Central Oregon

Wine shortage good news for Oregon wineries

Maragas, others say shortage provides opportunities

Wine shortage good news for Oregon wineries

TERREBONNE, Ore. - A wine shortage?!

You won't find a lot of connoisseurs toasting to that. But not all wine-lovers are whining.

For Maragas Winery owner Doug Maragas, that shortage is welcome news.

"For me, the shortage is a good economic reality for today, because when we started this, there was a surplus of wine," Maragas said Thursday. "It's not always a shortage or surplus, but one thing that has stayed consistent is wine consumption has gone up."

That's a Catch 22.

The bad news is, more people are drinking wine, drying up supplies. The good news is, more and more people are drinking wine.

"I think it's a great reality, in that more people are consuming wine. We've seen it here at the winery," Maragas said.

A new report from Morgan Stanley shows there was an under-supply of 300,000 cases last year. That's the worst in nearly half a century.

The lack of production elsewhere is opening the door for wineries in Oregon and  Washington to enter thirsty markets like China.

"Whenever there's a high demand for wine, that's nothing but good news for Oregon, said Charles Humble, director of communications for the Oregon Wine Board. "When people can't find the wine they're used to, that makes them interested in exploring new regions, new opportunities, new varieties."

Maragas says he sees the shortage as a chance to expand beyond Central Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

"I think it is an opportunity for smaller folks like myself that are commercial wineries, craft wineries that have a finite amount of wine to be able to market overseas that before, maybe wasn't convenient for them to have a bunch of smaller entities," Maragas said.

Even more good news?

Maragas says Oregon will be safe from the shortage --so drink up!

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