Small wineries receive viticulture, enology, DTC and wine business education to help drive business
January 11, 2019, Portland, OR — With 70% of Oregon’s winemakers operating as family-owned small businesses and producing less than 5,000 cases of wine annually, the Oregon Wine Symposium makes it a priority to gear its educational seminars specifically to helping smaller industry players. To be held February 12-13 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, the Symposium strives to empower Oregon wine industry members to protect their assets, mitigate risks, and build sustainable businesses by providing them with means to adapt and be nimble in a fast-paced market.
Oregon Wine Board Education Manager Bree Stock MW says one consistent thread over the past few years is that industry members are often interested to learn how the programs are relevant to smaller and mid-sized family vineyards and wineries. “The smaller growers and producers do more than just dot our landscape here in Oregon—they really form the backbone of our industry,” she said.
“Many times their commitment to sustainability is what carves out benchmarks for the larger producers, getting the bigger ones to think about business practices differently. Whether they’re large or small winemakers or grape growers, this year’s Symposium is packed with info to help wine industry members focus on the timeliest topics in viticulture, enology, wine business, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) experiences.”
Seminars in viticulture aim to educate on protecting the quality of the vineyard from soil to plant, and small vineyard staff and owners attending this year’s Symposium will benefit from two new seminars; the first is The Road to Clean Nursery Stock and Solutions for Red Blotch. This session will include information on how clean plants are developed and how to ensure clean nursery stock when planting or grafting. This seminar will also offer regional case studies and updates for small vineyards on clean plant efforts in Oregon and the status of research to address Red Blotch Disease specifically in the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon.
In a similar vein, Regenerative Working Landscapes: Addressing Future Challenges from the Ground Up will help educate the smaller growers with tips on soil health. Moderated by Mimi Casteel of Hope Well Wines and featuring Dr. Paul Schreiner, a research plant physiologist at the USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory in Corvallis, this breakout session is geared toward water conservation in the small vineyard.
In the enology track at this year’s Symposium, lively discussions will ensue for winemakers who do it all. Get out of the Cellar and be a Seller will cover sales strategies that work, how to speak the language of distribution, and why building lasting relationships is critical to success.
Two sessions in this track are dedicated to managing two common challenges in the winemaking process, especially for smaller growers. Oxygen Management in Your Cellar for Wine Quality and Health presents research and techniques for preventing premature oxidation and aging, while Managing Microbes from Crush to Bottle explores how to avoid microbial spoilage at various control points along the winemaking process and features a tasting component.
In the executive business track, The Bottom Line – How Understanding COGS Can Increase Your Profitability may prove valuable in equipping small business teams to make smarter, more profitable decisions using the Oregon Wine Profit Planner. This free, online tool is the culmination from years of research into vineyard and winery costs and aims to help decision-makers navigate their best route in sustaining profitable wineries.
Also on the topic of wine business, Best Practices for DTC Managers will present recruiting, hiring, training and retaining the best people for small brands and businesses. Similarly, Connect, Invite, Close – the Art of Selling will equip frontline staff with tools on how to close wine sales for better profits in the tasting room. This seminar is also useful for winery staff who serve as the face of wine brands, even when the winery is too small to have a tasting room.
Presented by the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon Winegrowers Association and TricorBraun Winepak the Oregon Wine Symposium is offering ticket prices reduced by 30% with the Early Bird discount, ending soon. After the show, attendees can gain early access to PowerPoint presentations and recordings of sessions; last year’s recorded sessions are also available.
For additional information on the preliminary 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.
About TricorBraun Winepak
TricorBraun WinePak is a premier packaging distributor supplying a broad variety of packaging components for the wine industry. With locations throughout North America, the company provides access to the highest quality glass from multiple domestic and global sources, as well as Stelvin® capsules and closures, private and stock molds, full decorating services, repacking capabilities, enhanced design and engineering services and the strongest sales and customer service support in the industry.