2012 Symposium

Oregon Convention Center

How is Oregon wine viewed in the eyes of the world? That will be the topic of the featured session at the Oregon Wine Industry Symposium in February.

The Oregon Wine Industry Symposium is preparing for its Portland debut at the Oregon Convention Center, Feb. 21–22. The conference is the largest gathering of wine industry members in the state, expected to attract more than 1,000 attendees and exhibitors.

“This is looking like it will be our biggest Symposium ever,” said Tom Danowski, the newly hired executive director of the Oregon Wine Board, which sponsors the event annually. “The Symposium is always a wonderful opportunity for the industry to come together as a community, learn and celebrate this marvelous industry.”

Previously, all conferences have been in Eugene, but the annual event simply outgrew the size of the facilities there and attendees voted to move it to Portland this year.

The conference will begin with an insightful look at the state of the Oregon wine industry, as seen through the eyes of market research, climate and finance. This session is one of the most popular, as it tries to gaze into the crystal ball and project the outlook for the state’s industry over the next 12 months. The workshop promises to be a fascinating look at the financial climate, purchase data, consumer trends, the bulk market, distribution prospects, pricing, inventory, as well as predictions for 2012.

A panel of leading industry experts will start the second day of the two-day event. Panelists include Harvey Steiman of the Wine Spectator and Jeremy Noye of wine retailer Zachys. David Millman of Domaine Drouhin will moderate the discussion. The industry critics will pull no punches in offering their honest assessment of the state of Oregon wines as viewed by critics outside the state.

This honest discussion will tackle themes of alcohol and acid levels, use of oak, extraction and other stylistic traits hotly debated in the wine world and their relationship to where Oregon has been, where it is now and where it will, or should, go to survive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Eileen Brady, co-founder of New Seasons Market, a 12-store Portland-based grocery chain specializing in locally sourced, sustainable products, will address attendees in the Symposium keynote. She’ll talk about how she and a group of friends developed the concept for New Seasons and then brought it to life — she recently announced her candidacy for mayor of Portland in the 2012 election.

Tickets for the Symposium went on sale Dec. 1 and can be purchased on the Oregon Wine Board website:

A few exhibitor spaces remain available. See above website for details.

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