While many of us were gearing up for the holidays, research scientists from around the world gathered in Portland after Thanksgiving for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Workshop. Oregon Wine Board chairman Steve Thomson welcomed the attendees, and 2016 OWB Chair and current Research Committee Vice-Chair, Dr. David Beck, delivered remarks on behalf of our industry outlining Oregon’s research strategies and initiatives. Click here for the text of David’s presentation.
Turning to marketing, remember it’s never too early to plan for Oregon Wine Month, coming up again as it does every year in May. This is the time to get in front of your distributor in markets that are critical to your business. The Oregon Wine Board’s presentation with tips on pitching Oregon Wine Month to wholesalers can be found in the program Toolkit. To ensure your distributor has the opportunity to order free point of sale materials and be invited to an Oregon Wine webinar for sales reps in advance of Oregon Wine Month, make sure they fill out the distributor commitment form on the Toolkit by Thursday, Feb. 1.
For wineries thinking globally and hoping to expand their sales beyond our country’s northern border, where more Oregon wine is sold than in any other international market, details on the OWB’s trade events and tastings coming up in Toronto on April 9-10 can be found here. The cost to participate is $400 and space is limited.
And with a brighter media spotlight focusing trade and consumer attention on our Chardonnays, you won’t want to miss the 2018 Oregon Chardonnay Celebration set for Feb. 24 at The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg. The Grand Seminar features Wine & Spirits magazine’s senior correspondent Patrick Comiskey moderating a panel of six Oregon producers. Following the seminar, 50 Oregon wineries will showcase their wines. Click here for more information.
If you’re not attending the Chardonnay show, maybe Malbec motivates you? JP Valot, winemaker at Silvan Ridge Winery would like to add your name to his list of those winemakers who are “Mad about Malbec.” Please contact JP to find out more.
One last upcoming event to mention for OWA members: a webinar on Jan. 31 from 10-11 a.m. hosted by FedEx with important new information on shipping and order fulfillment trends driving the direct-to-consumer channel. More information and registration instructions to follow. And if you missed OWA’s webinar earlier this month entitled “Top Ten Tips for Grower Communications, Contracts and Collections” delivered by Davis Wright Tremaine’s Jesse Lyon, you can view his presentation and the materials here.
Thank you all for your insights, ideas and inspiration over the past year, during which we all continued to advance Oregon’s exceptional reputation for grape growing and winemaking. The Oregon Wine Board of Directors and our management group extend our warm wishes for a safe and memorable holiday along with our hopes that we see you all early in the new year.
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.
Webinar Recap: Tools & Strategies for Pitching Oregon Wine Month to Your Distributors
OWB has prepared a package for wineries to use in presenting Oregon Wine Month 2018 to distributors in state and around the country. If you missed the webinar on Nov. 30, visit the Toolkit to view the presentation slides and learn how to equip your distributors to make the most of Oregon Wine Month. The deadline to enroll distributors is Feb. 1. View presentation and learn more.
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.
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, they were shipped Friday and should be delivered this week. Preview and order the new materials, or join the program.
Restock Your Supply of Oregon Wine Touring Guides for the Holidays
To ensure your tasting room is well-stocked with Oregon Wine Touring Guides for the new year, or to insert copies into club shipments, order a complimentary case of 40 guides today. Cases may take up to two weeks to arrive so now is the time to act. Order your case of Oregon Wine Touring Guides.
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 going to be 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 in early January, and winery registration will open in mid-January. Read more about this initiative.
2017 Oregon Vintage Report Conference
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 Jan. 31. View all grant criteria.
December 2017 Weather and Climate Forecast
On Dec. 5, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at November conditions, provides an updated drought watch, and forecasts conditions for December, January and February. Read the report.
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
Calls for Wine Submissions: Due December 2017 – January 2018
Carving out a little time now may net some good media gains and publicity for your wines in the new year. We’ve compiled a rundown of writers, publications and competitions seeking wines and stories in the next two months. View all submission opportunities.
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.
Free Shipping Available for TEXSOM International Wine Awards
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.