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6 Best Wine Distributors in Canada

The wine market in Canada can be difficult to navigate, and the right distributor is key. We list the top wine distributors in Canada and what to look for.

Partnering with a wine distributor comes with great benefits. Distributors manage retailer relations and take care of the logistics of moving products to your target markets. Choosing the right wine distributor is incredibly important, but finding a trustworthy partner can be challenging. In this post, we’ll discuss what to look for in a great wine distributor and list some of the best wine distributors in Canada to help you find the right partner for your business. 

How Big is the Alcohol Industry in Canada?

The alcohol industry in Canada currently boasts about $50 billion USD in sales and is expected to rise to $54.2 billion USD in 2024. Recent changes to laws regarding alcohol sales have no doubt bolstered the industry.  With such promising growth, the market is both receptive to new brands and also highly competitive.  With that being said, we think the market is primed for new wine brands to emerge and make a name for themselves.

Where Can Wine Be Sold in Canada?

Selling wine and other alcoholic beverages throughout Canada is a bit more complicated than selling wine in the United States. Each province has its own rules and regulations surrounding where alcohol can be sold, though by-and-large alcohol sales are limited to standalone liquor stores, wineries, and breweries across the country. Still, the industry has experienced a few regulatory changes in the last few years that have begun to shake things up.

First, Ontario has begun to allow alcohol sales in hundreds of grocery stores and convenience stores in addition to LCBO stores. This is great news for alcohol brands, as it makes products more easily accessible. Second, new trade deals between Canada and the U.S. have made imported wines more readily available, even requiring that they appear next to Canadian wines on supermarket shelves. Throughout the other provinces, however, Canadian wine is still only available in privately owned or government-run outlets. Only a few provinces allow wine to be sold in supermarkets and grocery stores.

What to Look for When Choosing a Wine Distributor in Canada

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when looking for a wine distributor. These tips should help you on your journey to choosing the right partner for your brand.

  • A Focus on Long-Term Relationships - A good distributor has a reputation for long-term partnerships with both suppliers and vendors. Long partnerships indicate a high caliber of service and quality products. Be wary of distributors who constantly cycle through suppliers, partners, and even employees. A strong employee work culture is often indicative of a great company.
  • Similar Brand Values - We recommend finding a wine distributor that has similar values as your business. Passionate about sustainability? Find a distributor that shares that passion. They’re sure to know how to market your wines and match you with retailers who appreciate your product and brand.
  • Ideal Service Locations - Make sure you choose a distributor that serves your target market. If you know there is a niche in a specific market for your wine, you want to find a distributor that knows the market thoroughly and can get you the best visibility for your brand.
  • A Carefully Curated Portfolio - Take a look at the wine distributor’s portfolio. What kind of wineries have they partnered with? If the list is diverse, it’s a good sign that you’re partnering with a highly experienced wine distributor. If the list is homogenous, see how you compare with the existing wineries. If your product is vastly different from all their other suppliers, you could have the advantage of standing out; however, the distributor may not have experience with brands like yours, so be sure to discuss your options.
  • A Good Reputation - Are they a respectable distributor within the industry, or do they have a few black marks on their record? If you’re plugged into the wine market, you may be able to connect with similar wine brands to find out which distributors they recommend–and which distributors they warn you away from.

6 Best Wine Distributors Throughout Canada

The following wine distributors are some of the best throughout Canada. In this list, you should be able to find a distributor that resonates with your brand and also services your target market.

1. Revelry Import Company (Western Provinces)

Revelry Import Company is a wine distributor based in Vancouver, though they serve the Western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Many of their suppliers are wineries with sustainable or organic growing practices, so Revelry is a good choice for sustainably-minded businesses. The expert team at Revelry is driven by respect for the brands they get to work with and are passionate about helping them execute their vision. In addition to wine distribution in Canada, Revelry also focuses on importation and sales. Revelry assists with full coverage of all sales channels and can help you develop the best marketing strategy for your wine brand.

2. The Wine Syndicate (Western Provinces)

The Wine Syndicate is one of the leading wine distributors in Western Canada. Their numerous suppliers are independently run wineries that are dedicated to producing high-quality wines from around the world. The Wine Syndicate is focused on building relationships with both suppliers and clients, so they’re a great choice for companies looking to develop a great relationship with their vendors. If you’re a small, independent winery looking for the right distributor to count on, the Wine Syndicate might be the one for you.

3. Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits (All Provinces and Territories)

Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits has served the wine industry for fifty years, first as a one-man wine importing business into what it is today: a producer and distributor of fine wines, handcrafted spirits, and international beers. They are committed to excellent service and operate with a sincere customer-first approach. Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits distributes premium wines from producers all over the world as well as from Canada. Serving all ten provinces and three territories of Canada, Mark Anthony has perhaps the widest coverage of the distributors on this list. If you’re looking for a distributor with a long reach throughout Canada, Mark Anthony is a strong choice.

4. Rogers & Company (Ontario)

Rogers & Company is a reputable importer and distributor of fine estate-bottled wine in Ontario, Canada. With a portfolio of over one hundred and fifty wineries, Rogers & Company has an impressive list of suppliers who produce some of the finest wines across the world. Rogers & Company is dedicated to representing the highest quality wines in the market, choosing producers whose wines are the benchmark of quality in their respective regions. If you’re a producer of fine, premier wine, Rogers & Company would be a great distributor to partner with.

5. Lifford Wine & Spirits (Ontario)

Lifford Wine & Spirits is the largest wine distributor and importer in Ontario, Canada. Lifford has developed a diverse portfolio of suppliers offering classic vintages as well as unique wines. This distributor enjoys partnering with breakout wineries that are looking to push boundaries and shake things up in their respective markets. Lifford takes sourcing seriously; they often visit their suppliers to get to know them, their stories, and their wines. If you’re an out-of-the-box winery, Lifford Wine & Spirits might be the distributor for you.

6. Perigon Beverage Group (Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan & New Brunswick)

Perigon Beverage Group is an independent adult beverage agency that serves all beverage categories, though their portfolio is full of great wine brands. The Perigon team is excellent at marketing wine brands and can help take your business to new heights. “The Dean’s List” is sent out to subscribers on a biweekly basis and is full of recommendations for wine, beer, and spirits–a great way to market your brand to a wider audience. They have a fairly broad reach, serving Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick. Perigon is a highly professional and effective distributor that could be a great partner for emerging wineries.

Find the Right Wine Distributor

Choosing the right wine distributor to partner with can be daunting. After all, you’re entrusting them with your product. Fortunately, there are many fantastic wine distributors in Canada to choose from that can help you reach more customers and sell more of your great wines. We know you’ll be able to find the right distributor for your brand.

See how a store and product locator can help you in your wine marketing efforts in Canada. Get a store locator demo from Grappos!

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Eric Kunisawa

Founder & CEO

Eric Kunisawa is the founder of Grappos. He's been successfully helping businesses connect customers with their products since 2008.

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