An award given in recognition of outstanding leadership in promoting the Oregon wine industry through public policy initiatives
PORTLAND, February 15, 2023 — The Oregon Winegrowers Association (OWA) presented Congressman Earl Blumenauer with the Oregon Wine Leadership Award during its annual meeting Feb. 15 at the Oregon Wine Symposium. The award is given in recognition of outstanding leadership in promoting the Oregon wine industry through public policy initiatives.
Anna Maria Ponzi, OWA President Emeritus, presented the award: “Congressman Blumenauer has been a longstanding champion for Oregon’s wine industry during his time in Congress, affecting positive policy change to support our growing industry. When he began in 1996 there were only 94 wineries and 7,500 acres of winegrapes. Today our value-added industry includes over 1,000 wineries and 40,000 winegrape acres with a total economic impact of $7 billion, in part due to sound policymaking from leaders like Congressman Blumenauer.”
Congressman Blumenauer has been a tireless supporter of the Oregon wine industry at the federal level, advocating for meaningful Farm Bill reforms to better support specialty crops like winegrapes, lowering federal excise tax rates for wine to promote reinvestment, removing trade barriers to grow wine export markets, support for restaurants and tasting rooms hard hit by the pandemic, sensible immigration reform, funding to support ongoing research to better help growers and processors manage and reduce the impact of smoke exposure, and a host of other initiatives. Congressman Blumenauer routinely seeks input from the OWA and its members about ways he can support the industry through his work in Washington, DC.
“I am honored to be recognized as a champion for the Oregon wine industry,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “Oregon is one of the best places to grow grapes in the world. It’s why our wines receive global recognition and countless awards. Our industry is second to none in its commitment to sustainable agricultural practices, fair labor standards, and pioneering opportunities for new and diverse winemakers to enter and advance. As we look ahead to this year’s Farm Bill reauthorization, I look forward to working hand in hand with the Oregon Winegrowers Association to build on our decades of progress.”
About the Oregon Wine Leadership Award
The OWA established the Oregon Wine Leadership Award in 2017 to recognize outstanding leadership in promoting the Oregon wine industry through public policy initiatives. Past recipients include U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, House Speaker Dan Rayfield, State Rep. Paul Holvey, former State Senator Arnie Roblan, and former State Senator Jackie Winters.
About the Oregon Winegrowers Association
Harnessing the power of state-wide consensus, the Oregon Winegrowers Association stands as the vital advocate for the health, growth and economic sustainability of Oregon’s wine industry. OWA is a member-driven advocacy group advancing the interests of the largest agricultural economic impact section in the state. www.oregonwinegrowers.org