They’re drinking a lot of wine in the Great White North these days.
According to a report in the Montreal Gazette, Canadians increased their total annual wine consumption to 40.4 million cases between 2005 and 2009. That’s an increase of 22.5 percent, a rate six times faster than the world average.
Looking ahead, research by ISWR, a British firm, predicts that the total will grow to 49.7 million cases by 2014 – a 19 percent increase. Meanwhile, worldwide consumption is expected to reach 2.73 billion cases, a 3.18 percent increase.
No reasons were cited for the pace of Canada’s consumption increase.
Meanwhile, world markets continue to impact the wine industry. In the near future, both Russia and China figure to see big spikes in consumption. But with that growth comes the likelihood of increases in counterfeit wine in the marketplace. Almost every industry has had to deal with that problem, and the wine business will not be an exception.
With their reputations for quality on the line, winery owners are then faced with a dilemma: Do they risk having their brand devalued by counterfeit wine bearing a very similar label to theirs, or do they invest big money in attorneys to fight the abusive practice?
There are indications that the Russian and Chinese governments are becoming more helpful in shutting down counterfeiters. What is not yet known is whether that help will be ongoing and effective.
Yes, there’s a lot more to the wine business today than simply crushing grapes.
(Editor’s Note: We’ll have more on the global wine market, using U.S. exports as a measuring stick, tomorrow.)