The latest Oregon Vineyard and Winery Census Report, recently released by the Oregon Wine Board, shows steady market gains for Oregon wine, even as grape yields decreased slightly.
Overall, the value of sales of Oregon wine in 2016 grew 12% from 2015, to just under $530m. These increased sales came largely from case sales — particularly those to states other than Oregon — and from the Direct to Consumer (DtC) market. However, they also reflect an overall increase in the average value Oregon wine per bottle.
This is because overall production by Oregon wineries was down by about 6% from 2015, despite a slight uptick in the number of wineries operating in the state. This decrease, though, more represents a return to normal yields, after gangbuster years in 2014 and 2015.
The increase in total sales revenue speaks to the great prestige and attention Oregon wine is receiving — both locally and nationally. Total case sales of Oregon wine grew by nearly 300,000 cases from 2015, but more than 200,000 cases of that growth came from sales in states other than Oregon. You can download the 2016 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Census report, as well as past years’ reports, from the Oregon Wine Board website.
This is contrasted with DtC sales, which dropped noticeably for both wine club and online orders. However, growth in onsite sales from tasting rooms easily covered those decreases, and indeed championed the overall growth in DtC sales of Oregon wine. This means, while people may be less inclined to buy directly from an Oregon winery remotely, they’re much more open to visiting Oregon wine country and bringing back the quality wines they find there. This also likely reflects greater attention from Oregon locals, recognizing that great wine is in their backyard, and taking day or weekend trips to the vineyards.
In all, Oregon wine is enjoying an upward trend. Production is returning to more normal, sustainable levels; and while more wineries are operating, there is not overwhelming expansion, which could dilute the market. Meanwhile, revenue at large is increasing, with certain markets benefiting a bit more than others. For now, things look good for the Oregon wine market; we hope to see this trend continue in future years.