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Canadian wine tipped for growth as another UK distributor signs deal

Published:  12 June, 2018

Canadian wines are being tipped for strong growth in the UK as retailers and the restaurant trade respond to rising prices and squeezed supplies of Old World wine.

The Wine Rascals is the latest distributor to announce a deal with a Canadian supplier. The business will stock Ontario’s Henry of Pelham’s still and ice wines on an exclusive basis.

“Their vines are grown on the Niagara Peninsula where they have a perfect slope, soil and climate and you can really taste that in the wines,” said Wine Rascals founder Tony Stones.

“Canada tends to be known for ice wines but they also do great dry wines. We’re taking Henry of Pelham’s Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris and a really good red called a Baco Noir.”

Stones describes the wines from this hybrid of the Folle Blanche and Vitis Riparia grapes as being characterised by deep black and red fruits and aromatic spices.

“I had never really tasted anything quite like it when I first tried it,” he said. “The comments we are getting back about it have really vindicated our choice.”

Climatic and economic factors here in Europe will also make wines from Canada and other lesser known winemaking regions more attractive, continued Stones.

“The exchange rate against the Euro is still pretty poor, so it makes it commercially more attractive to be sourcing from Canada or places like New Zealand,” he said.

“Then you have the poor harvests in Europe making people look at other origins such as Hungary and lesser known parts of the US like Washington State, Oregon and New York.

“Canadian wines are definitely getting more traction. Of course, there will always be the French and Italians but I think this is going to grow considerably.

“Restaurants are looking for wines they can sell by the glass that are commercially viable and also offer people things that they have never tried before.”

Stones isn’t the only one tipping Canadian wine for big things. Last month, Flint wines became the exclusive UK distributor of Canadian wineries Le Vieux Pin and La Stella.

“This is an exciting move for Flint and we are very proud to start this adventure with Le Vieux Pin and La Stella,” said buying director Jason Haynes.