Posted: Aug 18, 2017
Sales of Oregon wine are eclipsing the national growth rate — and beating the state’s bigger rivals to the north and the south — according to new Nielsen data touted by the Oregon Wine Board.
Nationwide, sales of Oregon wine rose 17 percent in the year ended July 15, compared to a 2.8 percent increase for all wine and increases of 2.3 percent for Washington wine and 3 percent for California wine.
Oregon, with its focus on high-end Pinot Noir, is benefiting from a trend toward "premiumization."
On its home turf, the Oregon industry saw sales grow 8.4 percent in the past year, while Washington wine sales in Oregon fell nearly 1 percent and California sales inched up 1.9 percent.
In a news release, the Oregon group’s president, Tom Danowski, called it “the strongest consumer-driven growth trajectory we’ve seen in recent memory.” In the 2016 calendar year, Nielsen data showed Oregon sales rising 14 percent nationwide.
Oregon has had several excellent vintages in recent years, including a 2016 harvest that one industry analyst called the best in the nation.
The Oregon industry has also been well positioned with its focus on higher-end wines, particularly Pinot Noir.
“Not only are Oregon’s wine sales benefitting from exceptionally strong reviews from wine critics, there is also a trend toward premiumization,” Danowski said. “Wines priced above $15 per bottle are propelling category growth.
Oregon’s industry is relatively small — California produces nearly 70 bottles for every bottle from Oregon — but it has been growing fast. Planted acreage rose 45 percent from 2008 to 2015 and the number of wineries grew from 395 to 702 in the same period. The Oregon Wine Board puts its total economic impact at $3.35 billion.
By Pete Danko
August 17, 2017
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