French-speaking Canadians have very different views to their English-speaking counterparts – and they’re not overly impressed by Canadian domestic wines
Canada has a thriving wine industry. Producers in British Columbia and Ontario make some internationally-acclaimed products, from stylish Pinot Noir to luscious icewine. These wines are hugely popular in Canada – but not all of Canada.
In the English-speaking provinces, almost three-quarters of regular wine consumers drink Canadian wine – far more than the next most popular options, from Australia, California, France and Italy. In Quebec, however, it’s a completely different story.
Here, it’s perhaps no surprise that the French-drinking population favours French wines. But the Quebecois are also more likely to drink wine from Italy, Australia, Chile, California, Spain, Argentina or South Africa than they are something from their own country.
In Quebec, there are more male than female regular wine drinkers though the gender split is 50-50 elsewhere in Canada. Despite the antipathy towards domestic wine, it’s clear that, on the whole, consumers in Quebec have a more adventurous approach to wine than their English-speaking counterparts.
Although per capita consumption in Canada is relatively low by comparison to many other Western markets, at a little over 15 litres a head, consumers are often knowledgeable and high-spending. However, exporters who can negotiate the state-controlled distribution system, and understand some the regional quirks in consumer behaviour, can benefit from a market that is still achieving growth despite its mature status.
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