just how challenging the markeplace is for gaining awareness, distribution and placements around the country. If you haven’t yet, you may want to mark your calendars for upcoming opportunities to connect with influential members of the trade at our 2019 Oregon Wine Trail event in New York City and register for trade tasting event opportunities around the globe.

Although Viticulture Research fell out of this year’s overall Top 5 (to a close 6), it remains a clear Top 5 issue for those whose businesses include vineyard operations. We have no intent to veer from the course described above and our research efforts will continue to be funded at record levels this year.

From Jana McKamey, Vice President of Government Affairs and Operations

Please take a few moments to review these important harvest reminders:
  • Volunteers: Grape growers and winery owners are cautioned against welcoming volunteer workers into their vineyards or cellars. For-profit employers generally may not use unpaid volunteers to perform work, even where the individual donates his or her services without expecting compensation. A written waiver is not an exemption of the law. We strongly recommend you do not open your doors to the general public to “volunteer” during busy periods. 
  • Contracts: Positive business interactions between growers and wineries are an important cornerstone of our industry’s success. OWA members can access a webinar on the “Top Ten Tips for Grower Communications, Contracts and Collections” in OWA’s Reference Toolbox. The webinar provides growers and wineries tools to help ensure mutually beneficial business interactions, including communications tips and sample contract language. It’s important to conduct due diligence on any buyers, communicate regularly and confirm agreements between parties clearly in written contracts.
  • Overtime: 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.
  • Bird control:  Please remember to be considerate when using bird control practices that may create problems for your neighbors. Consult these best practices developed by OWA and industry advisers. The annual effort to control crop loss due to migrating birds is often a challenge, but one that can cause irritation to those living near vineyards. Be a good neighbor and be sensitive to your neighbors’ concerns when it comes to bird control.

One final note on behalf of both OWB and OWA: 2019 Oregon Wine Symposium registration is now open! Buy your passes now (OWA members save $60 with discount code) and be sure to join us Feb. 12-13 in Portland. 


Jess Willey
Director of Strategic Insights & Industry Relations
Oregon Wine Board


2019 Oregon Wine Symposium Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the Oregon Wine Symposium. The event will take place Feb. 12-13, 2019 at the Oregon Convention Center. Your Full-Access ticket includes more than 25 sessions to select from as well as access to the Trade Show, Experimental Wine Tasting, Oregon Wine Soirée and Industry Awards Ceremony. See the agenda and register your team.

Preliminary Call for Participation in 2019 Symposium Wine Trials

The OWB Education Committee is currently gauging interest of wineries to offer trial wines for the 2019 Symposium Experimental Wine Tasting. The format will be slightly different this year and a committee will select the trials to be featured in November. Learn more and indicate your interest


2019 International Event Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for 2019 trade and consumer tasting events around the globe, including Osaka, Tokyo, London and Toronto and the ProWein trade show in Düsseldorf. If you export to these markets or are seeking an importer, consider joining us. Get the schedule and registration links.

ISO: Trade Marketing Pros to Help Us Make Oregon Wine Month Even Better

The OWB Marketing team is gearing up for Oregon Wine Month 2019 and we’re looking to assemble a high-powered trade marketing squad to brainstorm new ideas for engaging distributors and buyers across the country.  If you have 5+ years experience developing trade marketing programs or boots-on-the-ground selling and are interested in volunteering a couple hours of your time, email Christina DeArment


Tasting Room Associate Hospitality Courses | Level 100 Oct. 1 | Level 200 Oct. 15

The Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Oregon Wine Education Center is hosting two Tasting Room Associate training courses focused on Oregon wine fundamentals and hands-on hospitality education. See descriptions and links to register for Level 100 and Level 200.

OWRI Seminar Series: Water Reduction in Wine Grapes Using HydroShield | Oct. 16

On Oct. 16, OSU extension horticulturist Clive Kaiser will present an hour-long seminar titled “Water Reduction in Wine Grapes Using HydroShield, a Novel Plant Coating.” Get more details.

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.


2017 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report Now Available

The 2017 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report was recently released, indicating significant 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. Read the report.

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.


2019 Oregon Chardonnay Celebration Submissions | Deadline: Sept. 28

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.


James Suckling Review of 2016 Pinots and Chardonnays | Deadline: Oct. 15

OWB is facilitating a visit to Oregon by contributing editor Nick Stock during the week of Oct. 22. Nick will be reviewing 2016 Pinot noirs and Chardonnays. Get more information and submission guidelines.

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.


Oregon Pinot Camp Accepting Applications | Deadline: Sept. 29

Oregon Pinot Camp’s organizers are accepting applications from any Oregon Pinot noir producer wishing to participate in OPC 2019. Participants will be selected in October, and the deadline to submit your application is Sept. 29. See requirements and get application link.

Northwest Wine Radio Now Booking 2019

Northwest Wine Radio seeks winemakers for their winter 2019 schedule. Recording takes place on select Mondays in Seattle and participation is free. View the schedule and learn more

Discount off Decanter Premium for Oregon Wine Community

Decanter, the U.K.’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.

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

Each year at the Oregon Wine Symposium, industry leaders are recognized for their contributions to the Oregon wine industry. Do you know someone who deserves to be celebrated for their dedication to and advancement of our industry? Make a nomination by Nov. 16. Read about the categories, see past winners and submit a nomination


You might want to… 

Order Oregon Wine Touring Guides for your tasting room
Update your public tasting room profile
Learn about how the OWB evaluates industry requests for funding
Search the Industry Marketplace for grapes, bulk wine, real estate, equipment or jobs
Submit a listing to the Industry Marketplace
Promote an industry educational opportunity
Submit an event to the Industry Calendar
Submit an event to the Consumer Event Calendar


View the full Industry Events calendar

November 2-4

Fall Release Weekend

Walla Walla

November 9-11

Gorge Wine Weekend

Columbia Gorge

November 10

¡Salud! Grand Dinner and Live Auction Gala


November 23-25

Thanksgiving Weekend in Wine Country


January 21-23

Trade Tastings and Master Class

Japan: Tokyo and Osaka

February 12-13

Oregon Wine Symposium


February 23

Oregon Chardonnay Celebration


March 14

Trade and Consumer Tasting



March 17-19



April 3

OWRI Grape Day


April 5-6

Willamette:The Pinot Noir Auction


April 9

Oregon Wine Trail


April 10-11

OWA Policy Meetings and Congressional Wine Tasting

Washington, D.C.

Week of May 6

Oregon Wine Trail

New York City

Copyright © 2018 Oregon Wine Board. All rights reserved.

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

September 25, 2018|Grapevine Edition Archive|0 Comments

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