On October 22, the 23rd edition of the great Italian Wine in Canada tour begins, with stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montréal

On the October 22, “A TASTING OF WINES FROM ITALY” begins, the Italian wine roadshow exclusively for trade professionals and organized by ICE Canada.

Now in its 23rd edition, the tour will again, like every year, make stops in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, ending in Montréal. Over the years this initiative has become the main commercial event for the Canadian trade industry, and it’s now the most anticipated and accredited Italian wine event in Canada.

100 Italian producers will take part in the walk around tastings and will make contacts with more than 3,500 people working in the sector, including wine agents, representatives from the monopolies, Ho.Re.Ca. specialized journalists, opinion leaders, wine lovers and other specialized participants who attend in great number in the four cities.

In Montréal, special attention will be dedicated to educating young Canadian sommeliers.

In fact, an educational moment will be organized for students from the five most important sommelier schools in Québec.

ICE will grant an award for the best sommelier from those students who’ve completed the sommelier course at the most important school in Québec.

When the 2018 event makes its stops western Canada, several initiatives will take place for the first time in support of the main show.

Vancouver will be host to the Taste of Tuscany seminar intended for the monopoly’s product consultants and members of the wine media while, in Calgary, the best Italian restaurants wine list will be awarded, in cooperation with the main magazine in the industry.

In cooperation with Vinitaly, educational courses are under way in areas where wine is less known, with stops in Ottawa, Halifax, and St.Johns

Italian wine on the Canadian market is very healthy. The data clearly support this:

The value of imports in the last 10 years has increased exponentially from 301 million to 515 million, a growth of 71%.

Italy is the first exporter of wine in Canada in terms of liters, with 80 million liters supplied in 2017, a growth of 9% compared to 2016 (73.4 million liters). In terms of sales, Italian wine has exceeded a billion Canadian dollars; approximately 1/7 of the total wine revenue in Canada. The wine industry is truly a fundamental pillar of the Made in Italy presence in Canada.

Types of wines and territories are still dominated by the presence of important regions like Tuscany and Veneto, but it’s important to stress the emergence of Southern regions (Apulia, Campania, Sicily), which for their price-quality relationship are competitive.

Canada is a country with a high consumption of alcoholic beverages and wine in particular has grown significantly, especially in the most populated provinces, like Ontario and Québec. According to data published by Statistics Canada, in the last two years, Canadians have spent about 7 billion dollars on the purchase of wine.

Baby boomers’ and millennials’ interest in wine products, as well as the greater variety and quality of wines on the market, are all factors that explain Canadian consumers’ growing interest in wine, also from the point of view of quality, in the range of products requested.

“We’re the reference point in Canada for Italian wine and we’re pleased that the quality of our work is reflected in our position in the local market,” states Matteo Picariello, director of ICE Canada“ICE has solid working relationships with the various provincial monopolies, with which it regularly collaborates to organize initiatives promoting the Italian product at the large distribution level.

“Knowledge of the Italian territory is another commitment on which ICE focuses its attention, with a series of events throughout the year, such as seminars and discovery trips for private operators and monopoly officials, essentially making the work of our Canadian offices an almost daily activity for this sector.

“The data related to the first 8 months of 2018,” continues Picariello“indicate, however, a slowing down in the movement of our wines: in the first eight months of 2017, Italy exported 53 million liters of wine; in the same period of 2018, 51 million liters (-3.4%), the data in value, however, indicate a growth of 6.5%.

“Although we are dealing with provisional data that could be considered as an adjustment, due to the recent strong growth of our products compared especially to the market shares of wines from beyond the Alps or to the recent boom in our sparkling wines,” Picariello concludes, “it’s a piece of data we will monitor closely, partially shifting the focus of the ITA support from initiatives aimed mainly at fostering the entry of new products/producers to actions supporting consumers and social and ad campaigns.

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