Happy New Year to all my colleagues in the Oregon wine industry. I am honored to serve as your Oregon Wine Board Chairman for 2018.
My wife Shari and I bought our 24-acre property in 2004 and started Celestina Vineyard in 2007. We believed Southern Oregon would provide a great place to grow Italian varietals, and over the years our fruit and the wine made from it have justified our confidence. Of course, for many years I have been aware of the beauty of wines from the Willamette Valley, but since I have been on the OWB, I have had many opportunities to travel to the Gorge and Eastern Oregon, and I’ve been amazed at the power of the wines from those areas. Pinot noir may be the principal attraction on the Oregon wine tour, but we are also achieving renown for Tempranillo, Rhône white blends, Malbec, Syrah and many others. I have a great appreciation of our state’s wines, and a firm belief that this quality depends on the excellent fruit we grow in our vineyards.
As I begin my fifth year on the OWB, I also chair the Research Committee. I am very proud of the work OWB sponsors to advance our knowledge in viticulture and enology. With emerging issues like Red Blotch virus and powdery mildew resistance, this work is vital to our industry’s future. In addition, we have recently embarked on another research front, Business and Economics, with a project studying tasting room dynamics that can help everyone with that crucial aspect of our businesses. OWB Directors Jason Tosch, Kevin Chambers and J.P. Valot also spend countless hours on this committee, as well as Dr. David Beck, who co-chairs the committee and brings a lifetime of experience in the research world.
The OWB is devoting more resources than ever to the Education Committee, chaired by OWB Director Eugenia Keegan and co-chaired by outgoing Director Ellen Brittan. They have been working diligently to bring you another stimulating Oregon Wine Symposium, coming up very soon on Feb. 20-21. If you haven’t registered yet, be sure to do so soon for the Northwest’s premier industry event, featuring superb speakers in all tracks and an ever growing trade show.
OWB Chair Emeritus Steve Thomson will once again chair the Marketing Committee and International Committee, along with the able help of Directors Hilda Jones and Donna Morris on Marketing and Bob Morus on International. Bob, from Phelps Creek in the Columbia Gorge, and Donna, from Winderlea in the Dundee Hills, join us for their first terms on the OWB, and we are excited to benefit from the new perspective we receive every year from the appointees selected by the Governor after careful vetting by the Oregon Winegrowers Association’s Nominating Committee headed by Scott Shull. You can see the full slate of Directors on the OWB’s industry website.
The terms of two very important Directors expired at the end of 2017: Ellen Brittan and Doug Tunnell. Doug always brought the valuable perspective of an organic, biodynamic grower, and provided determined leadership as the OWA struggled to get the Oregon Department of Ag. to take our herbicide drift concerns seriously. Doug will continue to serve as co-chair of the OWA LUNR Committee, for which we are very grateful. Ellen Brittan excelled in leadership roles, serving in all the Executive Committee positions and as OWB’s Chairwoman during 2015. We are thrilled that Ellen will continue to serve as co-chair of the Education Committee.
Those of us on the Board are looking forward to the Oregon Wine Symposium, and hope to see you there. Besides all the seminars and the trade show, the Symposium offers a great opportunity to meet people from different parts of the state and chat with friends we don’t see often enough. Please feel free to grab any of us on the Board to share your thoughts on OWB’s performance. We want to be very effective with our mandate to spend your tax dollars wisely, and we appreciate your feedback.
Oregon Wine Board
2018 Oregon Wine Symposium Early Bird Pricing Ends Jan. 15
Registration is open for the 2018 Oregon Wine Symposium, Feb. 20-21 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. The Symposium is a must-attend event for everyone from winery and vineyard owners to sales managers, vineyard managers to marketers, winemakers to tasting room staff. The Symposium also features the Northwest’s biggest wine industry trade show with more than 170 exhibitors. The early bird discount of 30% expires Jan. 15.Register your team today.
Oregon Wine Month Distributor Commitment Form Due Feb. 1
The OWB is making it easier to get your in-state and out-of-state distributors on board for Oregon Wine Month. We held a webinar about the resources available for distributors in November (see below) and have created a presentation to help you pitch the campaign. In order for distributors to receive shipped Oregon Wine Month POS, they must fill out the distributor commitment form by Feb. 1. View resources and commitment form.
Order New Oregon Wines Fly Free Materials
To make Oregon Wines Fly Free a more effective sales tool in your tasting room we have developed a new suite of printed materials. The complete suite is available for complimentary order and delivery to all participating wineries. If you had previously ordered materials, you should have received them in December. Preview and order the new materials, or join the program.
Toronto Taste Oregon Registration Now Open
Registration is now open for Taste Oregon, April 9-10 in Toronto. Join OWB as we return to Toronto to build on the success and momentum of the 2017 show. There will be two days of events including trade and consumer tastings, a salmon bake, opportunities for educational seminars and winemaker dinners and more. Space is limited, so register now to confirm your spot in Toronto. Get more information or register.
Oregon Wine Event in Southern California in April
The OWB has received a grant to fund events targeting key buyers and high-end consumers in four markets around the U.S. over the next two years. The first of these will be held in Los Angeles during the week of April 23. More details will come this week and winery registration will open in mid-January. Read more about this initiative.
Sign up to Pour at Total Wine During Oregon Wine Month
Total Wine & More is planning to celebrate Oregon Wine Month this May in their 172 stores across 20 states. During this focused period, they want to bring as many Oregon wineries as possible to their stores to pour for shoppers. Wineries that have placements in Total Wine are invited to sign up for in-store tasting events at locations around the country. Read more about working with Total Wine and sign up to pour.
Effective Vineyard Spraying Workshop with Dr. Andrew Landers Feb. 22
OWB is sponsoring multiple award winner, author and agricultural engineer Dr. Andrew Landers, who will speak about effective vineyard spraying at Chemeketa Community College’s Yamhill Campus in McMinnville on Feb. 22. This full day practical workshop will cover all aspects of vineyard spraying and will be presented with Spanish translation available. Growers will learn how to spray correctly, efficiently and at the right time. Only 25 spots are available in each language. Learn more and register.
OWA FedEx Webinar on D2C Shipping and Compliance Jan. 31
OWA members are invited to attend a webinar, featuring FedEx’s domestic and international state wine shipping specialists, who will discuss how to ship direct to consumer, current processes, and what common carriers are doing to abide by regulations. The webinar will provide wineries with tools and resources to help ensure positive business growth through enhanced knowledge of direct to consumer shipping. Learn more and register.
Upcoming Travel Oregon 101 Sessions
Several Travel Oregon 101 sessions are scheduled for early 2018 around the state. Travel Oregon 101 seminars are free and offer an overview of Oregon’s travel and tourism industry, designed to help visitor-related organizations and businesses take advantage of the many opportunities offered by Travel Oregon. Learn more and register.
2017 Oregon Vintage Report Conference Feb. 8
ETS Laboratories and Fruition Sciences will co-host the inaugural 2017 Oregon Vintage Report in McMinnville on Feb. 8. The conference will review innovative techniques to grow terroir-driven wines, conduct in-depth panel conversations on climate and plant physiological conditions during the 2017 vintage in Oregon, and discuss new approaches to winegrowing from around the world. Learn more and register.
Workshop Recording Now Available: Understanding Consumer Wine Perceptions & Preferences with Tim Hanni MW
The OWB arranged for Tim Hanni MW to present a lecture for winery sales and hospitality staff on Nov. 14 at Linfield College. This seminar provided attendees with an understanding of consumer wine perceptions and preferences identifying the keys to engagement, conversion and customer retention. View recording and presentation deck.
Tasting Room Hospitality Course Jan. 22
The Oregon Wine Education Center presents a deep dive into the Willamette Valley’s unique terroir and winemaking styles, from soil, to vineyard, to bottle. This course will help tasting room staff connect with more discriminating wine buyers. This is a TRACH Level II course, taught by Certified Sommelier Charles Hesson from Alexana Winery. Learn more and register.
Viticulture and Enology Grant Proposals Due Jan. 31
The Unified Grant Management for Viticulture and Enology system at the University of California is ready to accept research funding proposals for six granting bodies, including the OWB. Researchers are advised to apply to all the agencies appropriate for their project using a single online proposal application. All grant proposals must be submitted by Jan. 31. View all grant criteria.
Call for Participants: OSU’s Research on Oregon Wine Clubs
Business and economics researchers at OSU are embarking on a new study that aims to deepen the Oregon wine industry’s understanding of wine clubs. Specifically, it will delve into what features and benefits attract and retain profitable wine club members, and what best practices can be identified for maximizing the long-term value of a club. Learn more about the study and how to participate.
CALLS FOR WINE
SavorNW Wine Awards
The SavorNW Wine Awards are open to all types of wines made or produced in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska and British Columbia. A producer can enter as many wines as desired, as long as each product entered is either currently available for retail sale, or scheduled for release in commercial quantities to the public during 2018. The submission deadline is Jan. 31. Learn more and view the entry form.
USDA Value Added Producer Grant Application Period Open Through Jan. 31
USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for its Value Added Producer Grant program. The grants can be used to create new product lines from raw agricultural products, to develop additional uses for already developed product lines, or to market value-added agricultural products. Independent producers and agricultural producer groups are among those encouraged to apply for a grant before the Jan. 31 deadline. Find out more and learn how to apply.
Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grants Program to Open Late January
It’s not too early to begin preparing for the coming license plate grant cycle, set to open late January and administered by Travel Oregon. Oregon Wine Country Plates Grant projects must complement wine and culinary tourism promotion. Projects are encouraged, but not required, to align with Travel Oregon’s key initiatives. Learn more about the application process.
Winery Burglaries Reported in Yamhill County
The OWB was advised on Dec. 18 that there have been a number of tasting room burglaries reported in Yamhill County. A helpful message for wineries statewide has been shared by Sergeant Todd Whitlow of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office. Read Sgt. Whitlow’s message.
New OWB Facebook Initiative: Oregon Wine Industry Collaboration Space
The OWB has launched a new closed Facebook group called the Oregon Wine Industry Collaboration Space. This new online community is open to all employees of Oregon wineries, vineyards and regional associations across the state and will be an informal platform to discuss issues, ask questions and collaborate. It will also serve as an easy way to stay apprised of updates and time-sensitive action items from the OWB. Whether you work in sales, marketing, grapegrowing, production – or wear many of those hats – you are encouraged to join this group to get connected with your colleagues around Oregon. Learn more and join.
List or Search Grapes for Sale on the 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, real estate, equipment and job opportunities. Post items for sale or visit the Marketplace to search items for sale.