Would the Niagara Region Benefit from Specialising in Riesling?
Federico Guillermo Topolansky Barbe, Andrea Fujarczuk, Magdalena Maria Gonzalez Triay
The main purpose of this paper is to evaluate the current business strategy of the Niagara wine region and determine whether it would be more advantageous for the area to specialise in the Riesling grape variety. Questionnaires were administered to a range of different types of experts with a specialty in wine. Quantitative data from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario supplemented the core interviews. The results of this study indicate that differentiation through specialisation is the best strategy to develop the Niagara wine region. However, the structure of the wine industry encourages wineries to produce a vast array of grape varieties to cater to the needs of the domestic market. This has resulted in a loss of identity for the region. Though because Niagara Riesling is differentiable, world class, the most consistently awarded grape and unreproducible elsewhere, it is the prime candidate to become the representative grape for the region. By developing the Niagara style of Riesling and focusing on exporting small amounts of the variety, the region would benefit by developing an identity and increasing consumer confidence and sales.
Wine, Niagara, business strategy, competitiveness.
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