COVID Impact on Oregon Wine Pt 1

COVID Impact on Oregon Wine Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many industries hard, including Oregon’s wine industry.

At the Oregon Wine Symposium last month, Dr. Robert Eyler spoke about the robust growth from 2016 to 2019, and the overall economic impact 2020 had …

EYLER … “We think that we saw a reduction of about 20.6%, versus 2019 in 2020, so we’re estimating about $5.7-billion of total value instead of the $7.2.”

Eyler says 2020 challenges basically reclaimed four years of growth …

EYLER … “So, in some ways, we almost gave back everything that happened from 2016 in 2020 in our initial estimation. Business revenue is down to about $4.6-billion, employment down about 28,000 jobs, which is slightly higher than the 2016 levels, and wages down about $1.16-billion.”

Eyler says the numbers aren’t really very surprising …

EYLER … “Those losses and those reductions are things that we kind of knew were there. This at least puts a framing around where most of the pain happened, and those shifting retail markets helped and also hurt. So, this is basically where we see it as of about four or five weeks ago, and those data are still emerging in terms of what the true effects will be, not only now, but looking a couple of years ahead.”

Eyler says other factors in 2020, like last summers wildfires, also had a big impact on the wine industry.

Tune in tomorrow for more on these challenging times for Oregon’s wine community.

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