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Oregon Wine Industry Held Back By Pandemic, Wildfires In 2020

February 11, 2021

Oregon’s wine industry was hampered by significant headwinds in 2020, according to a report from the Oregon Wine Board. The state wine economy grew by strong margins from 2016 through 2019, with total economic activity rising from $5.7 billion to $7.2 billion, but several negative factors combined last year to nearly erase those gains.

Covid-19, wildfires, and other setbacks are projected to have pushed winery revenues down 20%, with wine’s total economic impact falling $1.5 billion across the state. As part of the economic fallout, wine-related wages fell by $400 million in 2020 to $1.16 billion, close to 2016’s figure of approximately $1.04 billion. “Covid-19 dramatically curtailed in-bound tourist flow, and the impact of wildfire smoke on the 2020 wines is not yet fully understood,” said Dr. Robert Eyler of Economic Forensics and Analytics, who conducted the study.

Still, Oregon wines continue to make inroads with U.S. consumers. The category was up 23% to $312 million and 22% to 1.58 million 9-liter cases in Nielsen channels in the 52 weeks through December 3.—Danny Sullivan

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