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Wine and energy top MCEDD meeting agenda

News staff writer

February 8, 2006

Two Hood River men will be keynote speakers Feb. 15 at the annual meeting of the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, (MCEDD) at the Insitu main facility in Bingen, Wash.

Insitu is located on Columbia River Way. Among the engineering projects by the company, founded in 1992, is the design and development of long-range autonomous aircraft.

The MCEDD event starts at 4 p.m. with registration and social, followed by a tour of the Insitu facility and annual meeting at 4:45 p.m., and the keynote addresses at 5 p.m. Call Pat at (541) -296-2266 to reserve a seat at the meeting.

Jaimes Valdez, Renewable Energy Outreach Consultant with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, will speak at the MCEDD event on renewable energy investment opportunities for local businesses and agencies, and Bob Morus, president of the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association, will address the local impacts and growth of the wine industry.

The wine industry in Oregon provides more than $1.4 billion in economic activity for the state, according to an economic impact study released last week by the Oregon Wine Center.

This impact is reflected in wages, revenue, taxes and spending on agricultural and production technology and supplies for Oregon’s wine and wine grape industries and other wine industries.

Oregon vineyards and wineries contribute directly to more than half, or $801 million, of the total direct and indirect impact through sales, wages and spending.

The study, entitled “The Economic Impact of the Wine and Wine Grape Industries on the Oregon Economy,” is the first of its kind for the state and was prepared by Full Glass Research, a firm focused on consumer, market and economic research in the wine and food industries.

Hood River News will carry more details on the economic impact of the wine industry in the Feb. 11 edition.

Wine tourism also proved to be a major source of economic value for the state, providing $92 million in revenues.

Promoting wine tourism is a key initiative for the Oregon Wine Board, with planned marketing programs and public relations activities in 2006 aimed at increasing awareness of Oregon as a first-class wine destination.

“We’re allocating substantial marketing resources toward increasing wine country tourism, working together with Travel Oregon to bring wine lovers from all over the world into our tasting rooms”, said Ted Farthing, executive director of the Oregon Wine Board.

Funding for the study was provided by the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon Wine Advocacy Council and private donations to the Trust for Oregon Wine Education & Research (TOWER).

The Oregon Wine Center is the home of The Oregon Wine Board, the Oregon Wine Advocacy Council and TOWER. The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent state agency that is responsible for marketing, research and education initiatives to support the Oregon wine and wine grape industries.

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