Portugal: make a difference at the 1st International Meeting & Tasting, 17-19th March

In March, I’ll be in Portugal speaking at the inaugural Encontro e Prova Internacional de Vinho in Celorico da Beira organised by www.vinho.tv and Portuguese wine writer Maria João de Almeida.  The aim of this trade-oriented event is to discuss challenges and strategies for Portuguese wine.  As you’ll see from the intensive programme below, an influential line up of Portuguese and English speakers (including Jancis Robinson MW, Tim Atkin MW and Jamie Goode) will be sharing their knowledge and experience with attendees.

Your chance to shape the future of Portuguese wine

My presentation will provide Portuguese producers with an insight into UK consumers’ perceptions, knowledge and purchasing habits around Portuguese wines  – who is buying Portuguese wines, how often, how much are they spending and if they’re not buying Portuguese wines, why not?  It will also identify which regions and varieties are known to consumers.     

There is no substitute for honest first hand consumer feedback, which I’ve been sourcing these last few months.  If you’re a UK-based consumer and would like to participate in my survey, please do get in touch via my contact page here and insert your details under the heading email queries and I’ll very happily email you a copy of my questionnaire which you can complete anonymously.  I’m sure the producers will be very interested to hear your views!

The programme

March 17th (Thursday)

Opening Session (António Serrano – Minister for Agriculture, Jorge Patrão – Serra da Estrela Tourism President, José Monteiro – Celorico da Beira Mayor, João Pedro Esteves – CVR Beira Interior President)

Wines in Fashion: Visibility strategies for Portuguese different regions (Luís Lopes, Revista de Vinhos Director)

Portuguese CVR’s – Successful cases (Manuel Pinheiro, CVR Vinhos Verdes President, Dora Simões, CVR Alentejo President)

Serra da Estrela – a key region for Portuguese tourism  (António Silva, Celorico da Beira Vice-Mayor)

The importance of wine service in restaurants. National reality (Duarte Calvão, gastronomy writer)

The international consumer. Who buys portuguese wines? How periodically? How much goes on wine? Who does not buy it, why? Personal valuation about portuguese wines. (Sarah Ahmed, wine writer))

Trips of Portuguese stock around the world (historical and nowadays) (João Paulo Martins, wine writer)

Successful cases of Portuguese wines around the world. Experiences and strategies to win international market. The present and the future of Portuguese wines (Luís Pato, Dirk Niepoort, Carlos Lucas of Global Wines,Salvador Guedes of Sogrape)

March 18th (Friday)

The importance of international markets and Viniportugal program. (Francisco Borba, Viniportugal President)

How Portuguese gastronomy can be internationally utilized to promote our wines. Tourism in diffusion and promotion of portuguese wine. Better ways to promote it. Personal valuation about Portuguese wines (Jancis Robinson MW, wine writer)

The importance of training in the dissemination and promotion of wines. The means of communication to the service of wines. Winning in the international market. Personal assessment on Portuguese wines. (Tim Atkin MW, wine writer)

The importance of social networks in the world of wine. How to help us win in national and international markets – the project Adegga. (André Ribeirinho, Adegga)

The importance ofcommunication in wine world. New ways for communication. Internet at wine services. Media future. (Maria João de Almeida, wine journalist/broadcaster).

The importance of Sites and Blogs in wine world. What kind of information the international consumer looks for by these means? Its real value. Personal valuation about Portuguese wines. (Jamie Goode, wine writer)

Cork – a strong cultural identity of Portugal. The old question: Cork plug or screwcap? (António Amorim, Grupo Amorim President)

The importance of a peripherical region for the touristic development in Portugal. The performance of wine as a development starter. (Arlindo Cunha, CVR Dão President)

 The Eonotourism as a fundamental tool in wine promotion. (Vasco d’Avillez, CVR Lisboa President )

Wine as touristical attraction. (Hermínio Martinho, Agrovia Administrator)

Presentation of fortified wines tasting. (Maria João de Almeida)

March 19th (Saturday)

Opening Session (Bento Amaral Chief of the Board of Tasters of the Institute of wines of Douro and Port)

Fortified Wines Tasting – a top selection (including some rarities) of 40 fortified wines, including Porto (Vintage and Tawny) Madeira and Moscatel.

Wines and Regional Products Show

Click on this link to find out more about Encontro e Prova Internacional de Vinho

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There are 2 comments

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  1. Nick Oakley

    Sounds like a good conference and it’s a pity I cannot be there.
    I see that the cork/screwcap seminar will be chaired by Amorim, the largest cork producer. Now I am not against cork, indeed I wish it were more used and did not have the bad press it gets. And I work with an Amorim estate in Portugal. My point is that a NZ or Ozzie speaker, who is dead set against cork, might be a better choice if only to alert Portugal to the dangers of complacency. Cork needs to sharpen up its game and not rely on emotive arguments as it does at present (cork tree cutters being put out of work; Iberian lynx’s habitat endangered etc etc). Just make clean cork and repeat the message a thousand fold. And don’t criticise the faults of screwcap when folks only use them because of corks failings in the first place.

    • sarah

      Hi Nick, thanks for your comments and sorry you won’t be there next week.

      Couldn’t agree with you more. With one exception, every Portuguese wine tasting I’ve presented in the last year has had a least 1, if not 2 or 3 bottles which have been corked. Contrast that with the trouble free run I’ve enjoyed closure-wise for the Australian tastings which I also regularly present – 100% screwcapped wines…There is no room for apathy and let the debate focus on quality of closure for this small but critical element of packaging which can render redundant all the energy, effort and skill that’s gone into crafting a wine.


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