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Oregon Wine Board has great news to share in its Vineyard and Winery Census Report. Read more for the details.

SUBMITTED PHOTOS: CAROL WELLS KRAME - Though wine production was down in 2016, revenue was up, indicating that Oregon wine consumers are drinking wine at a higher price per bottle. This is a view of Van Duzer Vineyards.

Case sales up 10 percent, generating 12 percent more sales revenue

Oregon Wine Board has released its Oregon Vineyard and Winery Census Report, pointing to steady gains in many areas of the state's wine industry.The board, a semi-independent state agency, released the annual report Aug. 29, and the report is the result of a study conducted by Southern Oregon University Research Center (SOURCE). Results include overall growth in the wine industry, as evidenced in case sales increasing 10 percent and sales revenue rising by 12 percent and sales of $529 million.

Momentum across the state was also seen in the number of wineries increasing by more than 3 percent from 702 to 725 in 2016, equating to roughly two new wineries opening each month in Oregon. Another report highlight shows planted acreage rising from 28,034 in 2015 to a record 30,435 in 2016, and representing a jump of more than 8 percent, led by varieties including Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot noir. Pinot noir is the leader in vineyard planted acreage, accounting for 64 percent of all planted acreage, and generating a production value of over $111 million.

While the census report, available in full at the Oregon Wine Board industry site, noted sales increases, it also showed a 6 percent reduced vineyard production for the year, from 84,949 tons in 2015 to 79,782 tons in 2016. This slight drop in total 2016 tonnage represents a return to more normalized levels after successive record harvests in 2014 and 2015.

Oregon Wine Board Chairman Steve Thomson sees the results as favorable, underscoring dollars over volume growth in the increased pricing power with Oregon wines, as is seen in the 7 percent uptick in direct-to-consumer sales.

"While production decreased last year, the volume of sales is up along with the dollar amount for the year," he said. "This shows the Oregon wine consumer is drinking more at a higher price per bottle. Our growers and winemakers are helping educate and refine the palate of wine drinkers, thereby reinforcing the quality of wine produced in all regions of the state."

As was reported by the Oregon Wine Board in mid-August, overall sales of Oregon wine are trending up 17 percent over the past 12 months. Much of the industry's growth of late has come from its super-premium tier, which has Oregon wines priced at $20-$25 a bottle, rising 60.3 percent according to national retail scanner data.

"The Nielsen figures, plus the trend of more consumers buying at tasting rooms (+15 percent) builds a good case for demand momentum and market acceptance, not just supply-driven production increases," Thomson said.

The report also noted:

n Tasting rooms were largely responsible for consumer sales in Oregon, constituting a whopping 63,536 increase in case sales in 2016 over 2015. Cases sold nationally were up 223,170 in the same time span.

n Oregon wine sales continue to advance 3 percent in their home state.

n As far as regions, the Willamette Valley continues to lead the state with 73 percent of total tons crushed.

n Case sales increased 10 percent to nearly 3.4 million in 2016, helped along by a 14 percent jump in national sales. Dollar amount for this is $529,075,387 compared with $470,650,919 for 2015.

n Canada leads the way for exporting Oregon wines, accounting for 41 percent of international sales.

The census report comes as preparation is nearing for the 2017 harvest. The complete census report is available on the OWB website, with past years' reports dating back to 2005. Visit industry.oregonwine.org.

Pinot noir is Oregons leader in vineyard planted acreage, accounting for 64 percent of all planted acreage, and generating a production value of over $111 million.

— The Review, Tidings

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