2022 Oregon Wine Symposium – February 15-17, 2022

Ice storms and restrictions on public gatherings can’t stop the demand for Oregon wine education, and in the case of the Oregon Wine Symposium, the show must go on. The annual event, held virtually for the second time in its 17-year history, is shaped by industry volunteers who make up the Education Committee that carefully evaluates and designs the curriculum around the most pressing needs of the industry. Driven by this input along with qualitative feedback and marketplace trend analysis, the Symposium strives to provide maximum value to attendees. More than 30 seminars and presentations by global wine experts are offered with three days full of information for $79 for registrants between now and January 14, 2022.

The 2022 Symposium will be organized in the familiar format of three separate tracks: Viticulture, Enology, and Business of Wine.

Some seminars to note are as follows:

In the Viticulture track, Drought in Oregon will present perspectives on one of the most serious environmental issues faced by many in the industry. Dr. Alec Levin and Chad Vargas will discuss the issue in depth and will be joined by Gregory Gambetta from the Bordeaux region of France. Gambetta will explore how common maladies like trunk disease and vine decline are being linked to the effects of long-term water stress.

Examining more topics within the water management arena, the Enology track offers two critical seminars on Tuesday, February 15: Winery Sustainability and Best Practices for Water Management in the Cellar and Diving Deep Into Winery Water Usage & Treatment at 10:45 and 11:45 am.

The Business of Wine track has several standout seminars for 2022. Benchmarking Oregon’s DTC Landscape will explore how Oregon-wide Community Benchmark DTC data can supply tasting rooms with opportunities for activating positive change and increasing channel growth. Regional associations will also discuss insights they’ve gathered from this regional benchmarking and what it means for their success.

The second day will take a two-pronged approach to media relations with back-to-back seminars; PR 101: Inside PR & Communications Strategies and Building your Media Relations Tool Kit: A Playbook for Successful PR & Communications Strategies as presented by Oregon wine PR veterans Kelli Matthews, Michelle Kauffman and Ryan Pennington.

Instead of just one Keynote speaker, the 2022 Symposium will extend the excitement by featuring a different Keynote address each day. This Keynote series will kick off with the return of Rob McMillan from Silicon Valley Bank, who will deliver the annual State of the Industry. As Oregon continues to be one of the hottest commodities in North American wine in the mergers and acquisitions (M & A) space, Kevin O’Brien of Zepponi & Company and Erik McLaughlin, CEO of METIS will together cover M&A Trends & Positioning for Sale.

Day three will feature a double dose of Dr. Greg Jones (pictured at right), who will highlight his riveting Climatology Report and the Vintage Report in his Keynote speeches. Dr. Jones’ highly anticipated seminars provide excellent educated glimpses into the future of Oregon Wine by examining our immediate past.

Participants are encouraged to register before January 14, 2022 to take advantage of the full-access admission reduction of 25% for early bird pricing, putting admission cost at only $79 for three full days of education and networking. Group admission for four or more drops to $69 apiece, and $25 admission for full access to viticulture seminars and general sessions with Spanish interpretation. This year, a new feature has been added—the Group Spanish Speaker Interpretation at $125 – which grants access to all virtual Viticulture sessions, Enology sessions on day 2, and OWB Research Updates for all company employees.

For more information on further discounts, preliminary programs, speakers, and special events, visit www.oregonwinesymposium.com.

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#winebusiness #winetasting #viticulture #enology

Oregon Wine Month Starts Now…. with “Pour It Forward”

Commencing May 1, 2021 Oregon wine lovers are set to celebrate Oregon Wine Month.  This month-long celebration showcases the best in Oregon’s rapidly growing wine industry.

This is the 9th year for Oregon Wine Month – it gives wine lovers different ways to celebrate including in-person and virtual events.

It kicks off with a social media campaign hosted on their Instagram and Facebook channels “Pour It Forward” (#pouritfORward), which serves as a chain of appreciation between Oregon winemakers across the state and globally.

Thirty-one Oregon winemakers are featured in this campaign and are featured daily by video. To see the campaign, go to the Wine Board’s Instagram and Facebook channels during the month of May. Videos will also be posted on the Oregon Wine Month site.

(May 1), features winemaker John Grochau of Grochau Cellars in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA tasting and sharing his thoughts on a Vermentino from winemaker Nate Wall of Troon Vineyard in the Applegate Valley AVA.  On May 2nd Nate Wall discusses a Mencia from Analemma Wines in the Columbia Gorge AVA – videos are featured here clicking here.

The month-long campaign will also feature wineries from all corners of Oregon’s rich and varied winemaking landscape – from The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater to the Chehalem Mountains in the Willamette Valley.

These short videos provide a window into the collaborative Oregon wine industry and give a platform for winemakers to praise wines made by their talented peers. As well as on social media platforms, the videos will also be housed on the Oregon Wine Month site.

Other episodes in the “Pour It Forward” series include winemakers like Master of Wine Billo Naravane from Rasa in The Rocks District and Walla Walla Valley, fellow Willamette Valley alums Doug Tunnell of Brick House, Grant Coulter and Renée St. Amour from Hundred Sons Wine.

The Oregon Wine Month sweepstakes returns for 2021, with an even bigger prize package for those eager to visit Oregon wine country. This year the stakes feature two spectacular prizes with two grand prizes – one trip to the Rogue Valley in partnership with Rogue Valley Vintners and one trip to the Willamette Valley in partnership with the Willamette Valley Wineries Association – Oregon Wine Month sweepstakes

Oregon Wine Month also includes a series of free educational seminars led by Master of Wine Bree Stock. Stock is a leading authority on the Oregon wine industry.

#OregonWineMonth #Oregonwine #wineevent #uswine #pouritfORward @oregonwineboard #oregonwineboard #oregonwines #oregonwinecountry #winemaking #winelover #winelovers #winetime #winecommunity #winestagram #winestory #winereview #winetasting #orwine #instawine

Seven Oregon Pinot Noirs Make Wine Spectator’s Top 100 List

Wine Spectator’s Annual Report names 100 of the best, most interesting wines in the world, with seven made in Oregon

Around this time every year since 1988, Wine Spectator gathers the best of the best wines its editors have tasted throughout the year, bestowing their favorite, most excellent wines made in or imported into the U.S. with a spot on the highly coveted “Top 100 list.” Oregon wines are often overrepresented on this prestigious list, garnering around five or six spots annually, or 5 or 6%, which is no small feat considering that Oregon accounts for far less than 1% of global wine production.

But in 2020, the number of Oregon wines set a new record in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list with seven Oregon Pinot noirs earning their way on to this list. Put another way, this means 7% of the most exciting wines in the entire world are made in Oregon.

How hard is it to get onto Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list?
The magazine receives about 11,000 wines each year for evaluation, so the odds of getting on this list are more than 100 to 1.

According to Wine Spectator, “Our selection prioritizes quality (based on score), value (based on price) and availability (based on the number of cases either made or imported into the United States). These criteria are applied to the wines that rated outstanding (90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale) each year to determine our Top 100…These wines are a diverse group—ranging from emerging labels and regions to traditional estates exploring new directions—and all generate the excitement we call the “X-factor.”

Winners this year include a top ten entry, Beaux Freres Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2018 with a score of 95, (the Beaux Frères Vineyard pictured above, photo by Carey Critchlow). Senior Editor Tim Fish described this wine as “A wine of presence and expression, impeccably structured yet elegantly layered, with evocative raspberry, rose petal and brown baking spice notes that pick up richness and tension toward fine-grained tannins.”

The other six winners and their respective spots on the list plus ratings are below. According to the magazine, a rating of 95-100 is deemed as a “Classic.” and a wine rated with a 90-94 is “Outstanding.”

#19: Résonance Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2017, 93

#29: The Four Graces Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Reserve, 2017, 94

#33: Ken Wright Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, 2017, 91

#37: Bergström Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Cumberland Reserve, 2018, 94

#64: La Crema Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018, 92

#79: Stoller Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018, 90

“Placing a record seven Oregon wines among the world’s Top 100, and five in the top 40, is welcome recognition for Oregon and a reflection of the exceptional fruit and winemaking talent here,” notes Oregon Wine Board President Tom Danowski.

Stoller Family Estate appeared for the first time on this list in 2020, and the designation is not lost on founder and owner Bill Stoller. “Wine Spectator is one of the most influential publications in our industry, and it’s an incredible honor to earn a spot on its Top 100 list,” he said. “Our Vice President of Winemaking, Melissa Burr, has been honing her craft over the last 15 years. She created an everyday Pinot Noir that embodies the spirit and complexity of our region. To have our 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir place alongside some of the best in the world is a testament to Melissa and her team’s dedication.”