In 10 years, the number of wineries exporting to Canada grew by 300%

According to WineSur June 26 2013 Canada is the second destination for Argentine wine exports.

WineSur June 26, 2013 by María Elena Graffigna

In 2012, this number amounted to 212, whereas in 2002 it was only 54. Canada is the second destinations of Argentine wine exports and one of the best-performing countries, becoming the focus of exporters’ attention worldwide.

In the last few years, Canada has positioned itself as one of the most attractive markets for wine exports. A traditionally beer-consuming country, the most important alcoholic drink, is experiencing a great change in its inhabitants’ consumption habits. In this panorama, wine appears on stage, being more and more consumed by Canadians.

It has been the alcoholic beverage more dynamic in terms of retail sales in the past five years, especially in the last year. It reached a year-to-year growth of 5.9% in value, leaving the beer behind, with an increase of 0.6%, according to data from Statistics Canada.

One of the most interesting data coming from the country’s official statistics is the success of imported wines in the last year, sales of which surged by almost 7% in relation to the 4% of local wines, in value.

This phenomenon has been taken place in a country with a very particular characteristic, the presence of monopolies of alcohol beverage sales. This limits the maneuvers for both local and foreign products, with some regulations favoring local wineries, such as the possibility of direct sale in some provinces.  However, the growth in the demand has been stronger than these restrictions, and results are obvious.


One point having favored this consumption growth is the increase of consumers’ income. Wine consumption is associated with the social prestige and Canadians are increasingly willing to spend in luxuries. Another of the important factors is the consumers’ greater accessibility to this beverage. There is an increasing interest in the wine culture and a continuous search for new related activities, such as courses, festivals, wine routes, etc. This is also reflected, among other things, in the expansion of wine bars across the country.

On the other hand, the fast development of the local industry has also contributed to the expansion of this beverage, although it is internationally known as an ice-wine producer. However, the VQA (Vitners Quality Alliance), appellation system of origin in Ontario and British Columbia, little by little, is being highly regarded by local and international consumers.

Argentina’s positionArgentina was in fifth place in the ranking of wine exporters to Canada in terms of both turnover and volume in 2012, registering a 7.5% share in value. Nonetheless, although its overall exports have remained growing, in the past 3 years the country lost part of its share, which reached a peak in 2009 with almost 10%. At the expense of other competitors, more successful in this last period, Argentina has been left behind. The main competitor is United States, whose wines have rapidly gained positions.

However, Canada is a very important country for Argentine wines, as it represents the second destination of exports, behind United States. Moreover, a great number of Argentine wineries operate in it. In 2012, this number amounted to 212 wineries, whereas in 2002 it was only 54.

Considering the past 12 months until April 2013, exports surged by over 6%, compared with the previous year in terms of both value and volume, topping USD 92 million.

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