Oregon Wine Industry Showing Growth

 


The Oregon wine business is booming, according to a recent report by Full Glass Research.
 
Several news outlets published the results of the study this past week, including the Oregon-based newspaper The Astorian. The industry, according to the study, has an economic impact of $3.3 billion.
 
“The report by Full Glass Research describes and industry on a post-recession roll, with planted acres increasing by 18 percent since 2011, the number of wineries up 45 percent and a 39 percent increase in sales,” reporter Eric Mortenson wrote.
 
Parting of the driving force behind the growth, the study said, was Oregon's focus on “quality over quantity.”
 
“Oregon winegrowers have maintained their focus on the higher-priced, higher-quality segment of the wine market, turning the state's low yields and tricky climate into an asset,” the report said. “Oregon growers continue to achieve the highest average price per ton while Oregon wineries realize the highest average revenues per case.”
 
The Astorian pointed out Oregon's low yields pack quite a punch because the grapes themselves “aren't even in Oregon's top-10 most valuable crops.”
 
Though the wine grape crops are 11th on the list of the state's most valuable crops, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, they have a big impact “ranging from the production of oak barrels and steel tanks to money spent by tourists in tasting rooms.”
 
Statistics from the Full Glass report underscore the underdog theme.
“Despite dramatic growth, small to medium size producers prevail in Oregon,” The Astorian article said. “The state's three largest producers would rank 52nd, 53rd and 76th in California.”
 
In terms of exports, Orgeon's wines are most popular in Canada, the country which accounts for one-third of the state's total wine exports. 
 
“Japan is second, with Mexico, Hong Kong and Scandinavian countries emerging as the fastest growing markets,” the article said.
 
The Astorian noted that Oregonians drink 36 percent of the wine produced in the state.
 
According to the Full Glass report, the state will continue to see gains with its pinot noir and pinot gris.
 
“Demand for Pinot Noir, Oregon's leading grape, continues to grow at a faster rate than most other varieties,” the report said. “Oregon has managed to maintain a price premium for its leading wine grape, Pinot Gris, despite substantial competition from California and Italy.”
 
Though the state has seen great gains in the past several years, the report said, it must push for growth and innovation.
 
“The industry cannot become complacent,” the report said. “Competition from other wine regions continues to be fierce.”
 

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