In the spirit of the season, let me open by mentioning a couple of charitable events that reflect our wine community’s remarkable generosity. Oregon winemakers answered the call to assist colleagues affected by the devastating wild fires in California’s wine country when Pierre Zreik, Sue Horstmann and Denise Seroyer recruited 70 wineries and a dozen restaurants to a fall afternoon of food and fine wine at The Allison Inn & Spa. 400 consumers turned out and the proceeds topped $35,000. A few weeks later, wineries from the Umpqua and Willamette valleys joined their counterparts from the west coast and around the world in support of a San Francisco Chefs Gala that brought in $750,000 for relief efforts.
As we regularly do, Marie Chambers, Dan Jarman and I met recently with Steve Marks, executive director at Oregon’s Liquor Control Commission. Steve mentioned that the OLCC staff is starting to come up for air after being buried in cannabis-related rule-making and administrative procedural work over the past couple of years. As a result, we learned the OLCC will resume some of their highest-priority enforcement activities. So I wanted to re-issue this friendly reminder first published during the crush when many growers were otherwise occupied:
Some in our wine community may not be aware that Oregon law, specifically Oregon Revised Statute 473.045, authorizes taxes in the amount of $12.50 per ton on wine grapes sold to any winery not licensed under ORS chapter 471, including wineries in other states.
Under current law, grape sellers are to report all sales on this form provided by the OLCC. Column E is reserved for the required reporting of vinifera or hybrid grapes sold out of state. The statute also requires vineyard owners who sell grapes out of state to retain harvest and sales records for inspection or audit by the OLCC. A grower failing to report sales to the OLCC, and/or failing to satisfy the corresponding tax liability, is subject to charge with a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $1,000 plus interest.
In addition, those growers selling to out of state wineries can pass on this summary of Oregon’s wine labeling rules provided by the Oregon Winegrowers Association and Davis Wright Tremaine. Winemakers in neighboring states are probably not aware that Oregon’s rules are stricter in several respects than TTB labeling requirements.
And in case you haven’t heard, the Oregon Winegrowers Association is responding to member input and simplifying its 2018 membership dues calculus. For growers, it will reflect the acreage farmed rather than the less predictable harvested tonnage. This will help reduce the fluctuations caused in the past by unforeseen variability in vineyard yields. For wineries, payment will be based on current year case sales to better connect the business’s cash flow with the investment in OWA membership. Click here for more details on joining the OWA, hopefully in time to participate in the annual members event including a reception with lawmakers to be held at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem on Jan. 10.
Finally, don’t forget that we’re less than 80 days away from what will be a sensational 2018 Oregon Wine Symposium. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Portland on Feb. 20-21. Here’s the summary of seminars and networking activities. Don’t forget those on your holiday shopping list who secretly want nothing more than the gift of a couple days at the biggest and best wine industry event in Oregon.
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.
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. The order deadline is Dec. 5 and materials will ship the week of Dec. 11. 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 December holidays, 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, Apr. 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 Southern California during the week of Apr. 23. Keep an eye out for more information on how to participate, coming within the next month. Read more about this initiative.
Positive business interactions between growers and wineries are an important cornerstone of our industry’s success. Join Jesse Lyon, OWA’s legal counsel at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on Friday, Dec. 8 for a presentation on the “Top 10 Tips for Grower Communications, Contracts and Collections.” The webinar will provide growers and wineries with tools to help ensure positive business interactions. Learn more and RSVP.
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.
Wine Spectator Oregon Wine Co-op Ad Opportunity
In its March issue, Wine Spectator will publish its annual Oregon Wine report. In addition, Wine Spectator is offering a co-op advertising opportunity for up to 18 Oregon wineries at a more affordable price than single-brand purchased advertising. Space is first-come first-served and the deadline for confirmation is Dec. 18. Learn more about the program and how to participate.
Free Shipping Available for TEXSOM International Wine Awards
Oregon Wine Newsfeed Returns to the Industry Website
OWB has brought back the Oregon Wine Industry Newsfeed to its industry website. The Newsfeed serves as a go-to spot for Oregon wine news. Last year there were more than 12,000 articles mentioning Oregon wine – that’s an average of 33 per day – and this feature helps you stay on top of the news in our industry and the wineries generating news within it. Visit the Oregon Wine Industry Newsfeed.
2018 Affordable Care Act Enrollment Open Until Dec. 15
If you do not receive healthcare benefits through your employer or another source, be aware that enrollment for 2018 Affordable Care Act coverage is open now through Dec. 15. Plans sold during open enrollment start Jan. 1. Learn more about applying for ACA coverage.
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.