The 13th annual Wine Media Conference will take place August 20 – 22, 2020 in Eugene, the Willamette Valley, Oregon.
We know and love Oregon, having held the 2012 conference in Portland. That is one reason we are very excited to be heading south, to the fun, small city of Eugene. The city, with a population of approximately 170,000, is home to the flagship University of Oregon, which gives the region of strong dose of culture. Situated in the middle of farmlands, farm-to-table cuisine augments the wine, beer, and spirits scenes. Eugene is an outdoors haven, situated smack between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the best small cities in the country and we are excited to be headed there.
According to the Oregon Vineyard & Winery Report, released by Oregon Wine, the state now has 793 wineries. The Willamette Valley is the premier wine region in the state, with 592 wineries, most of them in the north. However, the South Willamette Valley added more wineries in 2018 than any other region of the state (16) and now has 89 wineries.
Everyone thinks of Pinot Noir as the dominant grape in Oregon and it is, with 59% of production in 2018. Other major varietals include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Syrah. But this hardly tells the tale. Production and sales of Oregon wine are strong. Oregon wines are also getting an outsized share of high ratings. From 2015 – 2017, with only 1.5% of US production, Oregon wines received almost 20% of 90+ ratings by Wine Spectator. That magazine’s Tim Fish wrote in March 2019 “Oregon is the most dynamic wine region in the U.S. right now,” and “Oregon is only beginning to tap into its potential.”
As always, the success of the Wine Media Conference depends on support from local hosts and sponsors. We are excited to be working with Travel Lane County, the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, the South Willamette Wineries Association, and Oregon Wine to enhance events and activities at the conference.