A World Of Difference Wines Of Portugal launched at Airship37 event venue Toronto. Filipa Anunciação, the Wines of Portugal Area Manager for Canada explains what makes Portuguese wines so unique.

The Toronto Grand Wine Tasting had a variety of different attendees from different professions and levels of expertise. How do you put together an event that communicates so well to all the attendees?

This is our daily work across the world: to promote the Portuguese Wines among different targets through the implementation of events like this one. The expertise accumulated over the years and strong local partnerships, are critic to achieve success.

What made Airship37 a good location for this signature event?

We were looking for a venue that besides good accessibility and infrastructures could highlight the Wines of Portugal positioning, and Airship37 seemed the perfect option. The modernity, heritage and casual environment of the place were critical to support our message.

What are some of the key elements the phrase a world of difference communicates at this Wines of Portugal Grand Wine Tasting?

    • –  Portugal producing wine heritage has more than 2000 years;
    • –  The first designated and regulated wine region of the world is Portuguese,Douro (in 1756);
    • –  Portugal has more than 250 native grape varieties;
    • –  Despite having high quality mono-varietal wines, Portugal is known by itsexcellency in the blends of native grape varieties;
    • –  Despite being a small country, we benefit from a big diversity between regionsand sometimes even within the same region;

A big differentiating factor of the Wines of Portugal is that many of the grape varieties do not grow anywhere else in the world. How is this attribute effectively communicated?

This is a message that we highlight in all our education sessions and communication materials, since it’s an important and differentiator attribute.

What was the process for selecting the wines to be part of the Toronto Grand Wine Tasting?

Wines of Portugal represents all the Portuguese wine sector, so we usually invite all producers to be part of our activities, considering that certain criteria – defined specifically for each activity – are meet.

What are some of the unique advantages of having such a great variety and representation of the Wines of Portugal all together at an event?

I would say that it’s critical to show the diversity of Portuguese wines. As said, despite being a tiny country we benefit of a great diversity between regions and sometimes even within the same region, which is only possible to show if we have such a high level of wineries participating in our events.

What are some of the ideas and partnerships that result from Grand Wine tastings?

With this events we expect to deepen the knowledge about Portuguese wines, continue to build the Wines of Portugal brand image among trade and consumers through media and strengthen the relationship with the core targets, while widen distribution and opening new opportunities for wineries & wines not represented in the market yet.

What can a wine lover learn from gaining an awareness of the different wine regions of Portugal?

One of the Portuguese wines challenge is being a relatively unknown wine producing country, with regions and grape varieties difficult to pronounce, with a strong portfolio blends that are not comparable with anything else in the world. Building awareness for the regions/ country help the wine Lovers to gain the needed confidence to try and adopt Portuguese wines.

The Wines of Portugal website has a great informative section on wine styles categorizing the different wine types with food pairing suggestions. In your experience how does this resource help wine lovers engage in their wine exploration?

Nowadays everyone it’s permanently connected. In the ideal world I would invite everyone to come to Portugal to visit our regions, meet our winemakers, taste our wines & food and learn about our culture. As it’s not possible, we use web to convey our message. It’s easy , fast and convenient!

What are the best three questions a wine buyer/ enthusiast can ask a winemaker?

I’m not a winemaker, but I would say:

 Is there any memorable vintage that marked your winemaker career? Why? Which is the Portuguese native grape variety that excites you most and what could be a comparable international grape? What do you think will happen when Portuguese grape varieties that we know will no longer be “unique”?