1 décembre 2016

10 years of Drinking Real

Theo Diamantis
Co-Fondateur d'Oenopole

We did it. Wasn’t that easy, but we managed to get it done. What was it exactly?

Ten years ago we started off with a simple, yet very challenging idea: Change the wine landscape at the SAQ. There were plenty of great wines offered on the private import level, but we wanted to see big piles of real wines with high-drinkability in every Selection, Classique and even Express outlets. We wanted these wines to be in the best restaurants of the province, on people’s dinner tables.

It was a very lofty ambition, bordering on the insane, considering we had little money, no contacts, and zero experience with the SAQ. But we LOVE challenges.

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Theo Diamantis

Aurelia, Alexis and I set off to France, Italy and Greece with the goal of finding vignerons who would trust us with their portfolios, no small task considering we were literally nobodies in the industry, but, one by one, people believed in us, trusted our visions, and gave us the opportunity to sell their wines in Quebec.

So in 2006, we started this crazy journey of bringing in things like French and Italian natural wines, oranges wines, and terroir-driven Greek wines. We visited hundreds of estates looking for wines made in the vineyard, by people who were sincere, hard-working, and above all, authentic. We wanted their voices to be heard loud and clear when their bottles were being stacked among the thousands of other wines at the SAQ.

We lobbied the SAQ to bring in our wines. We pounded the streets, tasted with hundreds of restaurants and conseillers to get the good word out. It was exhausting, but we did it, one bottle at a time.

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Theo Diamantis

Over the past ten years, we accomplished our goals with the help of an incredible team we built. Like the winemakers we enlisted, we found talented, driven people to join us in this great adventure. The oenople gang is now twelve-strong and we are very proud of our little family. There is still a lot of work to do but we couldn’t be more excited to keep the great wine flowing.

A very sincere thank you to the winemakers who trusted us, the SAQ who listened to us, and especially every single person who bought one of our bottles to enjoy a taste of Real Wine.

As the Italians would say, Centi Ani!

Theo Diamantis