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January’s Main Event: Portugal vs Spain

Portugal and Spain share many commonalities in geography and in viticulture, including varietal plantings and wine culture. However, the style of wines produced and variations in micro-climates are vast. Here is a quick study on what is similar and not so similar between these 2 neighbours.

Grapes

Portugal is like a ‘wine island’, where unique varietals are grown in almost isolation. Portugal has hundreds of indigenous varietals, many are not found anywhere else. Here are some of the most popular and obscure grapes you can find in Portugal.

  • Arinto – Widely planted, especially in Lisboa and offers a zingy, fresh and acidic profile.
  • Tinta Roriz or Aragonês – The same grape as Tempranillo, just a different name.
  • Sangiovese – An international varietal, not home to Portugal, but found in small amounts.

Spain has enjoyed significant international popularity lately, with Spanish wines being readily available and affordable. This has helped establish varietals like Tempranillo, pushing them into the mainstream. Here are some of our favourite, less-known varietals.

  • Viura- The most heavily planted white grape in Rioja (aka Macabeo) and used often for Cava.
  • Picapoll – An obscure grape mostly found in Cataluña.
  • Mencía – A well structured grape that thrives in NW Spain, Bierzo.

Regions

Portugal’s regions are almost all Mediterranean in climate, with even the furthest vineyards not very far from the ocean. The main differences in the sub-regions will be due to elevation. The plains and plateaus having more heat, while hills will have mitigating cooling breezes and nighttime temperatures.

  • Dão, named after the Dão River, is in northern Portugal. Here, the quality vineyards are grown from 150-450 meters above sea level and enjoy the affects of diurnal temperature. Most commonly, you will find Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional.
  • Douro produces both fortified and non-fortified wines. Most notable, Douro is known for its Port. The geography in Douro is centred around the Douro River, which was used to transport the barrels of Port from the steep vineyards, to the cellars.

Spain has over a dozen different wine regions, with more sub-regions within each. Spain’s regions vary vastly based on elevation and temperature. The arid plains of Toro produce ripe and rugged Tinto de Toro (Tempranillo), while the more northern Galicia is a cooler climate with more crisp white varietals, like Albariño.

  • Catalonia is far north-eastern Spain, near Barcelona. Near the Mediterranean Sea and with strong French influences, this are is unique from other Spanish regions. Catalonia is home to the majority of Cava production.
  • Castilla y Leon is a vast region with many sub-regions. It is impossible to categorize the entire area, because production is so variant. Bierzo, bordering Galicia and Asturias, is home to Mencía, Grenache and Godello. While Ribera del Duero is home to iconic Tempranillo, where it grows with extreme climate of hot summers and cold winters.

Cuisine

Portugal’s traditional food is rustic, hearty and full of seafood. As with any country, there are many variations and regional differences. A rule of thumb, in Portugal expect lots of pork, rice, stews and octopus. Here are some common dishes.

  • Caldo Verde – green cabbage soup
  • Blood sausage
  • Bacalhau – infamous salted cod

Spain also has a strong seafood presence, with so much coastline and variety, this should come at no surprise. Both Portugal and Spain’s bars and eateries will have ample olives and almonds, usually enjoyed as pre-meal snacks. In addition to stews, sausages and peppers, and some of the best olive oil, you will find.

  • Saffron- seasoning your potatoes, paella and prawns
  • Paella – the dish that puts Valencia on the food map
  • Pisto – Spanish ratatouille

WineCollective featured a heavy selection of wines from Spain and Portugal this month. Visit the online shop to read more about these selections:

SPAIN

Viñaguareña Mazal Barrica 

Gran Bohedal Crianza

Gran Bohedal Blanco

PORTUGAL

Vidigal Artolas

Vidigal Dom Dinis

Cortes de Cima Courela

Monte da Ravasqueira Sangiovese

 

Use the coupon code PORTUGAL5 for $5 off your order of Portuguese wines!


Welcome to WineCollective

You have just joined WineCollective, or, you are the recipient of a pretty awesome gift. What to do next? While we are busy preparing next month’s deliveries, here is what you can do to make the most out of your WineCollective experience.

  • Joining us on social media. Be our friend and keep up with what is going on in the WineCollective world, from events and education, to giveaways and contests.
  • Become acquainted with your online account. When you login to your WineCollective account, you can update shipping information and payment information and keep tabs on your upcoming delivery. Once you receive your first delivery of wine, you will also be able to view all the wines you have received.
  • Explore the online wine shop. Members receive 10% off all wines, and some selections are for members-only! Can’t wait for the first delivery, get a head-start on your WineCollective journey. The coupon code NEWWINEJOURNEY10 is good for $10 off your first online store order.
  • Learn more about us! Take some time to discover our Blog and find out why we are so passionate about giving you the ultimate wine journey.
  • In Calgary? Visit our retail store, Highfield by WineCollective for great members-only deals on wine, beer and spirits!

We understand that the anticipation must be overwhelming, waiting for a package is always exciting, especially when it is wine! Here is a bit of what to expect so that you are prepared to receive your wine.

  • We will send you our Heads Up email on the first of the month, reminding you of your delivery and providing you with an estimated ship out date.
  • Make note of our cut-off date in the Heads Up email. You have until the specified date to let us know if you need to arrange an alternate delivery date, or change your shipping information. After this date, we will not be able to amend addresses or delay the delivery, so be sure to reach out in time!
  • You will then receive a Shipped Email when your package leaves our headquarters in Calgary. This email will contain your very valuable tracking number. Use this information to arrange last minute shipping changes with your courier.
  • Your wine must be signed for by someone over the age of 19 and it can not be left on a doorstep or porch.
  • Missed the delivery? Here are the next steps with each of our couriers.
  • Share your experiences with us, from food pairings to favourite features, and even those you would rather not taste again, we love to know what you think of the wines!

Still have questions? Get in touch with us thecellar@winecollective.ca


New year, new wine and new people.

WineCollective is growing and so is our team. We want to start off 2017 with a bang, and what better way to do that than with a new team member! Here is what we are looking for, let us know if it sounds like you.

We are in search of a dynamic Customer Relations Coordinator

  • Full-time
  • Hours Mon-Fri 9-5
  • Salary TBD based on experience, 2 week vacation after 6 months
  • Start date: Latest start date January 23rd, 2017

 

Must possess:

  • Proficiency with, or ability to quickly learn, new software platforms
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Professional phone etiquette
  • Positive nature, and be an inherent people pleaser
  • Attention to detail, ability to multi-task and prioritize
  • Self-starter and takes initiative
  • Strong understanding and working knowledge of social media platforms
  • Knowledge of liquor laws and regulations
  • Strong wine (and beer) knowledge and desire to continue wine/beer education
  • Proserve Certification (can be completed online)

We are a dynamic company that is looking for a multi-talented individual to wear several hats. This position is ideal for someone who enjoys challenges, can think on their toes, is keen to take initiative and solve problems, but also be a rockstar team player and communicator.

Your main responsibility is to deliver exceptional customer service to members and potential members. Answering incoming calls and emails for several brands. You must be able to learn new systems and processes quickly, and be able to confidently answer questions and resolve problems.

Additionally, you can expect to contribute to  warehouse operations, photography, wine and beer tasting and proof-reading. There is also an opportunity for someone with design and editing experience to hone their craft. With many tasks at hand, it is imperative that candidates interested in this position are amazing at multi-tasking, time management and assessing priority of responsibilities. This is a perfect opportunity for a driven and dynamic individual to develop skills within the communications field.

It is essential to have a comprehensive working knowledge of the following software platforms, or be eager at learning: Lightroom, Photoshop, Dropbox, Highrise, Basecamp, WordPress, Zendesk and Mailchimp.

Beyond all, ability to present yourself and the company in a professional, but friendly and approachable manner. The Customer Relations Coordinator will be the first line of communication with customers and must convey a positive and helpful attitude at all times. We are a growing company that operates on a fast-pace. All team members must be able to improvise, take initiative, identify opportunities for improvement, create efficiency and have fun!
Submit resume with references to jobs@winecollective.ca by Friday, January 19th.

 


Nearly Famous! Holiday Wine Gifts

Still having trouble deciding on some last minute Christmas Gifts? We’ve got you covered!

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Our Holiday Packages are in full swing here at WineCollective. Packed with amazing wines, gift certificates and swag, we have something for every wine-o on your list! With a $15 flat rate shipping cost across Canada, sending gifts across the country is as easy as pie.

Last week, Toronto Star, Canadian Living, Huffington Post and Toronto Life featured WineCollective as their “Go To Holiday Gifts”.

Check out this festive features below!

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Toronto Star showcased us twice! Not only as a last minute gift option, but as an all around online shopping gift idea.

Huffington Post mentions us as the go-to gift for the “Wine-O” in your life

Canadian Living had us as their #1 subscription gift box!

Toronto Life also talked about us back in June as one of Toronto’s “Best Virtual Clubs”

This month, WineCollective was also mentioned on Wayfair as they informed the masses on how to start up their wine collection.

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We would like to thank all of our members for their incredible support throughout the year! We hope all of your loved ones enjoy their Holiday Wine packages.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays 

The WineCollective Team.


Schild Estate Introduces Pure Barossa Wine Club in Canada

Schild Estate is a familiar label in Canada, as a WineCollective member, you may have experienced a wine or two! Established in 1988, in Southern Australia, the Barossa Valley winery produces over 50,000 cases annually.

schildfamily

This year, in partnership with WineCollective and BlackSquare, Schild Estate decided to leap into a brand new Canadian wine club, aimed at bringing the experience of Schild’s tasting room to Canadian wine lovers. As a member of Pure Barossa, you will experience new to market wines, exclusive products and a first hand look at Schild Estate.

In October, we hosted a launch of Pure Barossa at the Gerry Thomas Gallery in Calgary. Judy, the brand ambassador for Schild Estate, and daughter of founder, Ed Schild, was there to host and provide a sneak peak into the wine club.

staff-picking-grenache-vines

Schild Estate produces many wines in tribute to members of the family that made Schild Estate what it is today. Discover these wines and more through Schild’s Iconic and Privileges subscription packages, delivered quarterly.

2014 Edgar Schild Reserve Grenache: “A dedication to our father and founder, Ed Schild. Produced from 89-year-old old bush vines. A dark cherry colour to the eyes followed by a vibrant berry and pepper spice with light tannin on the palate.”

 schild-edgar-grenache-2014

The iconic Moorooroo is produced from 4 rows of ‘Ancestor Vines’, some the oldest in the region. Only 200 cases are made annually.

schild-moorooroo-shiraz-2013

The Alma Chardonnay is named after Ed’s mother and yet to be released in Canada. “Fragrant notes of lemon citrus, pear and stone fruit coupled with more delicate glimpses of floral blossom perfume. Complex with a subtle oak framework.”

schild-alma-chardonnay-2014

Schild Estate offers quarterly subscriptions and gifts. With the the Iconic Club, you will receive 6 bottles every 3 months of their pre-released wines and other special release wines. The Privileges Club offers 24 bottles through out the year, personally curated by Schild. These wines are perfectly matched to each season they will be delivered in and include Schild’s most iconic and premium selections.

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Experience Schild’s value favourites with our Mixed Pack! Featuring 4 wines and a $50 gift card to ShildEstate.ca!

For more information about Schild Estate’s Canadian wine club visit their website!


Konzelmann & WineCollective Wine Label Design Contest!

Cheers to Canada’s 150th!

canada-flag-map

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, WineCollective and Konzelmann Estate Winery have teamed up to produce wine that will showcase our country.

We need your help!

Konzelmann will be producing a red and a white wine and both need a unique label to celebrate Canada’s birthday. We want YOU to design the labels. Each winner will receive over $1500 in wine-related prizes and ultimate bragging rights!

The theme is ‘Canada’s 150th Birthday’

You can highlight our history, culture, food, diversity, nature, or even, Canadian wine! If you’ve ever dreamed of designing your own wine label, this is your chance!

Who can submit?:

Anyone! All we ask is that you create a label in honour of our fine country and keep the design within the designated specs. Contestants must be of legal drinking age in your residing province.

How to enter: Send your designs to contest@winecollective.ca
Deadline to enter is January 1st at 9 am MST.

The Winner

The winner will be decided by a public vote. All submissions received, and meeting criteria, will be shared publicly by WineCollective. The public will vote for their favourite labels. The voting deadline is January 31st, 2017 at 11:59 MST. The winner will be announced February 10th!

The winning labels will be featured on wine produced by Konzelmann and featured in WineCollective packages. Besides bragging rights, the winner will receive a case of the wine with your custom label, a year’s subscription to WineCollective (48 bottles of wine, a value of approximately $1080), a year’s subscription to Tannic and a $150 credit, and a Konzelmann prize package.

Design Requirements

  • Height 7.62cm (3 inches) x Width 7.62cm (3 inches)
  • 300 dpi resolution/ CMYK colour mode
  • 0.3175cm (1/8 inch) bleed on all sides
  • Straight, orthogonal sides (simple square or rectangle labels rather than die-cut)
  • File size maximum 5MB
  • Files submitted in PDF format
  • Or PSD (all type must be outlined).

label-template-merlot label-template-riesling

Additional information

  • All entries must be submitted to contest@winecollective.ca
  • Please indicate if your label is intended for a red wine, white wine or either.
  • Feel free to send along any additional information with your entry, explaining your art and theme, or why you decided to share your submission.
  • Once your entry is received, you will be emailed a consent form. Prior to your submission being posted, the form must be signed and returned no later than 11:59 pm MST, January 1, 2017.

Nitty gritty details…

  • All artwork must be original. The contestant must own the rights to all the imagery contained in their submission.
  • Any artwork submitted that is not deemed original will be disqualified.
  • Release forms from models, number and confirmation of any licensed images must be submitted.
  • Submissions with trademarked images, nudity, illicit images or profanity will be disqualified.
  • All artwork must fit the designated label outline and meet the outlined requirements.
  • All required label information will be added to the submission if it is not already included in the submission (wine name, vintage, VQA designation).
  • WineCollective reserves the right to disqualify any entries that are deemed inappropriate, offensive or not fitting to the theme.WineCollective may disqualify any entry that does not meet the design requirements or guidelines.
  • All contestants must agree to allowing the printing, reproduction and sharing of the submission. Both WineCollective and Konzelmann may use any submissions for promotional or marketing material.

Good luck to all designers! We can’t wait to see your label on Konzelmann’s newest wines!


Schild Estate Wines Launches Direct-to-Consumer Partnership with WineCollective!

Australia’s Schild Estate Wines Launches Direct-to-Consumer Canada in Partnership with Wine Collective Inc.

pure-barossa-stamp

(Calgary, AB) Starting October 2016, Schild Estate Wines will be servicing the Canadian market in a new and innovative way.

Schild Estate Wines is a family-owned, Barossa Valley vineyard that strives to provide consumers with the highest value products in terms of origin, quality, environment and community. Schild Estate Wines have been represented in the Alberta market for over 10 years by the dedicated team at Artisan Wines, allowing Canadians to experience some of the best the Barossa has to offer.

This October, enabled by their ecommerce solutions provider, BlackSquare, and Canada’s largest monthly wine club, WineCollective, Schild Estate Wines is now able to offer more Schild varietals than ever before, direct to Canadian purchasers. This new innovative structure works within the existing regulatory framework in Alberta, and ensures that all Alberta liquor taxes and fees are paid in full.

phil-in-moorooroo-vineyard

Judy Schild, Sales and Brand Ambassador for Schild Estate Wines says they’re excited about the opportunity to enter the Canadian market in this new and unique way:

“We’re looking forward to sharing our passion and teaching Canadians about Australian varietals and wine making techniques. Making the wine available to them is only the first step.”

Matthew Protti, CEO of WineCollective says that this is a big step for the Canadian direct-to-consumer wine industry:

“It gives producers the opportunity to sell their products internationally, something that has been difficult in the past. We’re excited to have this new model which works with both producers and importers to bring new and unique wine to Canadians.”

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David Luetkehoelter, President/Owner at Artisan Wines is happy to be working with WineCollective and Schild to enable this opportunity:

“We continually look for new ways to bring awareness to the brands in our portfolio with passion and integrity. This new channel is advantageous for importers, producers and all customers. We look forward to Schild’s successful launch of their club in Canada.”

To participate in the Calgary and Edmonton launch event, please see details below.

About the partners:

WineCollective
WineCollective picks the best wines for our wine club members. We seek out the best wines available within the Alberta liquor wholesale market and once the wines have been tasted, rated, reviewed and selected by our professional staff, we work with our retail store (Highfield) to fulfill all the monthly orders and gifts. WineCollective does all the work in order for you to enjoy the spoils. A professionally curated selection of wine that shows up on your doorstep, once per month.

Schild Estate Wines
Since 1952, the Schild family have lived and worked in the Southern Barossa, growing grapes and creating wines with authenticity and passion, from real Barossa earth, in a place they call home. Moorooroo Limited Release Shiraz is a wine that represents everything the family hold dear. The wine has historical significance, it is a variety the Barossa is best known for and it comes from a vineyard cared for by generations of Barossa families. History, wine and family are the backbone of the Schild brand and that is what has kept our customers so loyal to the Schild Estate brand. Schild takes pleasure in sharing their heritage with their customers because they feel more connected with the Barossa and the people who live there. In turn this enables them to appreciate more thoroughly the wine they are drinking.

Artisan Wines
Built on the foundations of people, passion and integrity, Artisan Wines has built an impressive portfolio that showcases notable wines from around the world. With something for everyone, the team is dedicated to connecting customers, the cornerstone of their success, to quality product while delivering exceptional service.