1. Oregon wineries top 2 million case mark for first time: 2011 census shows sales, production growth exceeds industry average

    OWB Blog (Dec 12 2012)

    1. Oregon wineries top 2 million case mark for first time: 2011 census shows sales, production growth exceeds industry average

      PORTLAND, Dec. 12, 2012 –Oregon’s $3 billion wine industry continue to outpace much of the rest of the U.S. wine industry by topping the 2 million case sales level for the first time in its 50-year history, according to the 2011 Oregon Winery Census Report released today by the Oregon Wine Board (OWB). The census was conducted and produced by Southern Oregon University’s Southern Oregon Research Center in Ashland.

      Oregon’s 463 wineries saw overall sales increase 9% both in volume and sales revenue, making 2011 the biggest year in the history of the industry. Total case sales, including the sale of bulk wine, reached 2.2 million cases. The 2011 results benefited from a record harvest of 42,033 tons.

      “This report contains nothing but good news for the Oregon wine industry,” said Michael Donovan, of RoxyAnn Winery and chairman of OWB. “It shows that not only is the industry growing, but we’re growing in the right way with a laser focus on quality and without sacrificing our artisan winemaking roots.”

      This compares to a 2% growth rate for wine sales as a whole in the U.S. last year, according to Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Oregon’s production is significantly higher than the 5.6% growth posted by California wineries, the nation’s largest wine producing state.

      While exports from Oregon wineries were flat in 2011, Oregon wine experienced strong growth in Asian markets. Sales to Japan and other Asian countries represented 36% of total exports, up from 28% in 2010. Sales in Japan, one of OWB’s targeted export markets, grew 11%.

      Custom crush production rose 65% from the previous year, reinforcing the diversity and accessibility of the industry to new wineries. Linda Donovan, winemaker at 3-year-old Pallet Wine Co. in Medford, said her business experienced similar rapid growth in 2011. “We call ourselves a Vincubator,” Donovan said. “We help make entering the wine business more affordable and quicker.”

      Other highlights of the report include:

      • Total wineries increased 10% over the previous year to 463.
      • Direct to consumer sales represented 21% of total sales, representing one of the fastest growing segments of the sales mix. Sales from tasting rooms were up 5% and represented 14% of total sales.
      • Oregon is still the largest single domestic market for Oregon wine with 20% of the total sales through distribution sold within the state. However, this does not include direct sales to Oregon residents through tasting rooms and other direct means such as wine clubs. 

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