“There’s a quality of wine that’s indicative of the truthfulness and carefulness of the winemaker, who humbly respects the characteristics of the grape and its wine potential”
“Truly humble farmer artists”
“I didn’t know wine could be so profound”
When you enjoy a wine, you want to know about it, so Doug set out to find the people behind the Rozendal wine. When Doug set up his own company, he started importing Rozendal wine and Saskatchewan is now the only jurisdiction where it is available.
Wine marketing in Canada
Doug’s first task is to find the wines he believes are worth importing. He then has three separate sales roles.
First of all, he must present the wines to the buyers. Until recently, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) was the only buyer, but the market has now been opened up to include two specialty stores – Cava Secreta in Saskatoon and Willow Park in Regina.
Finally, Doug needs to promote his wine to the restaurant and hospitality industry and the general public. “I’m not a salesperson,” says Doug. “I’m a teacher and promoter. It’s very fulfilling to do a wine and food evening, to talk about the grapes and the winery, and see how the wine works together with the food.”
Locally owned and operated
Doug prides himself on being headquartered in Saskatchewan and on bringing in wines that are not available elsewhere in Canada.
Doug says that there are about 30 resident wine representatives in Saskatchewan as compared to 250 in Alberta. All but a handful are employed by large, out-of-province companies. “Many of them have money and are now dabbling in wine,” Doug says. “I don’t come from a position of wealth. If I don’t sell wine, I don’t eat.”
Doug does not expect to expand his portfolio much beyond its current size. He hopes, however, to introduce a wine from Burgundy in 2011, and he wants to pursue some additional Italian wines. “Italy is the top world producer, and I only carry 3 or 4 Italian wines,” Doug says. “They have the history and the variety. Their approach to winemaking is so life-friendly.”
Doug’s website includes interviews with winemakers and descriptions of the wines and wineries. You can sign up for an electronic newsletter, and Doug hosts wine seminars several times a year – the most recent was in conjunction with Luis Manino of Bodega Melipal.
Doug Reichel Wine Seminars
Altos de Luzon: Wine from Jumilla, Spain
Bodega Melipal: Malbec Wines from Argentina