Wine marketing program drives sales in the Umpqua Valley

OSU Extension horticulturalist Steve Renquist (left) and vineyard owner Stephen Reustle look at ripening grapes.

The high quality of wine coming out of Oregon's Umpqua Valley attracts grape growers to establish vineyards, but the distance from a metropolitan area makes it difficult to market their award-winning wines.

To help get the word out, Oregon State University Extension Service partnered with wineries in a variety of ways, including offering “passports” that visitors have stamped at each winery they visit and get discounts. New signs line the sides of Interstate 5 and other roadways. Brochures have been printed and are distributed. The most recent materials focus on three large wineries from three areas of the Umpqua Valley comparing them to famous regions in Europe.

In 2017, wine growers saw annual wine sales at member wineries average an 8% growth in that region vs. an average of 7% over the last nine years. During that period, area growers planted another 300 acres of premium wine grapes.

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