BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

August 29, 2011 16:44 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE-BMO Panel: Canadian Wine Executives Expect 2011 Vintage to be "Outstanding"

- Presidents of Peller Estates, Cedar Creek Estate Winery and Peninsula Ridge Estates join BMO to discuss challenges and opportunities

- While domestic market has flattened out since recession, China shows growing demand

- High dollar has helped with lower equipment costs, including glass and barrels

NIAGARA, ONTARIO and OKANAGAN, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 29, 2011) - This document corrects and replaces the press release that was sent on August 29th, 2011 at 4 pm ET. The complete and corrected releases follows.

This year will be an "outstanding" year for wine in Canada's biggest wine producing regions, according to some of the country's top producers.

John E. Peller, President and CEO, Andrew Peller Limited, Gordon Fitzpatrick, President, Cedar Creek Estate Winery, Norm Beal, President, Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery, joined David Rinneard, National Manager, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal today in a roundtable discussion and outlook for Canada's wine industry.

"In 2010, revenue from wine sales were nearly $900 million. Canadian producers are looking to own their backyard, and capitalize on growing opportunities in China," said David Rinneard.

"Despite a challenging market, Canadian vintners continue to win over consumers with high quality, distinctive wines at competitive prices. Wineries output has grown at an average annual rate of 7.6 per cent since 1998, much faster than the overall beverage sector at 1 per cent. Going forward we anticipate that Canadian wineries will continue to maintain their position in Canada while showcasing their quality products in new markets," added Rinneard.

Highlights from the panel include:

  • With the growth of its middle class, China has become a growing market for Canadian wines, accounting for 20 per cent of Canada's wine exports, second only to the U.S.
  • The wine consumer is "winning", with prices for good wines being driven down by the recession
  • The high Canadian dollar has helped wine producers, making for cheaper equipment imports such as glass and barrels
  • Canadian vintners have room to grow in their own backyard: Canadians consume half of the per capita levels of consumers in Europe and the UK
  • There is a cultural shift occurring, with growing demand from aging boomers and increasingly popularity of wine among the younger generation

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