Portland, OR, November 20, 2020 . . . As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, Governor Kate Brown issued an Executive Order on Friday, November 13 returning wineries to curbside pickup, delivery and online purchasing. In the new Executive Order, referred to as a “two-week freeze,” tasting rooms around Oregon may not offer onsite tasting from November 18 through December 2, and possibly longer in some counties.
The holiday season is usually brisk for wineries and provides a chance where they can make up for lost time and lost profits through wine sales in lower-yield years such as 2020. Without tasting rooms open, traffic and wine sales are hampered, failing to support the workforce of 30,000 growers, vineyard stewards, and hospitality workers. However, wine lovers can do their part to ease the burden and support their communities by continuing to purchase from wineries who have long defined the cultural landscape of Oregon.
The Oregon Wine Board is connecting consumers and wineries to help support each other through charities and also reward buyers of Oregon artisan products, such as wine. Called The Giving Season, the statewide program aims to help support charities ranging from One Community Health Center in the Gorge to Oregon Fire Relief donations in the Willamette Valley to assistance for Rogue Food Unites in Southern Oregon. Gifts to consumers include discounts on bottles and shipping, wine charms and more.
Similarly, Travel Oregon has launched a statewide campaign called Give the Gift of Oregon in partnership with the Governor’s Office and Built Oregon. For the campaign, Travel Oregon has created an online platform listing gifts from regional artisans and products as well as niche gift categories such as “Give the gift of happy hour,” with wine, beer and spirits packages featured. In addition, Travel Oregon has created an industry toolkit where businesses can learn how to engage with this campaign.
This year has been globally challenging, and for the $5.6 billion Oregon wine industry, wineries who rely on travel and tourism traffic will be hit particularly hard with the second wave of shutdowns. Wine tourism is an $800 million business in Oregon. According to a study by Dr. Suzanne Cook commissioned by Travel Oregon, more than 50% of visitors who get a taste of Oregon when they vacation here seek out Oregon products once they return home, with beer and wine topping the list. This shows that tourism not only brings in revenue to the state, but that the economic impact continues to compound for Oregon businesses and families once these travelers return home.
Although onsite tasting is paused, Oregon wine country is still open for business, and both Travel Oregon and the Oregon Wine Board encourage Oregonians to keep our cultural landscape alive and well by taking advantage of online delivery, curb-side pickup, and take-out orders to ensure Oregonian’s glasses are always full. Go to this site for the list of wineries, making sure to call ahead before setting out: https://visit.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.