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Oregon Wines Surpass The 5-Million-Case Mark

September 16, 2022

Oregon wines bucked overall trends in the wine market last year and registered impressive volume growth of nearly 13% to almost 5.3 million cases, according to the Oregon Wine Board. It marked the first time in the state’s history that its wines had exceeded 5 million cases in total sales, and comes after the industry grew less than one percent by volume during the first year of the pandemic. Oregon wine’s sales value soared 21% to $844 million in 2021, and trails only California and Washington in dollar terms among domestic categories, according to Impact Databank.

As the on-premise continues to recover, growth has slowed somewhat this year in the off-premise, but Oregon wines’ strong retail pricing continues to benefit producers across the state, especially as consumers increasingly move upmarket. Oregon table wines boasted an average retail price of $16.27 a 750-ml. bottle in IRI channels in the year-to-date through September 4, more than twice the national average of $7.89.

Pinot Noir remains the dominant grape variety—accounting for more than 60% of the state’s wine grape production and two-thirds of the total dollar value—with Pinot Gris a distant second, according to The U.S. Wine Market: Shanken’s Impact Databank Review & Forecast, 2022 Edition. Going forward, Oregon’s growth will be challenged by high inflation and uncertain economic conditions in the near term, and any decline in consumer spending as a result of higher interest rates could lead to a shakeout among the state’s wineries.

The wine market in general is also facing increased pressure from the tremendous popularity of low-abv, ready-to-drink cocktails, as well as from other burgeoning high-proof spirits, such as Tequila, according to Impact Databank. Still, wine drinkers have clearly gravitated to up-and-coming regions like Oregon, whose premium positioning and reputation for Pinot Noir continue to draw increased interest, regardless of the state of the economy.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates doubled down on the Oregon category with its purchase of A to Z Wineworks earlier this month. “The future of Pacific Northwest wines—both Oregon and Washington—is bright and we’re excited to introduce new consumers across the country and around the world to the full complement of our region’s outstanding wines,” said Ste. Michelle president and CEO David Dearie.—Juan Banaag

Leading Oregon Wine Brands in the U.S. Market
(thousands of 9-liter cases)
Rank Brand Company 2020 2021 Percent
Change1
1 Underwood Union Wine Co. 395 385 -2.5%
2 A to Z Ste Michelle
Wine Estates
359 374 4.0%
3 Erath Ste Michelle
Wine Estates
314 325 3.5%
4 Willamette Valley
Vineyards
Willamette Valley
Vineyards
181 204 12.7%
5 Acrobat Foley Family Wines 167 175 5.0%
6 King Estate King Estate Winery 122 149 23.0%
7 Elouan Copper Cane Wines 115 130 13.0%
Total Leading Brands2 1,652 1,742 5.4%
1 based on unrounded data
2 addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2022
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