September 20, 2017, Portland, OR. . . Registration is now open for the 2018 Oregon Wine Symposium, to be held Feb. 20-21 at the Oregon Convention Center. Presented by the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon Winegrowers Association and Pihl Excavating, the Symposium comprises two full days of industry thought leaders and experts covering the most relevant topics in viticulture, enology and wine business plus the Northwest’s biggest wine industry trade show, with more than 170 exhibitors.
“The Oregon Wine Symposium is a critical educational opportunity for those of us in the wine business,” said Steve Thomson, chairman of the Oregon Wine Board. “This show helps us be better winegrowers in the vineyard and winemakers in the cellar, and to build great customers out in the market. We hear from many that Symposium is the perfect spot to connect and collaborate with colleagues in the wine business.”
The main focus of the 2018 Symposium will be What’s Next for Oregon Wine? The first day will kick off by grounding the audience in latest macro trends, with Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank presenting The State of the Industry Report. Viticulture and enology tracks will open with a joint seminar and tasting dedicated to exploring High Quality Traditional Method Sparkling Wine Production. Insights and research will be presented from vineyard management to exploring press cuts, and winemaking up to tirage, and will culminate in a tasting from local sparkling producers.
Also on the first day, the dedicated enology track will be presented by James Harbertson of Washington State University, who will share his research on how concentration of ethanol influences sensorial aspects of wine, and how color and tannin change during ripening and wine aging. The viticulture track will share research from Gill Giese and Cain Hickey on managing vine vigor.
Keeping with the forward-looking theme, the business tracks will launch with a discussion surrounding mergers and acquisitions, including who is in the market for Oregon vineyard land. This session will include a panel of trade gatekeepers discussing data on trends showing Oregon wines’ strengths and where Oregon should be directing its focus for future success. The afternoon sessions will examine Allocation of Wine and Channel Management and Benchmarking for Wine Business Profitability.
Day two will open with a perennial favorite, Dr. Greg Jones’ Climatology Report. It will also feature Spanish interpretation across the viticulture seminars beginning with Vineyard Labor – A West Coast Perspective. The morning’s enology track will be comprised of a panel discussion and research on Control Points from Crush Pad to Barrel in the Minimal Intervention Cellar with University of British Columbia researcher Sydney Morgan presenting on sulfur’s effects on yeast populations. The afternoon sessions will culminate with Powdery Mildew Management for the viticulture track, while winemakers will learn about Oxygen Management’s Effect on Chardonnay Styles with a tasting exploring reductive and oxidative handlings’ effect on aromas and phenolics.
Also on the second day, the business tracks will explore The Importance of Growing Wine Tourism with research presented by Liz Thach MW on regions that have successfully developed wine tourism. Morgen McLaughlin of Willamette Valley Wineries Association and Jeff Knapp of Visit McMinnville will lead the discussion. A distribution workshop with candid roundtable discussion will help wineries navigate the changing distribution market. The Importance of e-Commerce and Integrating Marketing Automation and Dynamic Pricing – The Art and Science of Pricing will be held on the final afternoon.
Immediately following the first day’s sessions, attendees are invited to stop by the trade show floor for the Oregon Wine Soirée, a social and networking celebration of our community’s hard work and shared passion for Oregon wines. The Soirée provides an opportunity for attendees to network with speakers and peers while enjoying delicious appetizers and outstanding wines from around the state. This event is included in the full Symposium ticket.
Also on the trade show floor, attendees will have dedicated time to learn from vineyard and winery experiments their peers are conducting across Oregon at the Experimental Wine Tasting. Due to popular demand, the tasting has been expanded across both days.
The Oregon Wine Awards will be announced and presented at lunch on the second day. These awards acknowledge and celebrate those in the Oregon wine industry who have made significant contributions to its success.
For additional information on the preliminary program, speakers and special events, visit symposium.oregonwine.org.
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.
About the Oregon Winegrowers Association
The Oregon Winegrowers Association advances and protects the investments of its members. Harnessing the power of state-wide consensus, the OWA stands as a vital advocate for the health, growth and economic sustainability of Oregon’s wine grape growing and wine production community. The OWA is the only statewide organization speaking on behalf of Oregon’s vineyards and wineries to decision-makers in Salem and Washington, D.C. to ensure the community’s continued success. Visit oregonwinegrowers.org.