During a challenging period for the global economy, the Oregon Wine Board uncovered some bright spots to celebrate with continued pathways of growth for the Oregon wine industry, shown in its annual Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report. Released September 21, momentum within Oregon’s wine industry is seen most markedly with four aspects of growth:
Sales of Oregon wine were up almost 13% in 2019 over 2018, and made a leap of 1 million cases over a two-year period from 3.6 million in 2017 soaring to 4.6 million cases sold in 2019.
Value of grape production rose almost 14%, up to $237 million in 2019, a number that crested the $200 million mark only one year ago.
Oregon’s crop value of Pinot noir rose from $135 million to $159 million in 2019, for a whopping increase of 18%.
Exports were up showing international notoriety of Oregon wine with cases shipped outside the U.S. increasing over 10%, from 104,477 cases exported in 2018 to 115,434 in 2019.
Additionally, grapes crushed by wineries in Oregon rose 6.2% to 84,590 tons in 2019.
Total planted acreage increased by nearly 1,500 acres from 35,972 to 37,399, an increase of 4%. The highest growth rate in planted acreage was seen in the Rogue Valley at 5.2%. Although growth in planted acreage was slightly tempered compared to 5.8% growth seen in 2018, the steady increases mark economic health balanced with optimism.
Pinot noir accounted for 59% of all planted acreage and 58% of wine grape production. As mentioned above, Oregon’s largest grape variety’s crop value rose by $24 million or 17.7% in 2019. Although still a less commonly-planted variety, Gamay noir plantings rose 11% from the year prior to 128 planted acres, and Chardonnay, Malbec, Pinot blanc and Pinot noir all rose by 7%. Albariño, a variety being measured for the first time as of last year, was up 6% in planted acreage for 2019.
Wine sales enjoyed a bump in 2019 across a number of channels, showing an increasing demand for Oregon wine due to wine critic acclaim and continued appreciation for Oregon wine quality. Increased case volumes also reflect broader availability for Oregon wines confirmed by Nielsen.
Over the past 12 months, including more than five months of reporting since the pandemic, Nielsen store data reflect Oregon wine sales are up +19% compared to overall wine category sales growth of +12%. Sovos ShipCompliant’s report showed an increase of 9% in Oregon wine shipped direct to consumers, and the IPRE numbers hovered around the same amount with wholesale sales up 13% and tasting room sales up 11%.
Export sales were up more than 10% compared to 2018, and Canada continues to lead the market, accounting for 46% of Oregon’s export sales. Canadian markets took in 53,041 cases of Oregon wine, up from 47,338 cases the year prior, an increase of 12%.
With plantings increasing, some growers are sticking with the state’s main grape of Pinot noir, up 7% in 2019, and some are branching into new territory with up and coming varieties like Gamay noir, up 11% in 2019.
WINERIES and VINEYARDS
Wineries in Oregon now number 908 and vineyards saw a healthy increase of 11% to 1,297 throughout the state.
The complete report is available on the OWB website, with past years’ reports dating back to 1981: industry.oregonwine.org.