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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Production and Genetic Improvement Research Unit » Research » Research Project #443195

Research Project: Examining Short and Long-term Economic Impacts of Smoke Events on the Wine Industry

Location: Horticultural Crops Production and Genetic Improvement Research Unit

Project Number: 2072-21000-055-037-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Oct 31, 2024

1. Investigate and quantify the direct economic impacts of the 2020 smoke exposure events on West Coast wine grape growers and wineries, with an emphasis on Oregon. 2. Analyze the economic trade-offs (i.e., costs and benefits) of different management choices to mitigate future smoke exposure risk. 3. Assess long-term impacts on grape production, marketing and management caused by a changing climate and its associated increased risks, including smoke exposure.

To meet objectives 1 and 2, we will collect primary data using interviews and questionnaires administered in person during site visits to wineries and on-farm visits with wine grape growers. In-person interviewing will circumvent low response rates associated with mail, telephone and online questionnaires, as well as incentivize respondents to verify in real time recall responses since personal interviewing can be used to motivate respondents to consult their records and databases as compared to simply responding from memory. Initial research will focus on Oregon since we have access to a census of all wineries in Oregon, complete with basic demographic and sales data (as a consequence of the state-wide tax on all wine sales). We also have access to directories created by numerous agencies and private research companies who have created directories of Oregon wine grape growers. These directories are comprehensive but are not a complete census of all growers since there are no legal requirements or mandated systems in place to register all wine grape growers in the state. That said, current directories, complete with demographic and production data, have information for an estimated 60 to 70 percent of all growers in Oregon. Random (i.e., representative) samples from the winery and grape grower directories will be used to collect data necessary to address the research questions corresponding with Objectives 1 and 2. For example, respondents will be asked to provide information about their specific experiences with smoke events and how those events impacted their vineyard management practices, their marketing opportunities and the economic costs associated with mitigation strategies. Once compiled and analyzed, the Oregon-specific results will be shared with researchers and stakeholders in Washington and California, in order to solicit their recommendations for extrapolating these findings for their respective states, and to identify representative wineries and growers in their states, who will be interviewed by telephone to confirm these extrapolations. Estimates will then be made to determine regional impacts of smoke events for the entire Pacific Northwest. To meet objective 3, systems modeling will be used to synthesize findings from Objectives 1 and 2, and to generate forecasts of future states of the world in terms of climate change impacts on the wine industry.