As always, OWB is in need of your international success stories. In order for USDA to continue funding our program at its current level, it is essential to demonstrate that our grant-funded activities result in true export sales and new accounts for Oregon wineries. If you have participated in any OWB-sponsored international activities, including inbound tours, and have obtained orders or secured new representation, please complete this form and email it to OWB.
International Activity Survey
It’s that time of year again! Please complete our international activity survey to help us gather data on winery sales and interest in various markets. This information is essential for us in planning for our annual calendar of events and provides much-needed export sales data to help us justify our program to USDA. The individual responses are kept confidential and will only be shared in aggregate. Thank you in advance for your response to the survey.
Funding Assistance for International Event Participation
While the OWB’s grant funding covers most of the cost of our international events, wineries carry fees and travel expenses to participate. Below are two grant programs designed to cover some of the costs of participation in international activities.
WUSATA– The Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) creates opportunities by helping food and agricultural companies gain business overseas. Whether your company is new to exporting or is looking to expand to new markets, WUSATA’s market development services will dramatically increase your reach and revenue. One of the ways in which WUSATA can help is through its FundMatch program. FundMatch doubles your export marketing budget while expanding your reach by providing 50% cost reimbursement on eligible international marketing expenses (most OWB events are eligible). You can request from $2,500 – $300,000 through an annual application process which is based on your exporting experience; no experience is necessary to qualify. This is one of a few programs that WUSATA has for exporting companies. For more information, email WUSATA or visit the WUSATA website.
STEP Grant Program – The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program is a three-year trade and export initiative to make matching-fund grants for states to assist eligible small businesses to enter and succeed in the international marketplace. These grants, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Business Oregon, are meant to be used for trade shows and trade missions. For more information click here.
Japan Liquor Tax Law Revision
The government of Japan revised its national liquor tax law in 2017. As a result, liquor tax rates for beer and wine will be changed in three stages over the next 10 years. The liquor tax applied to wine will be increased in 2020 and again in 2023. For U.S. wines, those tax increases coincide with declining import duties on competing wines from Europe. The competitiveness of beer and wine from the U.S. may be affected. Click here for more information.
Inbound Educational Tour for Mexican Wine Trade
OWB has received special grant funding to host a group of wine trade from Mexico in a multi-state educational tour in December. This grant requires that the group’s time in Oregon be dedicated to educational seminars and tastings. We are looking for nominations of key trade members from any market in Mexico. Please send a bio and reason for the nomination to OWB by Aug. 31.
Japan Importer Tastings and Promotion
In January, tastings were held in Tokyo and Osaka in collaboration with local importers. Six Oregon wineries traveled to Japan to participate. Additionally, 56 Oregon brands were poured by their importers. Enthusiasm for Oregon wines in these markets is still quite high, attracting more than 400 attendees in Tokyo and more than 200 in Osaka. This tasting is the kickoff for our annual Northwest Wine Promotion, which takes place in March and April.
Japan Harvest Tour
Our semi-annual Japan Harvest Tour was conducted this August for a group of 14 trade members. The group is made up of sommeliers, wine shop and bar owners, media and importers, all of whom proved their support of Oregon during the annual Northwest Wine Promotion earlier in the year.
In March, OWB hosted events with Washington State Wine in London, and with Washington and California in Copenhagen, followed by three days in attendance at ProWein in Düsseldorf, Germany.
In London, OWB introduced a day of all-Oregon events before the Northwest joint tasting. The Oregon day consisted of two master classes, one targeting Masters of Wine (MW) and MW students with a focus on further developing their knowledge of Oregon after their visit in 2017. The session was hosted by Lenka Sedlackova MW with a panel of Oregon winemakers. It was a very technical session with 30 attendees.
The second master class was hosted by Doug Wregg, who is a 2017 OPC alumnus, enthusiastic importer of Oregon wine and Oregon winemaker. The capacity crowd of 50 attendees was treated to not only Oregon’s more well-known varieties, but also an introduction of wines and varieties that are not often seen in the London market. Both sessions were well-received and followed by a self-pour of non-Pinot noir reds and Chardonnay, which allowed them to linger and taste even more Oregon wine. On Monday evening we hosted the second annual Magnum Opus event, which captured more than 100 key trade in wine and tourism for a more casual and spirited tasting.
The 17 Oregon wineries in attendance poured their wines for more than 300 London trade. The media turnout was impressive, with top writers attending the tasting and meeting with our winery representatives.
Following London, the group headed to Copenhagen for our Go West! Tasting with Washington and California. The trade turnout for this event was high, with more than 400 attendees for the trade portion and even more for the consumer portion held in the evening. The three states also collaborated on a seminar led by Geoff Kruth MS.
Oregon was represented by 13 wineries pouring at OWB’s booth at ProWein. Participating wineries worked for many months before the event to redevelop our ProWein booth, which allowed us to create a space that prioritized much-needed meeting areas and present a strong impression of Brand Oregon.
The growing worldwide reputation for Oregon wines, paired with a new inviting space, made this year’s ProWein Oregon’s busiest by far. ProWein spans three days, and there were very few moments during which our booth was not full of wine trade.
We also held small seminars throughout the event; two were hosted by Oregon winery representatives and one was presented by Jamie Goode. All of the seminars were packed to standing room only. It was a great indication that Oregon’s reputation continues to create buzz in international markets.
Taste Oregon Toronto
In April, we hosted our second Oregon-only event, Taste Oregon Toronto, with 31 wineries participating. The event attracted more than 450 top-tier trade and media from the Ontario market. The main event, which targeted key trade, LCBO buyers and media, consisted of an interactive walk-around tasting and also featured seven local food vendors. The trade tasting was followed by a consumer tasting with more than 350 Toronto consumers attending and enthusiastically tasting Oregon wine. It was evident that there is continued interest in Oregon wine in the Ontario market, and the event resulted in the LCBO asking OWB to collaborate with it on events in 2019.
In addition to the day of trade and consumer tastings, we held a master class hosted by John Szabo MS and a panel of Oregon winemakers, which was attended by 50 Toronto trade. A large format walk-around tasting with 100 key trade and media followed the seminar.
Oregon Pinot Camp International Inbound Tour
Every year the OWB brings a group of key buyers, sommeliers, importers and educators from all over the world to attend Oregon Pinot Camp and a tour of Oregon producers not participating in OPC. This year, 20 guests came from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, Spain and four provinces in Canada. Our tour started in Southern Oregon, and the group also visited an urban winery before traveling to the north Willamette Valley to attend OPC.