We’re a week away from another sensational Oregon Wine Symposium in Portland. But it’s not too late to register and join well over a thousand of your industry friends and colleagues for two days of seminars, networking, innovative products and fresh, business-building ideas. Oregon Winegrowers Association members: don’t forget to take your $60 ticket discount.
Before arriving Tuesday, download the Symposium smartphone app for the event schedule. The app also allows you to ask questions during sessions and view real time updates. Here’s how:
Download the Socio Event App from the App Store or Google Play
Once the app is installed, click “Sign Up” to set up your profile
Go to the Events Tab and select “Search for an Event”
Search for Oregon Wine Symposium
Select “Join Now” and use the phrase OREGONWINE (yes, it’s all CAPS)
The Oregon Wine Board’s communications, education, international and marketing professionals will be at Symposium offering additional details on a range of programs including the 2018 Oregon Wine Month promotion, which returns this May. Click here to view the Wine Month toolkit and for further details on the free point-of-sale merchandising offered by the OWB.
After the Symposium, ease into the annual Oregon Chardonnay Celebration coming up just a week from Saturday, on Feb. 24, at The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg. The Grand Seminar begins at 1 p.m., hosted by Wine & Spirits magazine’s Patrick Comiskey, and it’s followed at 3 p.m. by the Grand Tasting where guests can savor 50 different Oregon Chardonnays.
Now for an important update from Washington, D.C. If you kept up with news coverage surrounding the federal tax bill signed into law just before Christmas, you may have noticed that, while it was not popular with everyone, it included some important changes that address the concerns of mid-sized and early-stage wine businesses. The Oregon Winegrowers Association began working with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and the Senate Finance Committee staff nearly three years ago seeking federal excise tax relief for every single Oregon winery.
That mission was accomplished.
The law slices federal excise taxes on wine by 24 cents per case for the first 12,600 cases. That averages out to savings of $99 per month, every month, for a 5,000 case winery. The benefits escalate from there based on production, and some Oregon wineries will also see their corporate tax rates fall from 35% to 21%. Additional code changes written into the new law result in more favorable tax treatment of Oregon sparkling wines as well as still wines with alcohol levels between 14% and 16%.
These historic reductions to excise tax levels are the first in about 80 years, and they were started here in Oregon. However, they will be reviewed again in two years, so the OWA will now focus on working with Senator Wyden to lock in lower rates for good. We’ll continue partnering with the California Wine Institute and Wine America, two organizations that entered later into the process and joined OWA in shaping the final legislation.
For growers, a welcome addition was new language added just prior to the final Congressional votes specific to Section 13201. It will allow farmers to deduct all expenses, versus only half of such charges under the old law, for new vineyard plantings and grafting in the first year those expenses are incurred. That treatment is in effect through 2022 after which the tax benefit ratchets down slowly. Deductions such as these for new vines can help reduce a family’s tax liability, improving the cash position in years when they are re-investing for the future.
These lower taxes will help our family-owned wine businesses regardless of whether or not they are Oregon Winegrowers Association members. In most instances, the new, lower federal excise rates more than offset a winery’s cost to join OWA. However, OWA’s membership roster includes fewer than half of Oregon’s wineries and vineyards. In case you’re wondering where your annual grape taxes go, the OWA receives nothing from the Oregon Wine Board treasury. Grape taxes fund OWB research, education, PR and marketing activities.
So if you’re open to joining your peers in support of the policy and regulatory work that is probably saving you money, you can join the OWA today and record about 75% of your annual dues payment as a business deduction. Many business owners can join for as little as $200.
Finally, in respectful remembrance, I am sorry to let you know that one of our industry’s most admired and successful leaders, Elizabeth Chambers, passed away unexpectedly two weeks ago at the age of 56. Many of you knew Liz as the proud owner of Silvan Ridge Winery and Hinman Vineyards in Eugene as well as the founder of Elizabeth Chambers Cellar, based in McMinnville. A life-long supporter of the Oregon Ducks, she was a fitness enthusiast who cherished family including her two children and two granddaughters. Liz will be greatly missed. You are invited to the memorial event on Saturday, February 24 at 11 a.m. in the Autzen Stadium Club Room: 2700 MLK Jr. Boulevard in Eugene.
Oregon Wine Board
The 2018 Oregon Wine Symposium is One Week Away
The 2018 Oregon Wine Symposium is next week, 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, marketers, winemakers and tasting room staff. The Symposium also features the Northwest’s biggest wine industry trade show with more than 180 exhibitors. Register your team today.
Oregon Wine Month Toolkit & POS Available Now
The 2018 Oregon Wine Month toolkit has been launched on the industry site. The toolkit outlines the 2018 program elements, offers printed POS for order and digital assets for download. To amplify Oregon Wine Month visibility and awareness in your tasting room, place your order for POS materials by March 1. View the full toolkit and order POS materials.
Register for the Feb. 23 Oregon Wine Month Webinar
Attend the Oregon Wine Month 2018 webinar on Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. and learn how you can get involved with this year’s program. The OWB marketing team will present the elements of the 2018 activity plan, including consumer advertising and promotions, restaurant engagement, retailer programs, regional association activities and point of sale materials. Walk away with tools and ideas for making the most of the Oregon Wine Month resources available to you.Register now.
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.
Effective Vineyard Spraying Workshop with Dr. Andrew Landers Feb. 22
LIMITED SEATS REMAIN – 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 Spanish translation will be available. Growers will learn how to spray correctly, efficiently and at the right time. Only a handful of seats remain available. Learn more and register.
February 2018 Weather and Climate Forecast
On Feb. 5, Dr. Greg Jones of Linfield College published an updated weather and climate summary and forecast. This report looks back at January conditions, provides an updated drought watch, and forecasts conditions for February, March and April. Read the report.
Research Update: Grape Powdery Mildew Management – Fungicide Timing and Selection
Dr. Walt Mahaffee, Research Plant Pathologist USDA-ARS-HCRL, has prepared an update on research he is leading into Grape Powedry Mildew fungicide application and optimization. This project receives funding from the Oregon Wine Board as part of its viticulture and enology research grant program. Read Dr. Mahaffee’s update.
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.
CALLS FOR WINE
Calls for Wine Submissions: March
There are many opportunities to get your wines in front of more people this spring, including influential global trials such as the Decanter World Wine Awards or the Cascadia International Wine Competition. New opportunities are listed with media too, such as Wine & Spirits, Wine Press Northwest and more. View all opportunities and details.
Regional Cooperative Tourism Program Grant Funding Available
Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grants Applications Due Feb. 28
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.
Travel Portland 101 Feb. 20
Hear from representatives of Travel Portland departments, including partner services, conventions sales and services, marketing, communications and public relations, community relations and tourism sales. Decide which program areas can help keep your business on the right track. Learn more and register.
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.