Although my job with Enoforum Wines ended over a year ago, my relationship to them has remained. Once Enoforum found an importer, the next steps involved getting placements with wholesalers within each state. PR – sensibly – had to be put on a back burner. Without unlimited resources, which very few companies have these days, priorities had to be set. And, we parted as friends, with my gains through this relationship being very substantive. I had traveled to Portugal, seen the sights, tasted the fruits of their labors, experienced their culture and warmth. And for that I’ll always be grateful.

And so, my friend Delfim Costa and I have shared occasional emails. When I got his most recent email, I was so delighted. Amidst the economic turmoil of the world, Enoforum continues to grow, and we can expect to see even more Portuguese presence in the US as a result of their newest developments.

It’s my great pleasure to write that at the end of December 2011, CARMIM, CRL ( purchased Enoforum Wines, and has been in charge of its leadership and strategy since then. I had a fabulous visit to Carmim while in Portugal, meeting with winemaker Rui Veladas (Winemaker). We shared a lunch in Reguengos de Monsaraz (Alentejo, Portugal) that I’ll never forget, and Rui’s hospitality at Carmim was impeccable.

CARMIM was one of Enoforum’s founders in 2004 and it has been one of their main shareholders and their main wine and enology service providers. Today Carmim is the main Portuguese bottled winery (Adega), with over 40 years spent in producing quality wine and olive oil. After leading the Portuguese domestic market, Carmim is now striving to become a major player in the worldwide wine trade and Enoforum will have a central role in this strategy.

Enoforum is thus going to substantially expand its portfolio and its presence in international markets, with the possibility of aiming higher in the future. They now have more powerful resources that will enable them to offer a better quality service to all their clients.

Enoforum’s team:

  • Delfim Costa (General Manager)
  • Rui Veladas (Winemaker)
  • Isabel Ramos (Financial Management, Logistics)
  • Elsa Lourinho (Customer Services and Logistics)
  • Luís Ribeiro (Area Sales Manager)
  • Daniel Lopes (Shanghai Office)

They will be making all their changes gradually and in a flexible way, always keeping in touch with their clients so that they can achieve positive results for everyone concerned.

Their new logo took its inspiration from a choral group from the Alentejo, a strong symbol of that region’s folklore. It aims at being a geographical anchor and aims at spreading the word that “behind every great wine there are great people who produce it.” (Well said, guys!)

It’s also important to note that Enoforum is now exporting to 32 countries, and they expect to export in 2012 over 400,000 cases of wine worldwide. I just love watching this growth from afar.

Regarding the choral group from the Alentejo, I once wrote the following entitled: Instead of Wine, Women, and Song; How about Wine, Men and Song? You’ll quickly realize, from what I’ve written, that having a wine client in Portugal had a profound impact on my life. This isn’t just a wine brand or wine company… This is culture at its finest, with – I kid you not – the most wonderful people behind the effort. So, I can only wish them the ultimate for success.

My story, revisited…

…All of this said, this is why I’d return to Europe in a heartbeat, where chivalry still lives, regardless of the sociocultural changes. Men still think kindly of women, are willing to open and close doors, make sure that we’re seated correctly, and attended to in some very special ways. I don’t take offense to any of it… Never did.

[Image borrowed from What a Wonderful New]

For Wine, Men, and Song, there’s even a group in the Alentejo region of Portugal called Baldão (pronounced similar to Bal-down, like you “own” something, with a “d” in front of it… and a sharp mouth closing at the end of the word).

The ethnomusicological study of cante ao baldão (singing of the baldão) can be read at Cante ao Baldao: A Song Dueling Practice in Alentejo, by Maria Jose Barriga

I was inspired to write this story as soon as I learned about the Portuguese culture’s love of music as being part of celebrations; Wine, Women & Men, and Song included. Their culture has two traditional song types:
  1. Fado (sung by women with acoustic back up)
  2. Baldão ~ image of Alente’s label above.

If you travel to the Alentejo region of Portugal, you might be serenaded by one of the town’s traditional singers. These men are genuine descendants of medieval troubadours… Their ancestors date back to the days of chivalry.

And so to the birth of a label coming from the Alentejo region of Portugal, inspired by Baldão, and encompassing the culture… Alente’s image of these three men: The cape, scarf worn at the neck, and the large fedora-style hat are all part of the garb. The singing is all part of their modern celebrations.

In all of this process in Portugal, wine is never the center of the activity, even in the Wine, Men, and Song part of it. It’s like having a glass of water… It just is, and it is what it is… magical.

Traditional culture gives birth to a wine brand where the tapestry of how Portugal has become what it is honored with each and every thread along the way… Including the cloth of the Baldão singers.

Wine, Men, and Song…




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