Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
08.16.2013  
 

Oregon Wine Cluster Conference Revived

Southern Oregon no longer searching for 'signature varietal,' some say, but embracing cultivars that thrive in area's terroir

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
Cliff Creek Cellars
 
Ruth Garvin, co-owner of Cliff Creek Cellars, says the Oregon Wine Industry Cluster Conference offers an opportunity for growers to check in with each other.
Jacksonville, Ore.—The third Oregon Wine Industry Cluster Conference is slated for Aug. 23, and organizers are hoping it will tap a diverse range of perspectives to build on the foundation established by the previous conferences held in 2008 and 2010. (See “Southern Oregon Wineries Look Ahead.”)

“Our general interest in developing this conference was to pull together people who had something to say about the wine economy and where it’s headed, right now, in Oregon,” said Allison Priestley, who as program assistant for the Southern Oregon Wine Institute has worked to organize the conference.

“Rather than just having vintners and growers, see how the conversation might differ with a lot more representation from throughout the cluster,” she told Wines & Vines.

Key speakers include University of Puget Sound professor Mike Veseth, who authors the Wine Economist blog, and Jim Wolpert, emeritus professor in the Department of Viticulture & Enology at the University of California, Davis.

Oregon (and the Southern Oregon wine cluster in particular) are represented by Dwayne Bershaw, enology instructor at the Southern Oregon Wine Institute; Alex Campbell of the Partnership for Economic Development in Douglas County; Bill Henri of vineyard consultancy Wm. Henri Development Co.; Charles Humble, director of marketing and communications for the Oregon Wine Board; Greg Jones, professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at Southern Oregon University, and Kara Olmo, co-owner of Wooldridge Creek Winery in Grants Pass, Ore.

The conference in 2010 concluded with questions regarding what the best grape varieties might be for southern Oregon, and how best to use available grant monies and promotional opportunities.

But with changing economic fortunes and the growth of the industry, some older questions have been resolved—or deemed to be answered best in practice—while new questions have become more pressing.

A 2011 report about the Oregon wine industry pegged the impact of the state’s wine industry at $2.7 billion, with a net economic contribution of $1.6 billion. (See “Breaking Down the Oregon Wine Report.”)

The growth was driven in part by a rising number of producers across the state, including southern Oregon, where the industry saw wineries double in number between 2004 and 2010.

The establishment of new AVAs, including the Elkton Oregon AVA (see “AVA Boosts Profile for Southern Oregon”), is helping growers focus on working with the terroir they’ve been given rather than trying to match the style of other successful wine regions.

“Southern Oregon is still a teenager; we’re still developing, still answering some of those questions here,” Priestley said. “We’re still looking at, ‘How do we stimulate all of the cluster involvement in industry? How do we continue to grow as an economy in Southern Oregon?’”

The questions are worth asking, and Ruth Garvin, co-owner and manager of Cliff Creek Cellars in Gold Hill, says the Cluster Conferences provide growers with an important opportunity to check in with each other regarding their answers.

“We’re watching this grow, and we’re watching people move into the area,” she said, noting that the region now has at least 125 vineyards and more than 80 wineries. “When I look at what we have lined up for this year, I feel like they have taken into consideration where we’re at in the industry at this point.”

Garvin points to past discussions of a signature variety that could define the region as an example of how the industry has changed. Rather than follow the route of the Willamette Valley, which has painted itself with Pinot Noir, the region is discovering the breadth of varieties it can support: from Albariño to Viognier and even Zinfandel.

“Three years ago, we were looking for what varietal we should hang our hat on,” Garvin said. “That has changed. We’re now learning that that’s not the important piece, but to look at all the varietals that can be grown there successfully and to focus on exactly that instead of worrying about a single varietal.”

More than 80 people have registered to date for the conference, which is being held this year in conjunction with Jacksonville’s World of Wine festival, the region’s largest celebration of wine.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 $575 million
5%
$7,743 million
6%
September 2013 $550 million $7,311 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 $163 million
16%
$1,708 million
11%
September 2013 $141 million $1,538 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 166
14%
226
18%
September 2013 145 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 10.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • October 26
     
    Pinot on the River
     
  • November 1-2
     
    A Wine & Food Affair
     
  • November 1-2
     
    Temecula Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting
     
  • November 5
     
    Single Vineyard Night
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: The 'Sideways' Effect »
 
Thank you for this research that confirms what many thought about the pinot noir effect....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Fine for Volunteer Labor Makes Wineries Wary »
 
This is so incredibly asinine. And my taxes go to help fund these over-reaches? No...
Reader: Philburtonj
 
Article: Paso Winegrowers Back on TTB Track »
 
Unfortunately, they will be named Drought sinkhole #1, #2, #3, etc. Really, 11 different flavor profiles...
Reader: Donn Rutkoff
 
Article: Optimization of limited water resources in irrigated vineyards »
 
Very interesting article! Sap flow monitoring was in the past mostly used for research but...
Reader: Virginie Scoarnec
 
Article: New York OKs Out-of-State Grapes »
 
If the resultant wine, using out of state juice,bears the "American" on the label, I...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Field Sales Manager
 Delaware, DE
Sales and Marketing
 Distributor Salesperso...
 San Diego, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Production Assist...
 Oak View, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Q.C. Technician
 Santa Rosa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Wine Educator
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Hospitality Assistant
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Team Lead...
 Sonoma, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Vineyard Manager
 Healdsburg, CA
Vineyards
 Vineyard Supervisor
 Healdsburg, CA
Vineyards
 National Sales Manager
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.