After great success at the Wine Pleasures Buyer Meets Italian Cellar 2012 workshop, Terroir Wine Imports of Ontario, Canada is coming back for more! With a focus on high quality wines from the most exceptional regions of production, Terroir still has quite a few specific gaps that they are anxious to fill with the best and brightest Italian bottles.
The current CEO of the company, Matthew Naranjo, graciously took the time to chat with us, sharing Terroir’s history, goals, and experiences. We can’t wait to see him back at the workshop this November!
Can you give us some background information on how Terroir Wine Imports got started?
The company was founded in Feb 2005. At the time I was 25 studying advertising in college and entering my final semester. I was also working full-time in a fine dining restaurant. In my final year I found myself becoming disinterested in advertising and I became more passionate by the world of wines, through learning at the restaurant. In hindsight, this was a great decision for me.
I notice that you attended a Wine Pleasure’s workshop last year. We look forward to having you back! Can you explain what you got out of the last workshop and what benefits this methodology has over large fair trade?
From the last workshop what I really learned most was a better comprehensive understanding of Italian wines. I have a good knowledge of the region from my studies with the International Wine Education Guild advanced program, but the best way to learn is by tasting and visiting the regions.
I prefer this type of event because it gives you time to discuss more in-depth about your and the suppliers expectations and realities, where a trade show is kind of the flirtatious speed date which is quite superficial and unproductive for the most part.
I see you already carry a few Italian wines. What Italian wine additions are you looking to make at the workshop in terms of price range, style, and region?
Terroir is looking for producers mainly from Tuscany, Piedmonte Veneto and Fruili with an excellent quality to price ratio, strong availability and awards or recognition from third parties like Wine Spectator, Decanter or Gambero Rosso.
What particular niche do you fill in the Ontario wine market and what goals does Terroir Wine Imports have as they continue to grow?
Terroir fills various niches in the Ontario market. On the consignment side, which deals with restaurants we require less quantities of high quality product always with a good price point. This can also be said for our VINTAGES sales to the LCBO which deals with mid to high-end wines purchased by our government monopoly.
The goals for Terroir is to expand at a steady pace which we have been achieving every year by adding quality suppliers.
We also aim to be considered one of the best suppliers to the LCBO Vintages department and restaurants.
What do you believe is the best Italian wine pairing to be served with traditional lasagna?
Mmmmm Lasagna one of my favorite Italian dishes. I would probably pick a nice Chianti or a Valpolicella.
Italian wine producers should make haste to sign up for the upcoming Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Italian Cellar in November and set up a meeting with Mathew to discuss a distribution future with Terroir Wine Imports.