From coast to coast, Canada has several regions known for their locally grown wine.

But this year, wineries are staring down the barrel of an extremely difficult supply shortage for one of the most important items to their business – bottles.

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Maverick Estate Winery in the Okanagan Valley in British Colombia is seen. (Courtesy: Maverick Estate Winery)

Maverick Estate Winery overlooks the rolling hills of the Okanagan Valley in British Colombia.

Jan Nelson bought the 10-year-old winery back in April 2020 and since then he’s faced ongoing challenges with getting the business off its feet.

From COVID-19 related lockdowns, to the heat dome and wildfires Western Canada experienced over the summer, Nelson is now facing significant delays with ordering basic supplies for his winery.

“We normally bottle late-winter to early-spring and usually we put that order in November. This year we ordered all of our bottles in July and we’re still not sure that they will even arrive by March 2022,” Nelson said.

It isn’t just shipping delays that wineries are having to take into consideration but the sky-rocketing costs for bottles as well.

“The prices have really increased, we’re seeing double the cost of a bottle as compared to about a year ago,” Jim Reschke, vice president of Konzelmann Estate Winery, said.

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The exterior of the Konzelmann Estate Winery is seen. (Courtesy: Konzelmann Estate Winery)

With the additional money adding up, the family-owned winery will have no choice but to pass along some of those costs to the consumer.

“We’re probably not going to be able to eat all those costs. We’re probably looking at maybe taking about 50 per cent of that cost and adding it to a bottle of wine,” the Niagara-based business owner said.

But the supply chain headache doesn’t stop there for Canadian wineries.

There are a variety of problems impacting how much it costs to actually ship goods to North America.

From blocked-up shipping ports to a lack of workers, wineries are also having to shell out thousands in additional cash just to pay for the container to get their supplies from overseas.

“Normally it costs an additional $6,000 to ship from China to Vancouver if you are paying for the entire container,” Nelson said.

“Now we’ve seen estimates for a $10,000 surcharge to get a container but we’ve heard other wineries are getting quoted as much as $30,000 depending on shipping weight and other factors”

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Bottles of wine from Maverick Estate Winery are seen. (Courtesy: Maverick Estate Winery)

There isn’t much wineries can do in order to avoid these higher prices during the pandemic.

But some vineyards have resorted to ordering as much as they can without maxing out their line of credit in order to get the best bang for their buck.

“To try and account for this we are buying as much as we can afford all at once because we are not sure when we can get the next shipment these days and it’s just so expensive every time we have to place an order,” Nelson said.