Following healthy growth during 2010-2011, the Canadian wine market is set to continue to expand, with an average year on year growth of approximately 5%. The market will ultimately reach a value of approximately $9 billion by 2017.
For every bottle of wine produced in Canada there is $31 of domestic economic impact generated in the country. The wine and grape industry is responsible for more than 31,000 jobs in Canada from manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, transportation, research, restaurants and retail.
Wine consumption in Canada continues to grow as many Canadians are reaching for a glass of wine over spirits or beer. With Canadian wines presently representing only 30% of total wine sales across the country and imported wine at 70%, there is enormous potential for Canadian wine growth and the entire national economy.
The US is the largest foreign market for Canadian wines. It took more than 40% of all exports in 2010, followed by China with about 20%. Sales to the United States have increased at a brisk rate, which contrasts with a downward trend in total wine exports by Canada.
While there are many small Canadian wineries, the domestic wine market has long been dominated by two companies, Vincor International and Andres Wines. In 2006, Vincor International, which had grown aggressively in previous years by acquiring wineries in California, Australia and New Zealand, was itself acquired by Constellation Brands, a US based company and one of the primary consolidators of the global wine business.
The industry should focus on reducing production constraints by growing grape varieties more suitable to the Canadian climate and on technologies that reduce the adverse effects of the weather.
Windmills could be used, for example, to prevent cold air from settling over vineyards and Icewine from grapes frozen naturally on the vine should continue to be developed as a niche product.
For more information on the Canadian wine market, see the latest research: Canadian Wine Market
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