Canada Roadshow Executive Seminars: a taste of the “bella vita”

Veronafiere and Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) have teamed up with ICE-Italian Trade Agency in Toronto and two of the leading Canadian Monopolies, Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NFLC), to bring Canada Roadshow Executive Seminars to cities in Eastern Canada. These VIA seminars will be held for the first time in Ottawa (Ontario) on November 5th, Halifax (Nova Scotia) on November 7th, and St. John’s (Newfoundland) on November 8th and will showcase the variety and excellence of Italian wines.



Vinitaly International Academy’s raison d’être serves to bring Italian wine education to the world, combining exclusive Italian wine tastings events such as the forthcoming Canada Roadshow Executive Seminars with in-depth Italian wine courses for professionals held all around the world. The Canada Roadshow Executive Seminars 2018 will be the very first introduction in Eastern Canada to VIA’s educational and outreach program. VIA Italian Wine Expert Michaela Morris has been chosen to lead the Executive Seminars which will be addressed for the first time not only to trade professionals, but also to consumers and wine lovers, therefore providing them with the opportunity to taste both classic and lesser-known Italian wines. Morris elaborates on VIA’s selection of Italian wines:

The Italian category in Canada is strong but it is dominated by Prosecco and Pinot Grigio. For these seminars we are not pouring examples of these because in order for Italian wine to continue to grow, we need to encourage consumers to venture beyond. Education of both consumers and trade is key.

Morris, who is one of the 162 VIA-certified Ambassadors and Experts in the world, works as a wine writer, educator and presenter.

The Roadshow began on October 22nd in Western Canada with Vancouver as the first stop of seven cities. Seminars are scheduled for Calgary (Alberta), Toronto (Ontario), and Montreal (Quebec) on October 31st. The Eastern dates of the Roadshow, which are the product of the collaboration between the ICE-Italian Trade Agency and VIA, will begin in Ottawa on Monday November 5th with an afternoon b2b tasting hosted by the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. The Executive Wine Seminar there is entitled: ‘10 of Italy’s Most Exciting Native Grapes’. Again, Morris explains:

10 wines have been selected for the trade tasting and 6 for the consumer event which provide good examples of their respective grape variety. Some are better-known and already well-loved like Nebbiolo and Sangiovese while others such as Frappato and Timorasso are lesser-known but capable of producing intriguing, high quality wines. In reality, I could do this seminar over and over again and each time focus on different grapes. This is simply due to the reality that Italy has hundreds of native grapes, Italy’s producers are championing them and the skill with which they are making them has never been better.

The evening of November 5th will kick-off at 7:00 pm at the Italian Embassy in Ottawa with a Cocktail dinner and the seminar entitled ‘Italy’s Native Grapes’. The event will not only include excellent Italian wines but also some very carefully chosen Italian foods. Morris artfully elaborates on some of the cheese and wine pairings:

For the simplest of pairings, a selection of cheeses does wonders for a tasting of Italian wine – try a tangy Pecorino from Sardinia with a Vermentino or buttery Taleggio with a juicy Barbera. And I am sure our Canadian Cheddar would have no problem taking on a crisp Gavi or fruity Bardolino.

The Roadshow will then continue onto Halifax, Nova Scotia, with the Executive Wine Seminar ‘Discover the Hidden Gems of Italy’ on the afternoon of November 7th, at The Port by the NSLC. This will be a wine and cheese pairing for both trade and members of public. Matteo Picariello, Director of ICE Canada explains the significance of collaboration with the Monopoly:

ICE has solid, collaborative relationships with the various provincial syndications, with which it regularly organizes initiatives to promote Italian products at the level of large retailers. The knowledge of the Italian territory is another commitment on which ICE aims, through a series of events during the year, such as seminars, discovery trips for private operators and syndicate officials, in fact making the work of our offices in Canada almost daily for this sector.

The final stop of the Canada roadshow will be in St. John’s Newfoundland on the 8th of November at the Johnson Geo Centre, Celestial Gallery. As before, this event will be a two-pronged affair with the B2B being held at 2:00pm and the B2C beginning later on at 7:00pm. Unlike the previous stop, VIA has prepared two separate Executive Wine Seminars for this city: ‘Classics and Classics in the Making: An in-depth look at Italy’s flag bearing wines and the indigenous grapes behind them’ will be the afternoon tasting and ‘Italy off the Beaten Path: Discovering Italy beyond Pinot Grigio and Chianti’ will be the evening’s event. Morris observes:

Just as the name suggests, we are trying to get people out of their comfort zone and demonstrate why they should venture deeper into the wonderful world of Italian with less familiar grapes like Aglianico and Cortese. The theme is similar in Halifax but with ‘Discover Hidden Gems of Italy’ this will be demonstrated with wines made from Arneis and Pecorino. There, we will also pour a Franciacorta to introduce people to an Italian bubble that is very distinct from Prosecco.

The Canada Road Show Executive Seminars powered by VIA—for the first time in Eastern Canada—mark the beginning of a long and fruitful foray into the Canadian market for Italian wine. The possibilities for expanding the existing market are endless and the experience of learning more about what Italy has to offer the Canadian market should not be missed. More information on the event details can be followed on the Vinitaly International website and on social media.



The grand Vinitaly 2019 will be held from April 7th to the 10th. Every year, Vinitaly counts more than 4,000 exhibitors on a 100,000+ square meter area and 130,000 visitors from over 140 different countries with more than 30,000 top international buyers. The premier event to Vinitaly, OperaWine “Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers,” which will be held on the 6th of April, one day prior to Vinitaly will unite international wine professionals in the heart of Verona, offering them the unique opportunity to discover and taste the wines of the 100 Best Italian Producers, as selected by Wine Spectator. Since 1998 Vinitaly International travels to several countries such as Russia, China, USA and Hong Kong thanks to its strategic arm abroad, Vinitaly International. In February 2014 Vinitaly International launched an educational project, the Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) with the aim of divulging and broadcasting the excellence and diversity of Italian wine around the globe. VIA this year launched the seventh edition of its Certification Course and today counts 151 Italian Wine Ambassadors and 11 Italian Wine Experts.