- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon’s wine industry is on a post-recession roll with planted acres, wineries and sales all reporting gains, and with new interest from investors outside the state, a new assessment says.

The report from California beverage consultant Full Glass Research says wine grapes aren’t among the state’s top 10 most valuable crops, coming in at No. 11, the agricultural publication Capital Press (https://bit.ly/1DayfGR) reports.

But the report details an industry that punches above its weight with economic impact ranging from the production of oak barrels and steel tanks to money spent by tourists in tasting rooms. It says it has an economic impact of $3.35 billion.

Oregon grape growers and winemakers have successfully focused on making higher-priced, higher-quality wine, especially the signature pinot noir, “turning the state’s low yields and tricky climate into an asset,” the report says.

The report says planted acres are up by 18 percent since 2011, the number of wineries by 45 percent and sales by 39 percent.

The report suggests that change is on the way for a business that was home grown in its formative years and now is flourishing in southern Oregon and the Columbia River basin, as well as the Willamette Valley.

From 2012-14, the report said, four of the top 20 largest wine companies in the U.S., including Kendall Jackson, and three companies from the Burgundy region of France purchased or expanded holdings in Oregon.

Other points in the report:

- There are 17,000 “wine-related” jobs in Oregon.

- Despite dramatic growth, small- to medium-size producers prevail. The state’s three largest producers would rank 52nd, 53rd and 76th in California.

- Oregon consumes 36 percent of its own production. Among international export markets, Canada takes more than a third. Japan is second, with Mexico, Hong Kong and Scandinavian countries emerging as the fastest growing markets.

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Information from: Capital Press, https://www.capitalpress.com/washington


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