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Industry NewsEconomic impact of Ontario grape wine industry sees 64.5% growth: Report

Economic impact of Ontario grape wine industry sees 64.5% growth: Report


Wine Growers Ontario (WGO) has released the findings of the most recent research study conducted on the Ontario wine and grape industry, which reveals that the economic impact of the Ontario grape wine industry has grown by 64.5 per cent to $5.49 billion over the period 2011-2019.

Commissioned by Wine Growers Canada, Wine Growers Ontario, Wine Growers British Columbia, and Wine Growers Nova Scotia, the report is entitled Ontario’s Wine Economy – Growth and Innovation Through Global Challenges.

“Making wine is the number one value-added agricultural industry in Ontario. The Ontario wine industry’s impact on the Ontario economy has grown over 60 percent since 2011.  Our industry supports over 23,000 Ontario jobs in hospitality, tourism, manufacturing, transportation and retail”, said Aaron Dobbin, president and CEO, Wine Growers Ontario.  

Ontario winemakers support a broad network of related industries in rural and regional centres across Ontario ranging from laboratory research, vineyard operations to distribution, retail and hospitality.  The number of Ontario grape wineries increased from 130 in 2011 to 186 in 2019 contributing to a 55.7 per cent increase in the number of full time employees and over 104 per cent increase in total wages paid by the industry.

Despite the significant increase in the number of Ontario wineries and total wine production, profitability in the sector continues to be suppressed by increased operating costs and lower sales prices established by heavily subsidized imported wines.

“COVID-19 presented significant challenges to our industry. Sales were off significantly, visits to the winery fell away and exports and sales to restaurants practically disappeared.  Our industry is working hard to recover from the pandemic while competing against heavily subsidized imports in our own backyard”, added Dobbin. 

According to the report the effects of COVID-19 in 2020 reduced the industry’s economic impact on the Ontario economy by an estimated -16.5 per cent, wine-industry related jobs contracted by as much as 24.1 per cent, especially in the retail, tourism and hospitality segments due to border closures, travel and indoor-dining/activity restrictions.

Ontario Wine and Grape Industry Economic Impact 2019 Key Findings:

  1. The Ontario wine industry’s $5.49 billion economic impact is a significant driver to the Ontario economy, an increase of 64.5 per cent since 2011.
  2. The wine and grape industry is responsible for more than 23,000 jobs in Ontario from manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, transportation, research, restaurants and retail.
  3. Wine-related tourism welcomes more than 2.6 million visitors each year, generating more than $1.04 billion annually in tourism revenue and employment.
  4. The Ontario wine and grape industry contributed to the Ontario economy business revenue of $3.57 billion, tax revenues of $706 million and wages of over $1.21 billion.
  5. The wine industry generates $970 million in federal and provincial tax revenue and liquor board markup.
  6. An average bottle of wine produced in Ontario generates approximately $31.82 of business revenue, $6.29 of tax revenue and $10.79 of wages. 
  7. For every $1 spent on Ontario wine in Ontario, $3.29 in business revenue is generated across the province.

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