The US has moved past Italy and France to become the biggest importer of table wine to Canada, new figures have shown.

Driven by Californian wine, US table wine imports reached US$1bn in sales last year, according to the Wine Institute of California yesterday. Canada is now the largest export market for Californian wines, with 6.1m nine-litre cases.

Over the past five years, US wine sales in Canada have grown by 78%, outpacing the overall wine market, which grew 16%, the Wine Institute said citing figures from the Canadian Vintners Association.

Other figures included:

  • Californian wines account for 90% of US table wine imports to Canada
  • Quebec is the largest market for US wines in Canada, followed by Ontario
  • Alberta has the highest market share (27%) for US wines in Canada
  • Strongest growth for US wineries is in Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick

To read an exclusive just-drinks eye-witness report on the Californian drought and its effect on the state's wine industry, click here.