Almanac 2023: Past Reflections, Future Visions

A look back and ahead

Photo by SUNBEAM PHOTOGRAPHY on Unsplash

By Michele Francisco

When a new year begins, it’s customary to reflect on the past and set goals for the future. Since starting in May, I’m beginning to feel more settled in my editor role and its countless responsibilities. While I have many ambitions, my primary focuses are to: 1.) publish informative, compelling stories; 2.) showcase wineries around the state, thereby embracing our publication name “Oregon” Wine Press; and 3.) include more people and projects celebrating diversity, innovation and sustainability.

I could not have successfully accomplished these goals without help from our many trusted freelancers. It takes a village to create every issue. Although I have many favorites, I’ve chosen seven articles, one from each month of my tenure, that best illustrate my objectives.

June– Remy at the Reins: Remy Drabkin, Winemaker, McMinnville’s mayor, creator of Queer Wine Fest, founder of Wine Country Pride and inventor of Drabkin Mead Formulation, a carbon-negative concrete.

July– All for One: Examples of Oregon wineries showing their appreciation and caring for their workers.

August– Feeling Loopy?: Highlighting the wineries– plus a brewery and cidery– on Hood River’s Fruit Loop trail in the Columbia Gorge.

September– Harvesting Experience: Spotlighting nonprofit Our Legacy Harvested and the program’s BIPOC harvest interns. (Watch for a follow-up article in next month’s issue.)

October– Trial By Fire: Sharing the story of how wildfire smoke challenged grape growers and winemakers during our 2020 harvest.

November– Dames of the Rogue: Introducing ten women influencing Southern Oregon wine.

December– Phoenix Rising: The story of a couple who lost everything in Southern Oregon’s Almeda Fire and how they are creatively re-envisioning their businesses.

Thanks to you for reading each issue and sending your comments to me. I continue to welcome your opinions on these articles, along with ideas you’d like explored in upcoming issues. Contact me at

While looking forward to a bright future, I wish the same for you. Oregon’s wine industry is a dynamic one, filled with people passionate about what they do. I am honored and humbled to share their stories. As I begin to hit my stride in 2023, expect more comprehensive coverage of creative individuals and unique wines produced in our state. Thank you for reading.

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