In case you missed them, there were some important developments within our Oregon wine community recently:
Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden in Jacksonville made history by becoming the world’s first tasting room to earn the Living Building Challenge certification. Living Building standards are the world’s most rigorous for green buildings, striving for net-zero or net-positive energy. Congratulations to winery owners Barbara and Bill Steele as well as to their design-build team at Green Hammer.
Oregon’s newest AVA, diagonally opposite across Oregon from Bill and Barbara’s farm, is The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. Speaking to Oregon Wine Press, Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator magazine’s editor-at-large and a 33-year veteran of the publication, called The Rocks District “the most distinctive terroir in America.” Exceptionally high praise and a promise of even more sensational wines to come from Oregon’s portion of the Walla Walla Valley. Read more here.
At their Jun. 8 Board meeting, your OWB Directors approved a plan to invite proposals for a new research initiative aimed at expanding our understanding of wine business dynamics as they relate to the unique competitive position Oregon occupies in the global marketplace for fine wines. New project applications will be evaluated against the industry’s priorities as expressed by growers and winemakers during five open meetings held around the state last fall.
In that same Board meeting, Directors also approved an impressive slate of ten viticulture and enology research projects recommended by the industry’s statewide Research Committee for funding in 2017-18.
Turning to press coverage targeting wine industry trade, some anchor wineries in the Umpqua Valley were back in the national spotlight thanks to The Somm Journal. To read the article, click here for the online version of the magazine and flip to page 60.
Finally, a recent survey indicated that industry members continue to identify access to skilled vineyard and winery workers as the most critical issue they must contend with. A key variable in the labor equation is the possibility of increased federal immigration policy enforcement activity. The Oregon Winegrowers Association worked with other ag. groups to co-sponsor an April meeting at which Department of Homeland Security managers, as well as immigration attorneys, offered insights and advice. OWA members can click here to log in and view the immigration law webinar delivered shortly after that meeting by attorneys at Davis Wright Tremaine and to review related materials. If you aren’t an OWA member, click here to learn more and to join.
For OWA members in Southern Oregon, a live, in-person industry meeting with DHS representatives is scheduled for Jul. 20 at 1 p.m. in Central Point. OWA members should click here today to register for this free forum so we can meet the minimum attendance requirement and lock in our guest speakers.
Partnership with GuildSomm to Produce Podcast and Video
The OWB has recently partnered with GuildSomm to produce an hour-long podcast and a ten minute video featuring winegrowing regions in Oregon. The podcast is available now through the Oregon Wine Resource Studio, and the video will be completed in the fall. Learn more about this partnership and get podcast link.
OWB to Sponsor TEXSOM Conference in August
The OWB marketing plan has a strategic focus on educating and engaging trade influencers to increase the availability of Oregon wine, in particular on-premise buyers. As part of these efforts, the OWB will participate as a sponsor at the TEXSOM Conference for the first time this summer. Learn more about this sponsorship.
Direct to Consumer Sales: Recap and Insights from Spring Seminars
According to Silicon Valley Bank’s most recent direct-to-consumer wine sales webinar, DTC sales represent 60% of revenue for the average Oregon winery. OWB marketing team members attended three DTC-focused educational events in May, which presented a broad overview of experiences and topics across the DTC sales channel. Read our recap and key takeaways here.
What is Your Winery or Vineyard Planning for the Eclipse?
As you’re no doubt aware, a total solar eclipse will roll across Oregon on Aug. 21, plunging parts of the Willamette Valley into darkness and attracting millions of visitors to the area. The OWB will be sharing winery and vineyard eclipse events through our social and newsletter channels throughout the summer. Post your eclipse events to the calendar.
International Workshop on Grapevine Downy and Powdery Mildew
The 8th International Workshop on Grapevine Downy and Powdery Mildew will take place Jul. 17-19 on the OSU campus in Corvallis. The meeting will have more than 60 talks as well as three poster sessions examining disease epidemiology and control and the biology and mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions. Read more and register to attend.
BC Wine Grape Council’s Enology and Viticulture Conference
OWA Immigration Forum in Southern Oregon: Register Now
After a great response to the forum in Newberg this April, the Oregon Winegrowers Association is taking its Immigration Forum to Southern Oregon. This OWA members-only forum is being held on Jul. 20 at SOREC in Central Point. Learn more and find out how to register.
Biodynamic Workshop: BD Practices from the Vineyard to the Winery
Join biodynamic agronomist and enologist Adriano Zago for a day-long workshop about biodynamic practices in the vineyard and corresponding cellar work. The workshop will be held on Aug. 4 at Montinore Estate in Forest Grove. Get more details and registration link.
Oregon Wine Symposium Content Now Open to View
Content from the 2017 Oregon Wine Symposium is now available for all to view. Prior to Jun. 1, the videos and presentation materials had been password protected, only available to Symposium attendees who completed the event survey. View the 2017 Symposium content.
Research Update: Nitrogen Management in the Vineyard and in the Winery
Dr. Paul Schreiner, research plant physiologist, USDA-ARS and Oregon Wine Research Institute, has prepared an update on research he is leading regarding nitrogen management in the vineyard and in the winery. This project receives funding from the Oregon Wine Board as part of its viticulture and enology research grant program. Read Dr. Schreiner’s research update here.
Summer 2017 Weather and Climate Summary and Forecast
On Jun. 6, Dr. Greg Jones of Southern Oregon University published a Summer 2017 weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at May conditions, provides an updated drought watch, and forecasts June, July and August 2017. Read the report here.
CALLS FOR WINE
Sip Northwest’s Best of the Northwest 2017 Competition
Sip Northwest is now accepting submissions for its sixth annual Best of the Northwest issue, which will come out in October. The wines will be tasted blind by a panel comprised of the Northwest’s top palates, judges and professionals. Entries are due by Jul. 10. Read more details and get submission information.
American Wine Society 2017 Commercial Wine Competition
The American Wine Society (AWS) is the largest consumer-based wine organization in the U.S. It has conducted this prestigious competition annually for more than 30 years. This year’s competition will be held Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, and entries are due by Oct. 21. Find out more and get entry details.
WVWA and OPC Announce New Executive Director
The Willamette Valley Wineries Association and Oregon Pinot Camp have hired a new Executive Director to fill the role left by retiring leader Sue Horstmann. Morgen McLaughlin will assume the position on Jul. 24, taking command of these two key industry associations. Read more.
Michigan Distributor Seeking New Oregon Producer Partners
U.S. Wine Imports, a specialty wine distributor in Michigan, is seeking to grow its Oregon portfolio. The firm sells primarily to restaurants and independent retailers and just celebrated 10 years in business. Get more details and contact information here.
Offer for Free Aerial Vine-Vigor Vineyard Mapping
Hawk Aerial’s proprietary Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) vineyard mapping service has been developed to specifically quantify vigor in grapevines. The company is offering free 10-acre trials of their EVI vine-vigor mapping service to vineyards through Jul. 15, subject to availability. Find out more and get contact information.
OVS Chemical and Fertilizer Container Recycling Day
Travel Oregon Matching Grants Application Period Opens Jul. 10
The Travel Oregon Matching Grants Program makes awards available to eligible applicants for projects that contribute to the development and improvement of local communities throughout the state. The application period for the next cycle of Competitive Small Grants and Oregon Wine Country Plates Grants opens Jul. 10. Draft guidelines are available to download to help you start preparing your application. Get more details here.
Come Share Your Winery’s Story with the OWB Team
The OWB team always likes getting to know the wineries and vineyards we represent. Wineries are invited to OWB’s office to share their wines and brand story with us at 3:30 p.m. on Fridays. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know our organization better, ask questions of us and share your suggestions. Learn more and sign up for a visit.