Mark Squires, Wine Advocate’s fine writer for Portugal and other countries, recently published “How Wineries Survive a Changing Wine World” (click on the title). Food for thought! Mark’s article “sings” to me and to Quinta do Tedo. I praise and share his opinions. He points out that with an unprecedented choice in quality wines from all over the world at affordable prices and with fierce competition, it is very much a buyer’s (YOU) market. He gives advice for survival for wineries like Quinta do Tedo, with excellent products at attractive price/quality ratios, like many other wineries: create a personal rapport with the customer. How does Quinta do Tedo do so?
Our estate is not a glamorous winery, it is an authentic working farm located at a breathtaking confluence of the majestic Douro and the smaller snaking Tedo rivers. Our excellent Portos, Douro DOC Red Wines and Olive Oil are neither prohibitively expensive nor ridiculously cheap in price. Quality is excellent in the vineyards – sustainable viticulture for decades and certified organic since 2015, and Jorge’s winemaking talent is superlative. All the makings for great success, but the work does not stop here, the product needs to be sold by creating relationships with our customers.
Aside from having strong relationships with committed importers, as they are our voices abroad, we do have direct sales at our estate. We connect with our visitors who become our customers. We offer personable, professional and educational tours and tastings, thanks to our very capable tour guides and staff, our voices when Jorge, Vincent and I are not available at the estate. We have 5 comfortable, not deluxe, agroturismo rooms where one feels part of the working estate and at the same time finds abundant peace and quiet. We share the beauty of our vineyards and Tedo river with kayaks, canoes and hiking and birdwatching trails. Breakfast is abundant and regional, served overlooking the estate. Our Bistro Terrace offers food and wine pairing with a gorgeous view over Tedo River and is enjoyed by both visitors and our agroturismo guests. Always room to improve, yet I believe that most visitors are very satisfied with their experience at Quinta do Tedo. Visitors feel at home, lingering afterwards in the tasting room after purchasing, often spending time sitting on the schist benches overlooking Tedo river, and petting our 3 mascot dogs before and after their visit. The visit with tour and tasting lasts a good hour. Our visitors come away with a positive impression of Douro Valley and Portugal.
We believe in “word of mouth” marketing; ratings and prizes are important to see how Quinta do Tedo compares to other reputable producers, but not flashed in front of our visitors in the tasting room. We work closely with our importers and visit them when we can, especially for tastings. Our customers order and reorder and come back – that is the greatest and most pleasurable satisfaction for us and is, bar none, the best PR for Quinta do Tedo.
2018 will be a very busy tourist season for Portugal. Admitting my concern that Portugal could lose her charm with increasing tourist numbers, I comfort myself that by nature Portuguese are hard working, humble and proud to share their heritage. They should be, it is a special part of the world and I am fortunate to be involved here. Mark suggests to the wine lover “to go beyond the famous name of Douro” in Portugal -Dao, Bairrada, Alentejo, etc - those regions can be visited after a visit to Quinta do Tedo!
Remember – YOU - the consumer - are in charge! Hopefully we have made that personal connection that tugs you to return and to reorder and to share a glass of Quinta do Tedo.