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iN VIDEO: National survey finds wine lovers prefer to visit the Okanagan over Niagara

FILE PHOTO.- Canadians are more likely to visit the Okangan than any other wine region in Canada next year, a recent survey discovered.
FILE PHOTO.- Canadians are more likely to visit the Okangan than any other wine region in Canada next year, a recent survey discovered.
Image Credit: PEXELS

A recent webinar presented to members of Wine Growers Canada revealed Canadians are more interested in visiting the Okanagan next spring than any other wine region in Canada.

Abacus Data’s David Coletto narrated the webinar, available on Youtube, which discussed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s wineries.

Among other things, the presentation surveyed potential visitor preferences for wine-loving Canadians choosing to visit one of the country’s wine regions next spring or summer.

The survey found 12 per cent “would definitely” visit the Okanagan, edging out the Niagara wine region in Ontario where 11 per cent said they preferred to visit.

Okanagan wineries can expect to see most of their visitors from B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec next year.

Coletto said regionally, 62 per cent of those surveyed in British Columbia would be likely to visit the Okanagan, with the valley on the minds of 33 per cent of Albertans surveyed.

In Ontario, 16 per cent said they would likely visit the Okanagan, with 10 per cent of Quebec respondents looking west for a visit to wine country.

Coletto said there was an opportunity for the nation’s wine industry in the upcoming travel season following an anticipated long, dreary winter of COVID-19 induced protocols and restricted travel. He expected wine enthusiasts would emerge from winter with a newfound enthusiasm to get out and explore after survey results revealed 27 per cent had cancelled a trip to an international wine region this year due to COVID-19.

Coletto said looking forward, Canadian wineries have a local audience that can’t go outside the country right now to experience wine culture. That should create new opportunities to connect with the nation’s wine lovers, who are looking for ways to replace the things they can’t do because of COVID-19.

The survey also indicated wine lovers haven’t shifted wine purchasing habits to any great degree since the pandemic began, with in-person retail purchases making up 90 per cent of wine sales during the summer.

Winter is coming: How Canadian wine producers can prepare for 2021.

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