PORTLAND, August 16, 2017 – If you’re sensing the Oregon wine industry is on a massive tear lately, it’s not just a funny feeling—it’s fact backed up by ringing cash registers, too. An August 2017 report published by Nielsen on 12-month scanner store sales data ending July 2017 reflects Oregon wine sales over the past year trended up +17.0% nationwide. As a comparative benchmark, sales are up +2.3% and +3.0% for Washington state and California, respectively. Total overall U.S. table wine category sales grew +2.8%, the report shows, and Oregon ships an estimated 3.2 million cases of wine globally each year, equating to about 1.1% of domestically produced wines.
“This is the strongest consumer-driven growth trajectory we’ve seen in recent memory,” said Oregon Wine Board president Tom Danowski. For the calendar year ending in 2016, wine sales increased 14% according to Nielsen data.
Danowski attributes the growth to a number of factors, but says quality leads the way. “We’ve been experiencing steady growth for a long time, and with Nielsen numbers again backing up our home state’s enthusiasm for locally-produced, globally-acclaimed fine wines, the quality focus our growers and winemakers are bringing to their craft is unprecedented,” he said. “Oregon is a region of discovery and retailers, restaurateurs and consumers have discovered our wines. Not only are Oregon’s wine sales benefitting from exceptionally-strong reviews from wine critics, there is also a trend toward premiumization. Wines priced above $15 per bottle are propelling category growth.”
Although Oregon represents around 1% of domestically-produced wines, the state is over-represented among wines selected by experts as the most highly-rated in the country; Oregon had two out of the top three wines on Wine Spectator’s most recent listing of the World’s Top 100 highest-rated wines.
Another reason that Oregon wines are gaining in the public consciousness is that Oregon is a trailblazer in regenerative agriculture. “Oregon has earned a reputation among farming communities across the globe. In the Willamette Valley alone, there are more certified Biodynamic vineyards than in any wine-growing region in the country,” Danowski said. Oregon also has more wineries certified as B Corps than any other state, with A to Z Wineworks, Winderlea Vineyard and Winery, Sokol Blosser Winery, Patton Valley Vineyards, and Stoller Family Estate all having achieved that status.
The state wine industry’s updated economic impact report will be released later this year. The most recent study shows Oregon wine industry remains vital to the state’s economic prosperity as it contributes $3.35 billion in total economic impact. Additionally, Oregon’s wine industry:
- Supports more than 17,100 jobs and $527 million in wages annually
- Oregon has more than 702 wineries and over 1,000 vineyards.
- Contributes more than $207 million annually in tourism impact.
Recently released Oregon Department of Agriculture statistics show wine grapes are among Oregon’s top ten agricultural commodities (as measured by crop value).
About the Oregon Wine Board
The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. Visit oregonwine.org.