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Canadian Dream introduces sweet ice wines

The impression of Canada is that it is a cold country that also happens to produce wine. So nothing says Canada more than a bottle of ice wine.

The Canadian Embassy recently held an event to introduce new labels from Pillitteri Winery in the Niagara region of Canada.

One label they recently introduced, Canadian Dream, was made exclusively for the Korean market and is currently available at Emart stores.

“The difference between this one is that it is above average quality but not as excellent as our other labels. We are happy to be able to offer it to our Korean customers at a more affordable price,” said Allison Slute, export manager for Pillitteri Estates.

“This way more consumers would be able to purchase it and learn what ice wine is all about.”
Pillitteri ice wines featured at Canadian Embassy on Tuesday. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)
Pillitteri ice wines featured at Canadian Embassy on Tuesday. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)

Canadian ice wines fill a specific niche in terms of high-end dessert wines due to the high tariffs. It is produced in limited volumes making it an expensive product as well.

While ice wine has grown to become a popular dessert wine in Korea, table wine, has been priced out of the market due to the 50 percent tariffs imposed on wines from countries that do not have a free trade agreement with Korea.

The current FTA environment in the local wine sector has stratified the labels between the lower and inexpensive products from countries like Chile to the high-end products from Europe.

Food promotion specialist at the Canadian Embassy Richard Stead said that it is “important to develop markets in countries that can afford to pay a premium price and are willing to pay a premium price for food offerings, and you see this in Asia where they appreciate quality and will pay for it.”

Korea is Canada’s third-largest market for ice wine exports valued at $1.5 million and holds just under 13 percent of the market share.

Picked at the coldest time of the year, January in Canada, each frozen grape creates just one drop of ice wine making it labor-intense and a risky production process resulting in relatively small amounts of wine ― hence the premium price.

By Yoav Cerralbo (yoav@heraldcorp.com)
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