Wine Industry Overview

Last Updated: April 8, 2024

Photo by Terry Vlisidis on Unsplash

Key Takeaways 

  • Canadians love wine! Over the past few years, sales on premium wines have superseded sales of craft beer (Rose, 2023), and sales for all kinds of wine have continued to climb (Statista, 2022, p. 25).

Source: Statista. (2022). Sales of the wine market in Canada from 2012 to 2022 (in million Canadian dollars) [Graph]. Wine market in Canada: Statistics report on the wine market in Canada. Retrieved from Statista database. 


  • British Columbia is home to more wineries than any other province. The closest competitor is Ontario, home to 185 wineries compared to BC’s 245 in 2023 (Statista, 2022, p. 15).
  • Climate change is a leading threat for the wine industry in British Columbia. Cold fronts and wildfires are among the biggest challenges, posing issues for many aspects of the industry like grape growing and tourism (Fast, 2023).

Industry Performance Snapshot 

  • British Columbians had one of the highest shares of alcohol sales per person in all of Canada in 2021/2022, coming in at a whopping $919 per person of legal age (2023, Statistics Canada).
  • The COVID-19 pandemic sparked some turbulence for industries related to alcohol, first increasing at-home consumption of alcohol before seeing sales start to decline with the return to on-site work coupled with a rise in inflation. Although beer is expected to follow in this downturn, a report from IBIS World (2023) projects that over the next few years people will continue to spend money on wine–and potentially pay more for it as “premiumization” gains traction.

Industry Outlook

  • Sparkling wine sales have been on the rise, reaching a total $539 million dollars in sales in 2022, with $75 million in sales coming from Canadian products (Satista, 2022, p. 31). While red wine sales have taken a slight dip in 2022, they remain the leaders in both total wine sales (at $3.16 billion) and sales of domestic products (at $1.12 billion) (p. 29). 
  • The Government of Canada recognized “[the] growth of Canada’s wine sector [as] a major success story, providing business opportunities for grape growers and wine makers, while contributing to the economic vitality of rural communities” (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada2022). To support wineries in the wake of challenges like wildfires, they announced a temporary program to provide “up to $166.2 million over 2 years” (Wine Sector Support Program, n.d.).
  • In addition to climate-related challenges, BC’s vineyards have faced grapevine viruses. A report from British Columbia’s Wine Grape Council noted that the combination of these events “pose a major challenge to the industry’s ability to meet demand going forward,” noting that “[in] 2022, the volume of 100% BC wine sold on the market exceeded the estimated volume of wine released to market by 4.3 million litres” (Snoek & Elbourne, 2023, p. 7). 

Industry Trends and Challenges

Sustainability and localism identified as key trends in the wine industry. A report from the World Advertising Research Centre suggests that these are “deeper currents that marketers can mine,” pointing to examples where domestic wines are seeing increased sales and examples of current sustainability efforts (World Advertising Research Centre, 2022).

The past few years have seen massive setbacks for the wine industry, largely fuelled by the climate. Wines of British Columbia note that in 2023, “45% of total plant acreage suffered long-term damage” and “29% of total acreage needs to be replanted,” which has resulted in a combined loss of over $230 million in direct and indirect revenue (​​2023).


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