Oregon Wine Month
By Wine Press Staff
In recognition of the Oregon wine industry’s rapid growth, international reputation for quality and important contribution to the state’s economy, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announced on Jan. 18 that he has signed a proclamation designating May 2012 as Oregon Wine Month.
Speaking to the annual meeting of the Oregon Winegrowers Association in Salem, Kitzhaber said, “The Oregon wine industry is not only a key part of our state’s economy - it’s an important part of our state identity. In a state where agriculture is our second largest industry, the winegrape crop is Oregon’s leading value-added agricultural segment, contributing $2.7 billion annually to the state’s economy.”
While this is not the first time a governor of the state has proclaimed an official Oregon Wine Month, it has been several decades since Oregon has officially recognized its growing wine industry.
The Oregon wine industry comprises more than 420 wineries and 850 vineyards throughout the state, representing over 13,500 jobs. From the birthplace of New World Pinot Noir to warmer growing regions in Southern Oregon, the Columbia Gorge and Walla Walla Valley, Oregon has one of the most diverse and unique wine-producing regions in the world.
“We are thrilled that the governor has signed the proclamation declaring Oregon Wine Month in May,” said Michael Donovan, chairman of the Oregon Wine Board. “This is the perfect month to spotlight the importance of our statewide industry; showcase our outstanding wines and recognize the many talented entrepreneurs and hard-working employees who have built the Oregon wine industry into a treasured asset.”
Oregon Wine Month will include a wide array of retail, restaurant and consumer events and promotions highlighting Oregon wine. The month kicks off with Unwine’d: Celebrating Oregon Wine, a public grand tasting of Oregon wines, April 29, in Portland. More than 100 Oregon wineries will offer a diversity of wines for sampling.
In addition, participating retailers will conduct promotional campaigns showcasing Oregon wine and offering special pricing. Oregon Superior Cellar Award restaurants will also be involved with their own promotions featuring Oregon wine. Oregon Superior Cellar is a program for leading Oregon restaurants developed in partnership with the Oregon Wine Press. It recognizes restaurants that feature diverse and broad selections of Oregon wines on their menus.