If you haven’t seen the national direct-to-consumer data for 2017 published by SOVOS and Wines & Vines Analytics, they reflect strong, positive volume growth for Oregon trending at twice the rate of the overall category. While the total dollar volume of all direct wine sales is projected to have increased +16% for the year, Oregon sales are up +35%. Oregon’s improvement compares favorably versus Napa (+14%), Sonoma (+23%) and Washington state (+33%). Continued success in this segment is vital for Oregon since consumers buying direct pay, on average, $39 per bottle, or about five times the average price paid in other off-premise channels. California consumers buy 30% of the wine sold direct with buyers in Texas, New York, Florida and Washington combining in nearly equal proportions to represent another 25% of sales.
To insure your business is keeping up with changes in the direct sales compliance landscape and is positioned to draft on Oregon’s DTC momentum, OWA members will want to register for tomorrow’s FedEx webinar at 10 a.m. Scott Lombardo and Chris Beckdolt will cover important information relevant to wineries fulfilling orders domestically and around the world.
Turning to the latest Nielsen reports for the year ending Dec. 30, 2017, we see further validation of Oregon’s vitality in the broader off-premise segment. As you may know, Nielsen now goes beyond grocery stores to aggregate sales transaction information from outlets across multiple retail formats including fine wine and liquor stores in several markets. Nielsen data indicate that while national table wine dollar volume was up +1.5% versus a year ago, Oregon’s sales grew +17%, helping drive the $20+/bottle segment up +7%. Equally encouraging are distribution gains for Oregon wines and increasing velocity, defined as sell-through per point of distribution, which grew +6%.
Finally, a couple of important reminders:
For our colleagues in Southern Oregon, please save the date, March 28 at 5 p.m. to join the Oregon Wine Board’s Directors and managers for a glass of wine in Medford. The OWB is holding its next regular meeting there and details on our informal industry reception to be held the night before the meeting can be found here.
For all of you across the state who have been asking for a comprehensive report on Oregon’s vineyard and winery salaries, your response to the survey request from Linfield’s Jeff Peterson is essential. We know you’re out there but Jeff has fewer than 100 industry members who have replied so far.
While we recognize that we’re coming at you from all angles with survey requests, we do so only to provide the critical information you’ve asked for and require to manage your vineyards, wineries and brands. You might be wondering what about the annual vineyard and winery report? Due to unforeseen staffing changes late last year at Southern Oregon University, SOU’s Research Center is no longer able to partner with us in fielding the survey and reporting its results. After thorough review, OWB has contracted with the University of Oregon’s Department of Planning, Public Policy & Management, and its statistical analysis team to carry this important project forward. You will be hearing more from us soon on that with the questionnaire seeking the information that rolls up into the grape pricing, tonnage levels and yield figures for each region and variety.
Thank you for your patience during this transition and a special acknowledgement to SOU’s Rikki Pritzlaff, as well as Dr. Greg Jones, who have adapted to the industry’s demands and delivered these irreplaceable reports faithfully over the past few years.
Register Your Team Today for the 2018 Oregon Wine Symposium
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 180 exhibitors. Register your team today.
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 by the Jan. 31 deadline. Get more information or register.
Oregon Wine Month Distributor Commitment Form Due Feb. 1
Get your in-state and out-of-state distributors on board for Oregon Wine Month. In order for distributors to receive shipped Oregon Wine Month POS, they must fill out the distributor commitment form by Feb. 1. A pitch deck for use with your distributors is also available. Learn more and get the commitment form link.
Last Chance to Register for Oregon Wine Event in Los Angeles
A small number of spots remain to pour at the OWB’s trade and consumer tasting event on April 24 in Los Angeles. The 50 spots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis by regional allocation. If your region is full, you will be placed on a waitlist, and you will not be charged until your spot is confirmed. Wineries will be notified of their status by Feb. 1. Read more and get registration link.
New Oregon Wine Video Produced by GuildSomm
The launch of “The Wines of Oregon” video marks the culmination of a year-long partnership between the Oregon Wine Board and GuildSomm to produce multimedia Oregon wine educational resources for the trade. Learn more about this partnership and watch video.
WISE Academy Courses Starting Week of Feb. 5
The Wine Industry Sales Education (WISE) Academy is hosting two courses in Dayton in early February: a 2-day People Management Course on Feb. 5 and 8, and a 1-day DTC Metrics Intensive on Feb. 9. Receive 15% off registration using code OWB15. Get more information and registration links for the People Management Course or DTC Metrics Intensive.
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.
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. Learn more and register.
Oregon Wine Economic Impact Study – Your Participation Needed
The OWB requests your active participation in updating our industry’s Economic Impact Study. This update, conducted every three years, provides documented evidence of our industry’s importance to the state’s economy. Only aggregated data gathered in these surveys will be used and no individual winery or vineyard data will be shared. Learn more and take the survey.
Participate in the Oregon Wine Industry Salary Survey
The OWB and Linfield College are joining forces to conduct the first Oregon-centric salary study of the wine industry. Please participate in this anonymous survey so that the data collected are as robust as possible. Aggregated data will be shared at the Oregon Wine Symposium. The deadline to take the survey is Feb. 9. Learn more and get survey link.
January 2018 Weather and Climate Forecast
On Jan. 5, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at December conditions, provides an updated drought watch, and forecasts conditions for January, February and March. Read the report.
Research Update: Determining the Role of Auxin-Response Factor 4 in the Timing of Ripening Initiation in Vitis vinifera
Dr. Laurent Deluc, associate professor of grape genomics at OSU and OWRI, has prepared an update on research he is leading into the role of Auxin-Response Factor 4 in the timing of ripening of Vitis vinifera. This project receives funding from the Oregon Wine Board as part of its viticulture and enology research grant program, as well as from the Erath Family Foundation and the Fermentation Initiative. Read Dr. Deluc’s research update here.
CALLS FOR WINE
Calls for Wine Submissions: Early February
There are many opportunities in February to get your wines stories out to the media, including two new additions from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast welcoming submissions for rosé and sparkling wines. View all opportunities and details.
After a successful March edition, Wine Spectator is once again offering a co-op advertising opportunity in the May issue, timed to coincide with Oregon Wine Month. Participating wineries will receive logo placement, bottle image, up to 50 words and website URL in the print edition. Eighteen spaces are available first-come, first-served. Learn more and secure a spot.
Regional Cooperative Tourism Program Grant Funding Available
Applications Open for Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grants Program
Travel Oregon is now accepting applications for Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grants funding. 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. The application submission deadline is Feb. 28. Get more details and link to the application.
Calling Oregon’s Malbec Growers & Winemakers
JP Valot, OWB Director and winemaker at Silvan Ridge Winery in Eugene, would like to add your name to his list of those winemakers and growers interested in collaborating to promote Oregon Malbec. Contact JP to find out more.
Cultivating Change Foundation Reception Feb. 2
The Foundation’s mission is to value and elevate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the agricultural industry through advocacy, education and community. Join the Cultivating Change Foundation for a reception with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and conversation on Feb. 2 in Portland. Learn more.
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.