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Oregon's Wine Industry Grew In 2016 Despite Drop In Production


Oregon's wine industry increased sales, planted more acres and opened more wineries in 2016, despite a drop in production.

Oregon's wine industry increased sales, planted more acres and opened more wineries in 2016, despite a drop in production.

Eric Mortenson/Capital Press

Oregon’s winemakers reported a 12 percent sales increase to $529 million, planted 2,400 more acres of grapes and opened 23 more wineries in 2016, according to an annual census commissioned by the Oregon Wine Board.

The growth came despite a 6 percent drop in production, slipping to 79,782 tons from the 84,782 tons harvested in 2015.

Not to worry, said Steve Thomson, CEO of Cristom Vineyards and the wine board chair. For one thing, the 2014 and 2015 vintages were unusually large, and 2016 was closer to normal — although the 2017 yield is shaping up as another big one.

More important, he said, is the price per ton is increasing and the state’s “pricing power” is intact. In other words, the state’s winemakers concentrated from the early days on quality rather than quantity, and consumers remain willing to pay more for Oregon wine.

Read more at the Capital Press.

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