Rocketing demand from East Asia and a vintage harvest has left Canada's ice wine industry poised for overseas growth, a new report claims.

Ontario, Canada's main ice wine region, expects to harvest 5,500 tonnes this season, a 50% increase on last year, according to the BMO Economics report, released on Saturday (26 January). A late cold snap has reduced the yield, but means the grapes should make “exceptional wine”, BMO said.

The high quality gives ice wine makers the perfect opportunity to expand international efforts, particularly in Asia, where demand is growing for premium products, BMO said. In 2011, 80% of exported ice wine went to Asia, with China accounting for half of that, the report said.

“There is room for Canadian wineries to increase their exports of premium-priced products such as icewine, for which economies of scale are not as important,” BMO economist Aaron Goertzen said.

“While ice wine is produced in relatively small quantities, its high value means that it already accounts for one-third of wine exports, and Canadian wineries are internationally renowned for this cold-climate product.”

Ice wine should also benefit from a consumer shift in Canada from beer to wine, BMO said. Canadian adults in 2011 bought an average of 22 bottles of wine, up from 13 bottles in 1995, the report said.

A BMO report last year said that an ageing population and a move towards premiumisation in Canada will see the country's wine industry outpace other categories.