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Oregon wine industry continues to boom

Oregon’s booming wine industry has continued its upward trend with outside investment, expansion plans and a focus on the high-end wine market helping to boost revenues by 49% between 2010 to 2013.

Oregon has seen total revenues of wine increase by 49% since 2010.

According to a report published today by Full Glass Research, Oregon winemakers achieved revenues totalling $816.6 million in 2013, up 49% since 2010.

While recent “post-recession” investment, between the years of 2011 and 2014, has seen planted acres in the region increase by 18% and the number of wineries increasing by 45%.

Much of this can be attributed to the region’s increasing international reputation with investment not only by some of the largest US wine companies, but from three top Burgundy producers.

Louis Jadot now counts two wineries among its Oregon stable, while Domaine Drouhin doubled the size of its vineyards in Oregon last year with the purchase of a 279-acre property in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA.

Most recently Méo-Camuzet snapped up Bishop Creek vineyard in September 2014.

Elsewhere one of Oregon’s oldest wine producers, Adelsheim Vineyard, expanded its holdings with the purchase of a 59-acre site in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, while Jackson Family Wines purchased three Oregon vineyards in 2013.

Foley Family Wines expanded its portfolio with the purchase of The Four Graces winery in Willamette Valley – its first in Oregon – in April 2014, while Chateau St Michelle purchased the Willakia vineyard in March 2014.

The report attributed much of the success of the region to winemakers’ continued focus on quality over quantity, targeting the “higher-priced, higher-quality segment of the wine market, turning the state’s low yields and tricky climate into an asset.”

It added: “Of the wine producing states, Oregon growers continue to achieve the highest average price per ton while Oregon wineries realize the highest average revenues per case. Nonetheless, the increased size and sophistication of the industry in Oregon, combined with their reputation for quality, is enabling Oregon wineries to expand distribution in many states and penetrate the higher volume upper-middle price segment.”

As such, Oregon’s reputation for quality and natural beauty was credited with helping to boost wine tourism in the region, which contributed $207.5 million to the Oregon economy in 2013.

Looking ahead, the report noted: “The outlook for the Oregon wine industry is positive. The demographic and cultural trends that favor high quality and distinctive fine wines remain intact. Demand for Pinot Noir, Oregon’s leading grape, continues to grow at a faster rate than most other varieties. Oregon has managed to maintain a price premium for its leading white grape, Pinot Gris, despite substantial competition from California and Italy.”

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