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Oregon wine sales up for 20th year

Sales of Oregon wines are expected to rise by 7%-10% this year, marking 20 straight years of growth for the American state.


The prediction comes from Silicon Valley Bank, which surveyed winery owners in Oregon, Washington and California.

“Tasting room visits at Oregon wineries grew by 12.9% last year, the biggest increase on the West Coast,” the bank’s executive vice president, Rob McMillan, said in his address at the annual Oregon Wine Industry Symposium in Portland yesterday (21 February).

“These visits are important because direct sales are an important factor in most Oregon wineries’ overall sales,” he added.

Direct to consumer sales account for 21% of all Oregon winery sales, according to a 2011 study by California-based Full Glass Research, commissioned by the Oregon Wine Board.

Oregon wineries have continued to increase their sales outside the Northwest, with 65% of Oregon wine shipments going to states outside the Pacific Northwest.

“Oregon Pinot Noir is growing at more than 10% annually, while sales of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling are also increasing,” Full Glass owner Christian Miller said.

According to the study, sales of Oregon wine have increased by 60% in the past five years, to US$252 million, and have nearly doubled in the past decade.

Speakers at Tuesday’s symposium said Oregon wine growers may benefit from better weather this year, after two years of cool, wet springs, and from a shortfall in California’s 2011 wine grape crop.

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