I despise wine snobs. I’ve said it. So please bear in mind that I do not know enough about Canadian Wines. But this afternoon, organized by Bordelaise competitition Citadelles du Vin, I have learned a couple of things about the Canadian Wine Market with lovely Barbara Jiménez Herrero and terroirist French winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas, things that I will now try to share with the Portuguese export-driven wine industry.IMG_5628

Canada is the 5th biggest wine importing country in the world. In 2012, imports of bottled wine reached 1.200 million euros. Leading beer consumption is decreasing and wine is gaining space and demand amongst Canadians. From 2009 to 2011, wine imports rose 9,4% in volume and 29,4 in value!

Only 12500 ha of local vineyards but there is a strong investment on new local wines and wineries.

In Canada you may market Vins de Coupage, blending local wines or juices with bulk imported wine. 77 million litres of bulk were imported last year.

9 of the 12 provinces may sell wines on public and private licensed stores but public alcohol corporations are the leading buyers. In fact LCBO (Liquor Control Board ofOntario) is #1 buyer in the whole world. 3 provinces are responsible for 85% of wine imports: Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia (BC holding a sibling favorite relation with USA wines).

How to enter? Visit the sites of LCBO or SAQ and check voluntary proposal for new wines. You must find a good agent (there are 500+). Please take good notice of several public taxes, 15% for agent fee and –IMPORTANT- 5% mandatory marketing and communication budget (What a good idea!).

Portugal ranks 9th amongst wine exporting countries. Italy is performing really well and overcame France taking the #1 post. Great performances for USA and Argentina.

Canada is a good bet. Each Canadian drinks 23 litres of wine per year. Tough to enter, big deal when you’re in.

Dear wine snobs: Don’t know much about Canadian wines but will learn during my first trip to Quebec this coming Wednesday. The biggest Canadian wine competition – Selections Mondiales – will start on the 30th May.

Sobre Aníbal Coutinho

Anibal Coutinho lives in Lisboa and he is a Portuguese independent wine commentator. For the first time ever a well known Portuguese professional is writing in English about Portuguese wines. Using the letter W for his wine philosophy, Anibal shares his passionate view as a wine consumer, winemaker, wine writer, wine voyeur, wine bullshitter, wine buyer, wine educator, wine judge and amateur sommelier. He has a MSc and an ongoing PhD in Sensory Analysis. He will also share his passion about other W liquids. Anibal sings in the Gulbenkian Choir. Last but not least he is a devoted husband and father.
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