OWB Annual Report
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
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
- Launched a completely new and modern OWB website,
- 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
- 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
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
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
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