Portuguese Wines the next big thing?

Although most Portuguese wine makers are too busy making wine, to really care what’s happening online, latest news from at least one wine expert is, “it’s a great time to be a Portuguese wine maker”.

When the most influential voice in the wine industry says, “Portuguese wines are the next big thing”, maybe we should at least take notice. Maybe, just maybe, he hasn’t had to many glasses and he knows what he’s talking about.


Arguably, no one knows the “wine 2.0″ industry better than Gary Vaynerchuk – of “Wine Library”, with his gritty charm, and the power of social media, like twitter and video blogging, to successfully turn the families 4 million wine shop, into a 50 million a year business, in less than 3 years. Appearances on popular talk shows, plus invitations to speak at Google, Facebook and Internet Stardom, Gary Vaynerchuk seems to just be getting started.


Impressed by Portuguese wine quality and value, Gary has not been shy about touting our wines and loudly pronouncing “Portuguese wines are going to be big!” His reasoning – great quality and great value, or as he likes to call it “the thunder” – a bottle that costs $10, but really tastes like $50.

If he’s right, and he knows wines, the BIG question is “when”. So, when will Portuguese wines break into new markets? Well, at the moment one key challenge is lack of visibility and branding. Unfortunately, only a handful of Portuguese wine makers are currently using new marketing strategies, or the power of the web to build a competitive and effective web strategies and brands.

But things are changing – thanks to the likes of Ryan and Gaberiella Opaz from Catavino. This dynamic duo are certainly creating buzz in the Spanish and Portuguese wine scene, with their know-how of social media tools like blogging, twitter and social wine discovery sites, and slowly re-humanizing the world of “wine snob” into something more digestible.

Eddie and I finally got to meet the Opaz’s and excited to hear their efforts are starting to pay off with wine makers.

So this looks like a good opportunity to share a few ideas on how Portuguese Wine Producers can work towards bringing more attention to the country:

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In Control of your Brand?

Marketers want to feel they’re in control of their brands. But customers show us that’s not how the game is played anymore. Regardless on the volume of advertising and brand positioning, at the end of the day, customers will perceive your brand based on their own experience and world view.

Still think you’re in control? Then take a look at the Brand Tags Game – the basic idea of the game is that a brand exists entirely in people’s heads. Therefore, however you position your brand, other’s will perceive it differently.


Here are just five (5) of many interesting trends from Brand Tags:

  1. Twitter “useless”… but don’t tell that to Pistachio
  2. Taco Bell “diarrhea”
  3. Apple “innovation”
  4. Hilton Hotel “Paris Hilton”
  5. London 2012 Olympics “Ugly”

Here are more trends.

At the end of day, what we can learn from this, a brand can’t just own one, but according to Seth “there’s no reason why you can’t build a micro one, a local one, a brand that’s magical for a smaller group of people”.


Big Kudos to Stephanie Booth for a well organized Going-Solo Conference this past Friday- if you missed the event and are thinking about becoming a “Soloist” in the near future, you should definitely check out the joys and tribulations of being a freelancer with presentations by:

Martin Roell, Stowe Boyd, Suw Charman, Dennis Howlett, and a good panel discussion for setting your rates.


A lot has been written and captured about the conference – you can get caught up with all the day’s events, here.

Even our very own Chief Smarty Pants “Eddie” got caught on tape, along with our new friend Nuno.

Next conference we have our eyes on is reboot in Denmark. Hope to see you there.

going-solo conference

Going Solo conference for freelancers, May 16th, Lausanne (Switzerland).On May 15th, Eddie and I, along with Andre, we’ll be traveling north to Geneva for the one day Going-Solo conference – “focused on the new web” for freelancers and small business owners.

This will be the conference’s first year and is organized by Stephanie Booth, and promises to be a full day of meeting and interacting with interesting people like: Stowe Boyd, Laura (Pistachio), Nuno Barreto, Kevin Marks, and others.

If you’re planning to be there and like to connect, leave us a comment below. You can also connect with Eddie here and myself here.

See you there!