The Canadian Wine Industry

Topics: Wine, Canadian wine, Vintners Quality Alliance Pages: 16 (4789 words) Published: November 4, 2008
The Canadian Wine Industry
Table of Contents
Industry Structure
Export Market
Trade Performance
Strengths and Weaknesses
Trade-Related Factors
Technology-Related Factors
Regulatory Factors
Future Challenges and Opportunities
Provincial Liquor Boards
Federal Goverment Departmental Contact


The Canadian wine-making industry, North America Industrial Classification System (NAICS) 31213, comprises establishments that are primarily engaged in manufacturing wine or brandy from grapes or other fruit. Establishments primarily engaged in growing grapes and manufacturing wine, manufacturing wine from purchased grapes and other fruit, blending wines, or distilling brandy, are included. ( 1 )


We do not have an "Introduction" for this page, our apologies.

We do not have a subject on "Significance", our apologies.

Industry Structure
Table wines made from grapes constitute the largest segment of the market and can be divided into two categories: the low-to-medium-priced wines, or "vin ordinaire" table wines, which make up 80% of sales, and the mid-to-premium-priced branded items, including icewines, where product descriptors, appellations (or geographical indications), and vintages are important to consumers.

According to the latest Statistics Canada data, 31 winery establishments ( 2 ) produced shipments worth $500.5 million and employed 1,437 people in 1999. Imports3 were close to $900 million, capturing an estimated 66% share of the domestic market (see Figure 1). The major suppliers are France, Italy and the United States (US). Wine exports ( 3 ) are minimal, ranging between $6.4 million - $10.7 million annually in recent years. Production and exports of grape wine and 'other related products', such as fruit wines, wine coolers and hard lemonade, have grown considerably in importance since 1998, primarily to the US (see Figure 4).

The Canadian wine sector is heavily concentrated in Ontario, British Columbia (BC) and Quebec. About 82% of manufacturing shipments come from Ontario and 18% from BC, while the industry in Quebec is extensively engaged in the bottling of bulk foreign wine products.

In total, there are approximately 170 winery establishments across Canada, many of which are small operations. "Estate" wineries, where grapes are cultivated in vineyards owned by the winery, are very common. "Estate" wineries normally consist of operations employing between 20 and 100 persons, but additional labour is required at grape harvest time. Of total reported domestic sales, "estate" wineries account for approximately 12% of wines sold.

Wine-making is considered to be relatively concentrated as the leading five firms account for close to 90% of total wine production. The remaining establishments are comprised of "estate" and "farm-gate" wineries, where wine-making may only be a part of a larger farming operation. For this reason, the "farm-gate" activity ( 4 ) is not accounted for in formal Statistics Canada wine industry data (NAICS 31213).

Figure 1: Imports, Exports and Domestic Market Shipments, 1999

Wine imports included in NAICS 31213 comprise wine grapes in addition to the other alcoholic beverages noted above. However, the major imported product is wine made from grapes. Wine exports of $6.4 million are comprised only of wine made from grapes.

Industry sources have indicated that four large wineries represent 94% of the volume sold through liquor boards in BC and about 59 small wineries account for the remainder.

There is no wine production in the Prairie region, but there are two blended-wine bottling facilities in Alberta, each operated by one of the two major Canadian wine enterprises....
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