The Glass Is Half Full: Oregon's Wine Industry Still Economically Full-Bodied Despite Harsh 2020

Feb 12, 2021

Like many industries, Oregon’s wineries have taken an economic hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. But one owner isn’t crying sour grapes.

Credit Kym Ellis / Unsplash

Ed King is co-founder of King Estates Winery, south of Eugene. He says there’s been a steady growth curve for wine-related jobs, wages, and revenue that tracks back to 2005.  In its 2019 report, the Oregon Wine Board showed Lane County wineries generated $186 million in revenue, roughly 2,000 jobs (including related and indirect), and nearly $5 million paid in property taxes.

“2020 was a different story and we’re not too surprised," King told KLCC.  "Between the shutdowns, and the economy, and then our wildfires, it really was a triple whammy, going for the Oregon industry. I think the estimates are that things might’ve gone backwards about 20 percent.”

Hardest hit areas include on-premise wine sales and restaurants.  King expects to see Oregon wineries steadily rebound as residents become vaccinated and COVID -19 cases decline.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.