PORTLAND, Dec. 17, 2012 – The largest gathering of Oregon’s wine-producing industry is set for Feb. 19-20, 2013 at the annual Oregon Wine Industry Symposium. This will be the second year the conference has been held in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center.
Last year’s conference, which moved to Portland from Eugene, broke all previous attendance records with more than 1,300 industry members, vendors and media registered. Attendance at the 2013 symposium, which focuses on all aspects of Oregon’s highly successful wine industry, is expected to top last year’s record.
“We are expecting our largest and best symposium ever,” said Michael Donovan, chairman of the Oregon Wine Board, sponsor of the event. “The Symposium is always a wonderful opportunity for the industry to come together as a community, learn and celebrate its achievements.”
In addition to the opening session in which a panel of experts assess the health of the Oregon wine industry and make projections about the coming year, the symposium will feature two keynote speakers.
Mike Keiser, founder and owner of Bandon Dunes Resort on the Southern Oregon Coast, keynotes the opening day of the symposium. Keiser co-founded Recycled Paper Greetings, a green greeting card business out of his Chicago apartment in 1971. He sold the business to a private equity form in 2005. Bandon Dunes is recognized by the golfing cognoscenti as among the best golfing destinations in the world. Bandon Dunes Resort has four courses, three of which are pure links courses
overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Keiser’s story borrows from the entrepreneurial aspirations of Oregon’s early wine pioneers. Like Oregon’s wine industry founders, he, too, was told he could never make a success of a world-class destination golf resort in a remote coastal area of Oregon.
Ted Baseler, president and chief executive officer of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, will keynote the second day. Baseler, a native of Oregon, joined Ste. Michelle 28 years ago. Over the years, he has risen through the ranks and became president and CEO in 2001. Since then, Baseler has turned around company profit growth by increasing quality, focusing on Washington vineyards, acquiring highly acclaimed small wineries, and expanding distribution worldwide. The company has had record earnings and profits in seven of the eight years since Baseler took the helm.
The two-day conference kicks off with an insightful look at the state of the Oregon wine industry through the lens of market research, climate and finance. This session is one of the most popular of the Symposium as it tries to look into the crystal ball and project the outlook for the Oregon industry over the next 12 months.
The Oregon Wine Industry Symposium is the primary educational vehicle for the Oregon wine industry. Topics covered include growing better grapes, making better wine, and selling more wine at favorable prices.
In addition to a full slate of workshops and general sessions, the conference has attracted more than 100 industry related vendors to the trade show. Opening day activities culminate with the Oregon Wine Industry Awards dinner.
The Oregon Wine Board (OWB) is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. The Oregon wine grape and wine industry contributes more than $2.7 billion of economic activity to the state economy each year, including more than 13,500 wine-related jobs.