Wine Industry News

Government of Canada launches new support program for Canada’s wine sector

Aug 11, 2022 | Winery Industry News

The growth of Canada’s wine sector is a major success story, providing business opportunities for grape growers and wine makers, while contributing to the economic vitality of rural communities. The Government of Canada is building on this success to ensure the wine sector continues to thrive. Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced details of a new two-year, up to $166-million Wine Sector Support Program that will provide wineries with the tools they need to stay innovative and competitive, in order to capitalize on new opportunities.

To help strengthen the future of the wine sector, the Government of Canada has worked in consultation with industry stakeholders to develop a program that would help Canadian wineries face emerging challenges in the short term.

“Our local products and wine routes contribute to the attractiveness and vitality of our regions. This support for Canadian vineyards will enable them to innovate and be more productive and competitive,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

All licensed wineries in Canada that produce or contract out the production of bulk wine from primary agricultural products, such as grapes, berries, other fruit, dandelions, rice and sap, will be eligible for support under the program. Support will be provided in the form of a grant based on the production of bulk wine fermented in Canada from domestic and/or imported primary agricultural products in the previous year. Individual payments will be dependent on the total litres of eligible wine submitted to the program and individual applicants’ total eligible wine production.

Applications for the first year of the program can be submitted between July 4, 2022 and August 12, 2022.

Canada’s vibrant wine sector is a significant contributor to country’s economy, with growth taking place in all areas of the value chain, from grape growing to retail sales and tourism. The Government of Canada remains committed to helping strengthen the future of the Canadian wine sector so that wineries continue to thrive domestically and in the global marketplace.

“Wine Growers Canada applauds this historic investment and thanks Minister Bibeau and the federal government for their commitment to the Canadian wine industry. This federal support is a critical step forward in helping restore certainty and confidence throughout the sector, and will enable wineries to reinvest in their businesses and employees,” said Dan Paszkowski, president and CEO of Wine Growers Canada. “A healthy and vibrant wine and grape sector will deliver billions of dollars in economic benefits to local and rural communities in the form of jobs, tax revenue, support for the hospitality sector and the entire wine and grape value chain.”

Quick facts

  • Details of the program are available online now.
  • There are approximately 800 licensed wineries in Canada, the majority of which operate in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
  • Since 2016, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has provided approximately $14.2 million in support towards market development and research for the Canadian wine industry.
  • A grape winery that produced 100,000 litres of wine in the past year for example, may be eligible to receive approximately $80,000 through the Wine Sector Support Program. This depends on the total eligible wine an individual applicant produces, as well as the eligible wine declared to the program through applications. Individual payments ultimately depend on the per litre payment rate for the program and applicants’ eligible production.
  • Wineries all over the country are providing top quality products to Canadians and international customers. In fact, employment in the industry has grown significantly over the last five years, by 70% between 2015 and 2020, to about 8,500 employees. Moreover, wine industry manufacturing sales have almost doubled from $1.1 billion in 2015 to $2.1 billion in 2021.