The Oregon Wine Board team returned to the TEXSOM Conference for the fourth year in a row August 18-20. Oregon continues to grow its presence at this conference. Between an OWB sponsored lunch for TEXSOM volunteers, Willamette Valley Wineries Association sponsored attendee lunch, a handful of volunteers from Oregon and several Oregon brands pouring at the final grand tasting, Oregon certainly put our best foot forward in front of this influential trade audience. Read on to learn about the conference, OWB sponsorship and ways to get involved in the 2020 conference.
The annual TEXSOM conference is considered by many to be the most prominent and influential wine trade education conference in the U.S., offering seminars, networking opportunities and rare chances to taste premium wines from around the world. The conference boasts an impressive list of attendees including sommeliers, retail wine buyers, distributor/importer executives and sales reps, Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, consumer and trade media, wine educators and producers from all over the world.
On Sunday, Aug. 18, for the third year in a row, the Oregon Wine Board hosted a lunch for the 175 TEXSOM volunteer sommeliers that were there to help with wine service and logistics at the conference. Volunteers must apply and be selected by TEXSOM conference organizers for their professionalism and wine service experience. The majority were fine wine restaurant buyers studying for the Court of Master Sommelier exams and came from all over the country including key markets for Oregon wine such as Chicago, Atlanta, Florida and Texas.
At the lunch, OWB education manager Bree Stock MW gave a fifteen minute overview of Oregon’s diverse climates and geology through the lens of seven white wines of different varieties from the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon. All of the wines that were showcased at the lunch received high scores at the TEXSOM International Wine Awards (read more about this below under Get Involved).
Each lunch guest received a folder with tech sheets on Oregon’s history and winegrowing regions and a Liberty water bottle with a map of Oregon’s 19 AVAs. All of the tech sheets can be downloaded from the Oregon Wine Resource Studio.
Guests had the opportunity to enter a raffle to win a Zalto decanter, which resulted in a collection of rich contact information for 105 attendees. OWB will continue to engage with this group of influential trade members by folding them into our trade marketing communications.
Submit Wines to the TEXSOM International Wine Awards
In November 2018, the OWB issued a call for wines on behalf of TEXSOM International Wine Awards (TIWA) and offered complimentary shipping for any Oregon winery interested in submitting wines in hopes of increasing Oregon’s representation. The results were staggering. Many Oregon wines that scored well at the TIWA were featured throughout the conference. OWB selected from the list of award-winning wines for the Volunteer Lunch.
Submitting your wines to the TIWA using the OWB’s complimentary free shipping program is the best way to expose your brand to TEXSOM trade influencers and to contribute to Oregon’s overall brand presence at the conference. Watch your email in the fall for details about the OWB’s TEXSOM International Wines Awards complimentary shipping program.