Experts explore what’s next for Oregon when the Oregon Wine Symposium returns to Portland in February 2018
November 29, 2017, Portland, OR – With a bountiful harvest in the books and statewide revenue up 12% this year, the business of Oregon wine is on many people’s minds as the 2018 Oregon Wine Symposium ramps up for its Feb. 20-21 return to the Oregon Convention Center. Three tracks—wine business, viticulture and enology—will make up the show over two days. Presented by the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon Winegrowers Association and Pihl Excavating, and with more than 170 exhibitors and 1,200 attendees, the Oregon Wine Symposium is the largest wine industry trade show in the Pacific Northwest.
“What a year it’s been for the Oregon wine business,” said Steve Thomson, chairman of the Oregon Wine Board. “Premium wines from Oregon are gaining in notoriety across the globe, and this show marks a great time for thought leaders to share their knowledge under one roof. Wine producers and growers can compare notes about the year as well as pick up some new pointers on attracting more customers in Oregon and beyond.”
Danny Brager, senior vice president, Beverage Alcohol Practice at Nielsen, will present retail and new direct-to-consumer data for Oregon wines as well as provide predictions for future growth. Brager’s presence underscores Oregon’s rising prominence in the domestic landscape for fine wine.
Under the theme What’s Next for Oregon Wine? Exploring Oregon’s Changing Wine Landscape, industry experts will explore statewide growth and discuss how Oregon wine brands can grow and rise to the next level of market success. Liz Thach MW, distinguished professor of wine and a professor of management at Sonoma State University, will moderate this panel discussion, joined by Matt Deller MW, chief wine officer of Wine Access and Chris Tanghe MS, chief instructor for GuildSomm and Wine Enthusiast 2017 Sommelier of the Year. The panel will also include Richard Mendelson, Napa-based attorney specializing in land use and alcoholic beverages, who will share his views on labeling and AVA expansion opportunities.
The slate of speakers is composed of a variety of trade gatekeepers discussing data on trends showing Oregon wines’ strengths and where Oregon wineries can direct their focus for future success. One session will examine Strategies of Channel Management, led by A to Z Wineworks’ president Amy Prosenjak and Gaironn Poole, sales director at Goodfellow Family Cellars. Symposium attendees can also learn about Benchmarking for Wine Business Profitability in a session moderated by Lesley Berglund of Wine Industry Sales Education, joined by Tim Hanni MW and Matt Franklin of Zepponi Partners, who will provide insights into the mergers and acquisitions market.
Led by Matt Deller MW and presented in conjunction with Chris Cullina, director of sales and marketing at Argyle Winery and Jim Blumling, industry consultant and former group vice president of Wine, Spirits and Beer at Albertsons Safeway, Dynamic Pricing: The Art & Science of Pricing to Increase the Economic Health of Your Wine Business will coach attendees through pricing strategies for economic health. Also led by Deller, a Distribution Roundtable comprising a group of five additional distributor professionals will allow attendees to interact 1-on-1 to learn directly from the panelists about the best ways to engage and work with distributors and build successful distributor-producer relationships.
Liz Thach MW will present her research findings from her just-published book titled Best Practices for Global Wine Tourism. She will be joined by Morgen McLaughlin, executive director of Willamette Valley Wineries Association, and Jeff Knapp, executive director of Visit McMinnville, with additional insights from Travel Oregon. Finally, Master Marketing Automation to Increase DTC Sales will close the business sessions on the afternoon of Feb. 21, covering how to reach the right customers at the right time to help build direct businesses.
All show attendees are invited to the Oregon Wine Soirée, an opportunity for wine industry professionals to eat, drink and mingle with speakers, sponsors and peers while enjoying wines from around the state. This event is included in the full Symposium ticket and is a celebration of the community’s hard work and shared passion for Oregon wines. For additional information on the 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.