Montreal, November 11, 2020 - Message from the president of A3 Québec, Roch Bissonnette - Recently, the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) unveiled its new strategic plan for 2021-2023, the main purpose of which is to inspire pride Quebecers. This is a noble objective, considering that the SAQ will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.

Among the four strategic orientations retained, improving the performance of the Crown corporation, making the financial aspect one of the SAQ's priorities, deserves our full attention.
Although we should be delighted with this orientation, we remain concerned by the issue of product prices, which remains at stake for the wine industry in Quebec.
Indeed, it will be desirable that the SAQ's desire to improve performance does not come at the expense of producers and the agents who represent them. They constantly face difficult negotiations with the Crown corporation, and it is increasingly difficult to provide quality products to consumers. However, Quebecers are more and more demanding if we judge their constant search for specialties.
In this context, A3 Québec, although it intends to continue to collaborate fully with the SAQ in order to offer the best products at the right price to Québec consumers, will also remain vigilant in the face of this fundamental issue for the industry.
News from the producers
For some, the current context affects the costs of wine production.
''With the COVID-19 pandemic, many large producers have seen the cost of raw materials increase, which has a great impact on the price of wine production, says Hugues Gauthier, president of the Dandurand Group. On the other hand, the biggest factor this year on production is the climate. With the vagaries of the weather and the forest fires in California, which destroyed thousands of acres of vines, productions have been more difficult this year. The unstable socio-political climate in some South American countries also causes economic uncertainty which affects the price of wine. ''
Others have had to show agility to sell their production despite the pitfalls related to the pandemic.'
''The winegrowers we represent have had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, says Francis Martin, president of the wine promotional agency Le Maître de Chai. Contrary to what many people think, there is not really any surplus production because in a context where restaurants are temporarily closed, many producers saw an opportunity to develop new markets. On the contrary, these producers then saw their sales increase among private individuals, private importers and wine merchants. Internet orders have also increased. The producers who are suffering the negative consequences of the pandemic are those who focused on a single market, who failed to develop different options and who had a failed distribution network. ''
The wine industry in medias

Italie 2020 : des vendanges prometteuses
2020-11-04 ∙ Le Figaro
Jamais auparavant les viticulteurs italiens n'avaient pu consacrer autant de temps à l'entretien de leurs vignes qu'en 2020. Le Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico et plusieurs autres producteurs toscans soulignent ce point positif parmi le flot de restrictions imposées par le Covid, et ils pensent que cela se manifestera dans les vins à venir.

Une production mondiale de vin stable en 2020 face aux incertitudes croissantes du covid-19
2020-10-27 ∙
Se basant sur les premières données disponibles, l’Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin souligne l’impact de la météo autant que des mesures de régulation dans un maintien de la récolte internationale « en dessous de la moyenne ».

Wine supply – and prices – could be affected by wildfire smoke
2020-10-15 ∙ USA Today

Devastating fires on the West Coast may cause long-term damage to the nation's wine supply, possibly leading to higher prices and reduced selection in ensuing years.

About A3 Québec
Founded in 1969, A3 Québec has 88 members, including 70 wine, beer and spirits agencies, which account for more than 97% of sales at the SAQ. Working on behalf of producers, these agencies ensure the development of the wine, beer and spirits market in Quebec. A3 Québec annually organizes La Grande Dégustation de Montréal, the largest wine event in Eastern Canada. For more information, visit