Oregon report highlights on-going growth

The 2017 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report has found that the state increased the number of wineries and vineyards planted last year and saw sales hit new highs.

The report found that 44 wineries were established in 2017 as opposed to 2016 when 26 were founded. Most of the new wineries were opened in the north and south of the state, 18 in the north and 13 in the Rogue Valley AVA in the south.

Grape growers have also flourished, with the number of vineyards growing from 1,052 to 1,144 and the total acreage over the last three years having risen 17% from 28,034 acres to 33,631.

In terms of varieties, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay continue to see increased yields while Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Gris are in decline.

North Willamette Valley continues to be the state’s biggest producer, crushing 72% of the total harvest last year.

Sales meanwhile soared from US$529 million to $550m, helped along by direct and wholesale buyers, with retail wine sales in the US up 16% over the 52 weeks ending 11 August 2018, according to Nielsen.

Oregon is also working to increase its exports, last year 94,351 cases went overseas. Canada remains the leading export market, with nearly 50% of shipments ending up there. Japanese customers however bought 26% more Oregon wine in 2017 than they did in 2016, up to 8,952 cases and the UK also saw a jump in exports of 31% from 6,953 to 10,047 cases.

Oregon Wine Board executive director Tom Danowski said: “The global wine market is fiercely competitive and these data suggest Oregon is well-positioned with increasing supply generally balanced by surging consumer demand. We continue to see the marketplace recognizing quality and Oregon delivering it more consistently across more grape varieties and growing regions than ever.”

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