OWB Annual Report

Dear Friends, 

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon has never been in a better position to market its wines on a global stage.

In the past 10 years, "Brand Oregon" has emerged as a force on the international wine scene, winning untold awards and accolades from some of the top wine writers and critics in the world. When I think of Oregon wines, I often say that their reputation exceeds the actual sales volume by several orders of magnitude. I couldn't agree more with Sen. Ron Wyden when he told a gathering of leaders in our wine community in early 2013, "Oregon wine is a relentlessly good news story."

In the past 10 years, the number of wineries in the state has tripled to more than 450; planted acreage of vineyards has more than doubled; the number of cases of Oregon wine sold topped 2 million for the first time in 2011, doubling over the past decade; and the economic impact of wine in Oregon reached $2.7 billion in 2010, double the contribution only five years earlier.

Traditionally, OWB has produced an annual report to summarize its programs and results, with the report only available on our website. With 2012-13 marking OWB's 10th anniversary and in recognition of the tremendous growth of the industry, we are also producing a printed version for the first time. Our goal is not only to document our financial condition, but to more broadly share the work of OWB, its support of winemakers and grapegrowers, and recognize the many volunteers who give of their time to help grow the industry.

During the past fiscal year, OWB helped facilitate a number of programs and activities across its three primary mandates - marketing and promotion, education and research. Notable among those accomplishments:

  • Launched a completely new and modern OWB website, oregonwine.org.
  • Orchestrated the second annual Oregon Wine Month, producing a 7% increase in off-premise, in-state sales of Oregon wine versus a year ago through participating distributors.
  • Promoted the hugely successful Oregon Wine Country license plate program. It was the second fastest selling specialty plate in its first year and total sales for 16 months are now at 8,500.
  • Hosted the most successful ever Wine Bloggers Conference with attendance topping 500.
  • Hosted the American Wine Society annual conference in November.
  • Initiated key Oregon wine reputation benchmarking research in conjunction with Linfield College.
  • Hosted the largest and most successful Oregon Wine Symposium ever with record attendance of more than 1,400.
  • Conducted trade and consumer events in Vancouver, London, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Dusseldorf.
  • Funded nine critical Viticultural and Enological research projects with a total budget of $236,466.
  • Worked closely with our sister organization, the Oregon Winegrowers Association, to gain approval by the Oregon State Legislature of a $1.2 million fermentation sciences program over two years that will largely benefit the wine industry, a safe-driving act enabling qualified workers who are unable to prove legal residency to apply for and obtain an Oregon Drivers License and a bill expanding the ability to sell wine to consumers in "growlers."

These are only some of the highlights of the past year. I urge you to peruse the rest of the 2012-13 annual report for a more detailed overview of the work your Oregon Wine Board produced in the past year.

While we have work to do to increase the visibility of "Brand Oregon" and gain the kind of distribution and availability needed to meet a growing consumer demand, these are good challenges to have and your board is focused on meeting them.

As your board prepares a new strategic plan to enter the next decade, the prospects for the Oregon wine industry have never been more promising. Our wine is admired around the world; market acceptance and critical endorsements continue to build and our commitment to sustainable farming and winegrowing is the envy of the industry.

This breadth and depth of accomplishment has elevated Oregon to a unique position among the world's most esteemed wine regions. It is the reason that investment capital and exceptional winemaking talent continue to migrate here.

Together, we are growing, improving and collaborating in a way that is true to the vision of Oregon's wine pioneers.

On behalf the Oregon Wine Board of Directors and with warm regards,

Leigh Bartholomew

Click here for the Annual Report

Featured Content

  • It's back!

    Check a case of Oregon wine for free on Alaska Airlines. Learn More »

  • Wine Region of the Year!

    Oregon honored in 2013! Learn More »

  • Oregon Wine Experience App

    The app is available on iTunes for iPad only. Learn More »

  • Oregon Wine Country Plates!

    Oregon is the first in the nation to sell Wine Country license plates. Learn More »

Oct 2014

Willamette Valley Wineries Association Board Meeting

October 1, 2014 | Location

Willamette Valley Wineries Association Board Meeting. First Wednesday of every month.
Learn More »

Get in on the OWB Social Conversation

Click to view:

4640 SW MACADAM AVENUE, SUITE 240, PORTLAND, OR 97239 | PHONE: 503.228.8336 | FAX: 503.228.8337