2019-10-28
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Daniel Richard,
President and Founder
of the agency

President and Founder of Univins and Spirits, Daniel Richard has a true passion for his work, which has inspired others to join him on his journey.

He was originally a farmer and beekeeper on land he acquired in the early 1970s. He was the first to grow organic wheat in Quebec. In the 1980s, he participated in numerous international aid projects.

At that time, Daniel yearned to be his own boss again. In 1991, after completing his MBA at UQAM’s business school, he turned his passion for wine into the creation of his own agency, Francs-Vins.

A true visionary, Daniel Richard was quick to capitalize on the enthusiasm among Quebecers for quality wine. The market back then was still young. But Daniel saw an opportunity to showcase both French and Italian producers, with whom he has since built sincere, long-standing ties. In 1996, he bought the first Quebec vineyard in France – Domaine du Lys, located in Languedoc. He also created the trading company Le Négociant Français.

Over the years, Daniel was able to establish credibility and strong relations in the sector, as a result of his expertise in the wine industry, his generosity and the friendliness of his business. All this had an impact on both the evolution of the agency and of wine consumption in Quebec.

One of the best examples of Daniel’s flair is the success in Quebec of Umberto Cesari, a small vineyard at the beginning, nestled in the heart of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. Daniel sensed a huge potential for this winemaker’s products in the Quebec market – and it is now a flagship wine thanks to the work of Daniel and Mr. Cesari. Today, the Liano is still the top selling wine (over $20) in the history of the SAQ and Quebec’s favourite Italian wine.

Commitments

Beyond his deep involvement in his company, Daniel has been active in the food and gastronomy sectors, as well as in cultural and charitable activities. Serving on the board of directors of the Association québécoise des agences de vins, bières et spiritueux, he played an important role in bringing the SAQ closer to wine agencies. He was also the mastermind and creator of La Grande dégustation de Montréal and was part of Tourism Montreal’s table de concertation for many years.

Leadership

Within his company, Daniel strives to promote determination, commitment and loyalty. He believes that respecting the highest qualities of moral integrity creates a ripple effect. He feels that these same qualities in his employees have been key to the success of his organization, both on a human and entrepreneurial level.

His love for the craft also sets him apart from others. Daniel likes to say: “When we’re inspired, we inspire those around us.” He believes that wine is a product of nature with which consumers have a relationship that is not rational, but on a whole different level. Wine is a living, organic reality, whose story differs based on its creator, and that brings us together in all kinds of harmonious ways.