Canadian wine group, Vincor International, is looking to make major inroads into the European market in the coming year.
 
The European push has been made possible by the EU's relaxation of regulations governing the import of Canadian wines. The company will be sending sales representatives to Europe later in the year to look for distributors in the UK and continental markets.

In Europe, Vincor plans to follow the strategy it used in tackling the US market, focusing efforts primarily on Canadian-grown ice wine, as well as brands like Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs and Hogue Cellars.

This strategy has certainly been successful in the US, which now accounts for 25% of Vincor's sales and 30% of its operating profits. Sales are growing at about 5% a year despite the slowdown in the US market. Much of the growth has come from higher priced wines, particularly ice wine.

Last week, Vincor posted a 17% increase in net turnover in the three-month period to the end of December and a 59% like-for-like increase in net income in comparison with the same period a year earlier.

Turnover in the quarter rose to a record C$111.3m from C$95.2m with net income up from C$7.9m to C$12.6m.