2013 Portuguese Wine Invasion

4 Portuguese wineries, 1 Portuguese wine fanatic, 1 week, 5 cities, and a van full of wine.
This will be good.
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Galo de Barcelos went into space (“Rooster of Barcelos” in Space) (by Marco Neiva)

image 1. What was it about this project that made you jump in so enthusiastically?
Drawing a Galo de Barcelos is a fun project on it’s own! And this one had the bonus of having a work outside Portugal, representing my country and the portuguese wines. I had a blast working on this project!
2. Why is the symbol of the Gallo important to you?
For me its important because it represents my country, it represents truth and honesty, because of the tale he is connected to, and those are important values to me as well.
3. When you finally sat down to do the initial sketches of the gallo, what challenges did you come up against?
First it had to be related with wine, which made me think about the wine and process, and looking at the traditional symbols, love for the wine came to mind and so i thought about drawing grapes, and the hearts, which are part of the traditional symbol in the Galo.
It also had to be fun, but that was a bit easier, since i think that the Galo is a fun character anyway, but tried to add my own twist to it.
4. In your ideal world, what do you hope people will take away from this project?
I hope that they like my representation of the Galo, maybe think that i can be the right illustrator/designer for a project, and love the portuguese wines and visit Portugal, because it’s worth the visit!

During the “Portuguese Wine Invasion”, we shared hundreds of pamphlets with a list of challenging questions to both inspire and teach the Portuguese curious. In some cities, we even held a contest to see who answered the most questions correctly; however, to date, we have yet to share the answers.

Today, I present the answers to the Portuguese Wine Invasion Quiz! Please share them with your friends and let us know how you did!

  1. Did you know that one of Japan’s main cuisines was directly influenced by Portugal?! Which one could it be? a: tempura b: teppanyaki c: udon noodles d: sushi
  2. Nicknamed the “pencil bridge”, this icon of Porto was designed by one of the most famous engineers in the world! Who was it? a: Frank Gehry b: Gustave Eiffel c: Squire Whipple d: Joseph Struass
  3. Beyond its stunning and incredibly steep vineyards, the island of Madeira is also known for? a: Of of the worlds most dangerous airports b: The largest shopping mall c: The greatest collection of sea urchins d: The birthplace of first woman to climb Kilimanjaro
  4. Which sport placed Portugal on the international map in 2013 due to a new world record? a: Roller hockey b: Soccer c: Surfing d: Underwater basket weaving
  5. Did you know that Portuguese is the 5th most spoken language in the world! So which of these countries do NOT speak Portuguese? a: Mozambique b: Cape Verde c: Goa d: Brazil ~ Yes we realize that Goa is not a country! :)
  6. Despite the rising fame of English as the mandatory second language in school, there is one country that is still making Portuguese mandatory. Which one is it? a: San Tome b: Spain c: Uruguay d: Ghana
  7. There are few political alliances that last the test of time, and every fewer that claim to be the oldest in the world!! Which country does Portugal share this claim with? a: Switzerland b: England c: USA d: Germany
  8. Did you know that Chinese and Portuguese share some common words despite their vastly different alphabet?! Which English word is the same in both? a: bread b: bed c: pepper d: tree  Extra Credit: What is the word in Portuguese: Pão
  9. With a country having such a diversity in its microclimates, it’s tough to imagine a that there isn’t a staple that can’t be grown. What crop is not grown commercially in Portugal? a: tea b: coffee c: mangos d: almonds
  10. The best part of language is their translations. Can you imagine what the native Portuguese grape  Esgana Cão translates to in English? a: Dog Strangler b: Sheep’s Tail c: Red Eyed Devil  d: Fishy Color
  11. In 1755, did you know that Portugal suffered one of the deadliest natural disasters in history? It was so destructive that estimates of lives lost go up to 100,000 people. What was it? a: tsunami b: drought c: earthquake d: typhoon Extra Credit: What city was destroyed by it? LIBSON ~ Technically the Earthquake is the correct answer as it caused the Tsunami, but we accepted both answers. 
  12. What is Mirandese? a: 2nd official language of Portugal b: A type of Portuguese official title c: a small dog native to the Azores islands d: a Portuguese flower
  13. Portugal is the largest producer of cork in the world! And it can be used for a wide variety of things. Which of the following is cork NOT used in the production of? a: bricks b: shoes c: laser printers d: light bulbs
  14. In the north of Portugal wet weather has led to drastic measures when it comes to trellising vines. What do the people in the north use to grow their grapes on? a) tall poles made of eucalyptus b) tree trunks that grow in their yards c) skeletons of the northern Portuguese antelope d) Stone pillars that result from erosion

Some great photos from Madison by Eric Baillies, make sure to check out his full portfolio at www.ebaillies.com, great stuff!

Quick wrap up of our event in Madison! Thanks Doug!

The Galo de Barcelos is our mascot: granted, a modified wine version of it. If you don’t know the story of the Galo, here is a short version.

In the 17th century,  there was a considerable amount of crime in the northern Portuguese city of Barcelos, some ascribing it to the pilgrims on their holy pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. One day, a man on his pilgrmage turned up and became suspect for stealing silver from a local landowner. Despite his pleas of innocence, he was sentenced to death. Begging to see the judge, he was dragged in front of an banquet where the judge sat feasting on a lavish meal. The man pointed to a roasted cock on top of the table and exclaimed, “It is as certain that I am innocent as it is certain that this rooster will crow when they hang me.” Ignoring the man’s appeal, the judge continued his meal, while consciously pushing the rooster aside out of disgust.

Unfortunately for the magistrate, while the pilgrim was being hanged, the roasted rooster stood up on the table and crowed as the man predicted. Understanding his error and ashamed, the judge ran to the gallows, only to discover that the man had been saved from hanging thanks to a poorly made knot in the rope. The man was immediately freed and sent off in peace.

Thus the rooster is a reminder that miracles do happen. I’m sure you can take many meanings from this legend, but wherever you go in Portugal,  the Galo de Barcelos will follow. And while the local Portuguese often overlook it as a symbol, any visitor will never forget its bright colors.

Now to our secret. We brought 50 miniature Galos to the USA, and have scattered these little figurines in every location we visited. Some will be easier to find than others, but we hope you enjoy the treasure hunt. We even snuck a few into hotels and other locations.

This week, we’ll also be placing the Portuguese Wine Invasion t-shirt up for sale on the website, in addition to the stickers per the request of our readers. Please let us know if you’re interested in any of them.

Doug Frost MS/MW and Ryan Sciara from Cellarrat

When we were in Indianapolis we realized a couple things, so we asked the “Visit Indy" crew to answer a question for us. Lisa Wallace was kind enough to respond! We hope you find it as interesting as we do!


When you have a region to promote that is known in large part due to one significant cultural feature, how do you leverage that best to expand visitors knowledge and interest in the bigger product? 

Indianapolis is full of treasures, some bigger than others, but for many the Speedway is the #1 thing they think of when you mention Indianapolis. 

With Portugal we have Port wine, which is in one way our “speedway”, and yet we have so much more to offer. 


Attending the Indy 500 or riding around the iconic oval in a real IndyCar or pace car is a bucket list item. We can capitalize on that awareness and recognition by using it to draw people’s attention to the city or garner their interest in visiting. Once the initial appeal is there, we can introduce them to the numerous other reasons Indianapolis is worthy of being a vacation or business travel destination. Our goal is to get the message across that although Indy is the Racing Capital of the World – a great and unique quality, there is so much more to this city than racing. 

Visit Indy seeks to attract both leisure and business travelers to Indianapolis, and we leverage the Indy 500 in various ways to resonate with each type of visitor. In general, we like to use the phrase that Indy has ‘a surprise around every turn’ – a play off of the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where drivers make 800 left turns during the race. We hear time and time again from people visiting for the first time how surprised they are by how much Indianapolis offers in addition to sports – arts and cultural amenities, a scenic Central Canal, a 250-acre urban park in the heart of downtown, the most monuments and memorials second only to Washington, D.C., vibrant nightlife, and great local dining options, all set in a friendly, walkable and safe downtown.   

Additionally, for leisure visitors, we developed a “500 Experiences to Love” booklet that puts a number to over 25 different things to see and do in the city, only one of which has to do with the speedway. For example, our recommendation to tour at least a couple of our 11 local breweries equals 11 of the 500 experiences. The use of ‘500’ gets their attention and refers to perhaps our most notable attraction. For meeting and event planners, we utilize the Indy 500, which is the world’s largest single-day sporting event bringing in 300,000 visitors to the city annually, to demonstrate that the city is capable of hosting the biggest and best events around. If the city can excel at the logistics and needs associated with hosting the largest single-day sporting event, accommodating visitors in hotels and restaurants and throwing parties all around the city at special venues, we can organize and host their meeting or event. We also utilized the Super Bowl in 2012 in a similar way.

To be very honest, we didn’t know if this project was going to work. In my heart of hearts, I knew the reasoning was sound, but there were so many variables, so many challenges, that the notion of success seemed very far away. Why would anyone be interested in Portugal, as a whole, if the wines we were pouring were currently unavailable to them? Why would anyone be interested in a country they’ve never visited or even thought of? Why would wineries travel halfway across the world to go to the center of a country, where the “small cities” are typically ignored by generic wine bodies? Yet despite these questions, I knew in my heart that if we could just inspire curiosity, passion and a touch of intrigue, something might stick.  And to our great fortune, it appears to have worked.

The entire tour, while only lasting 5 days, was packed with loads of travel, discussion and ample discoveries - as all good adventures are. Today the wineries are in negotiations with more than one distributor in Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana, and we’ve had loads of interest from consumers to book their ticket and head east to Portugal for their next vacation. But maybe the best way to describe this trip would be through a short story.

On the eve of the tour, still feeling a bit stressed that we had several holes in the schedule yet to be filled, I came across a comment on a facebook post I had put up about the trip stating, “If you’re coming through Wisconsin, we’d love to see you.” Knowing the commenter, Doug, was based in Madison, a city on the route from Chicago to Minneapolis, I immediately contacted him to find out that he was not only related to a distributor but also was friends with a new wine retailer in the heart of Madison. Perfect! I thought.

Fast forward to the day when we are headed to Madison, and you can imagine our state of being after traveling 2 times the length of Portugal in 5 days. Tired wouldn’t even begin to sum up our state of mind. We were absolutely wrecked, yet extraordinarily content and upbeat about the trip. The stop in Wisconsin was scheduled, but as usual, we were running a bit late due to Chicago traffic. When we finally arrived at Square Wine, we were left with 1.5 hours to taste through our wines at lightening speed. As requested our new friend Doug who had organized the event had a line of deli sandwiches preordered and a small group of people gathered to share in the tasting.

While this might have been the quickest tasting we have ever done, it was also one of the most rewarding. We had wine peeps we never met before gathered at noon on a Wednesday to taste wines that no one could currently buy. We met a distributor who fell in love with a few of the wines and promised to do his best to get a few of them distribution in Madison. We exchanged t-shirts with Andrea, the owner of Square Wine, and we “dined, tasted  and dashed” as it were. Leaving the open wines to share with other customers, we headed out as quick as we entered, knowing that we had only skimmed the surface of the stories we wanted to share.

It was later that night that I received a new note from Doug on Facebook:

Thank you so much for making time for us today. It was truly a pleasure meeting with you guys and tasting your wares. I think everyone took something special away from the event and hope you guys did too. I dropped by Square [Wine Shop] this evening for an Oregon Wine event she had and she was tasting the wines(open portuguese wines) out to customers at the cash register. It would be cool if we could get someone to bring some of the wines on board here in WI, but I think your mission in general of Spreading the word was successful. Hope you all have safe travels home and I look forward to working with you in the near future. Cheers!

The Portuguese are often soft spoken about their country; so far be it for them to brag and carry on about how great a place Portugal is. That said, they do leave their mark with very little effort: a smile, a story, a handshake - the message always lingers and spreads.

This trip was about planting seeds of curiosity in the heart of middle America; seeds that would germinate and grow. With any luck, we succeeded.

Photos by: Andreasen Photography www.andreasenphoto.com - From our night at Cafe Ena.

Mars Curiosity Pilot with Julia Kemper Curiosity Wine. 

The “boys”, shucking corn! #ptwineinvasion 

#ptwineinvasion on top of Chicago

Special thanks to Enoch and the whole gang @Bin36 for making our time in Chicago special!

Last night @bin36 in Chicago!