OWP Celebrates 25 Years

By Hilary Berg, OWP Managing Editor

The Oregon Wine Press was first published in 1984—then called the The Oregon Wine Calendar—by founders and longtime publishers Richard Hopkins and Elaine Cohen.

Inside the five-page stapled photocopy newsletter was a calendar of events, a few news items and a winery profile about Serendipity Cellars, which has since closed its doors. The publication was plain, to the point and the first of its kind, dedicated to Oregon wine, then an infant on the wine scene. This was a true grassroots endeavor.

As the years went on, the name and look changed several times. In July 1987, the name changed to simply Oregon Wine, adding a “Restaurant of the Month” and a directory of wineries, which were growing in number and prestige.

In October of 1997, the name refined again to Oregon Wine Magazine, only to be changed to Oregon Wine Press Magazine in 2004, which was Richard and Elaine’s business name for many years before that.

With all the changes, one thing stayed the same, the dedication and love for the industry. Looking back, it seemed Richard and Elaine wouldn’t have time to put the paper together, seeing how they were at almost every wine function, gathering information, taking snapshots, tasting wine—a real perk for a small-profit paper.

Month after month—243 straight, to be exact—Richard and Elaine put their heart and soul into the publication.

In 2006, when News-Register Publishing bought it, I was hired as editor, and to be honest, I was nervous. Although there were improvements to be made that I knew I could accomplish, I was intimidated to fill the well-worn shoes of Richard and Elaine. In every AVA, they were known and well-liked. Their connections were many and their boisterous passion was admired by all.

They set this paper in motion for 22 of its 25 years, and for that, everyone here is forever grateful.

And so, I would like to toast Richard and Elaine for a job well done. Thank you for giving this industry a true grassroots publication that we can all be proud of. May the Oregon Wine Press be here for another 25 and more. Cheers! 

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