Nov 01, 2014
On September 16, 2014, I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Uva d'Ouro wine conference in Oporto, Portugal.
The attendees were primarily wine producers from around Porto, including Douro and Vinho Verde.
The topic was how to sell wines into the Canadian market, how to find an agent and what I thought Canadians were looking for, in terms of wines and styles.
As those of us who live here know, Canada is a very large country with varied tastes and immigrant groups who have a great impact on what wines are consumed in each region.
Additionally each region has unique buyers and importers and each market is differs from province to province.
During my power point presentation I showed the sheer size of Canada (superimposed over Europe right).
I also broke down Canada's population, growth rate, inhabitants per square kilometer and provincial populations for the top 5 wine selling markets in Canada.
I included notes on Atlantic Canada, but my focus was BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.
I showed the growth in Portuguese wines in these markets as well as the overall growth (or lack) of wine consumption in each market.
To make it fun, I started out with some cliches about Canada, including
igloos and polar bears but also classic Canadian images - the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), hockey (the fasted game on earth), a beaver and of course our beautiful and widely recognized Canadian flag.
This was the recap I finished with in my presentation.
Many thanks to all the sommeliers, buyers and wine media from across the country
who assisted me in the months preceding the conference.
Their quotes are added below.