1. Oregon wine industry growth continues in 2012: Annual census reports positive trends for production, sales, number of wineries

    OWB Blog (Nov 13 2013)

    1. Oregon wine industry growth continues in 2012: Annual census reports positive trends for production, sales, number of wineries

      The number of Oregon wineries topped 500 and production exceeded 50,000 tons, according to the 2012 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Census Report that was released today by the Oregon Wine Board (OWB). The annual report is produced for OWB by the Southern Oregon University Research Center.

      Total number of wineries in 2012 was 545, continuing a steady growth trend over recent years. Production, measured by the size of the harvest, reached 50,176 tons from 25,440 acres of vineyards. The number of vineyards in the state also grew to 905 in 2012.

      While the production numbers and winery count represented significant increases over 2011, Gregory Jones, professor and research climatologist at SOU in Ashland who supervised the census, cautioned not to interpret this as solely due to organic growth. He said some of the increase was attributable to changes in how the information was gathered. Jones said the 2012 census drew on a broader assortment of data than may not have been available to researchers in previous years.

      “We really did cast a broad net and queried more sources than we did in 2011,” said Jones. “We believe that we did capture some underestimates from years past.”

      Pinot noir and Pinot gris continue to be the two largest produced varieties, while growth continued in Chardonnay and Syrah. Pinot noir production totaled 28,565 tons, followed by Pinot gris at 7,423 tons, Chardonnay at 2,605 tons and Syrah at 2,097 tons. The statistics reflect a growing popularity of Oregon’s white varieties and further diversification of varieties.

      The North Willamette Valley continued to dominate with 73% of the total production at 37,027 tons. The Rogue Valley was the second highest producing region with 10% of the total or 4,983 tons.

      The full report, which is available on the Oregon Wine Board website, also showed sales of Oregon wine in 2012 topping 2 million cases for the second straight year, reaching 2.4 million cases. Pinot noir, Oregon’s flagship variety, represented 48% of total sales while Pinot gris captured 24%.

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