Wine Distributor and Importer Guide: Ireland

Wine Distributor and Importer Guide: Ireland

General information about Ireland

Ireland is an independent republic located to the west of the island of Great Britain. It is a member of the European Union, which ensures deep economic integration of the country in trade with Europe. The population is about 4.76 million people. The country has two official languages, Irish and English. It has a developed economy with GDP per capita $101,509 (nominal; 2023), which is the second largest in the world. Industry accounts for more than 45% of the economy and 80% of all exports. Ireland has well-developed trade and agriculture.

Wine production in Ireland

Despite the fact that Ireland is not very famous for its winemaking, the industry is nevertheless present, albeit on a small scale. The country is listed by the European Commission as a wine-producing country. A small number of vineyards are located in County Cork and north County Dublin. Relatively famous wineries include the Thomas Walk Winery, Wicklow Way Wines, Lusca Irish Wines, Blarney Red, and others. Other noteworthy production includes mead, honey, and berry wine.

Legislative regulation of wine imports into Ireland

Wine importers in Ireland are governed by the laws of the Republic of Ireland. Rules include the need for a VI-1 document; it should also be noted that the import of wine into the republic falls under requirements for the import of food and composite products. You can familiarize yourself with these rules on the official website:

Importing wine to Ireland

The volume of wine imports into the country was $349M in 2021 (the 22nd largest importer of Wine in the world). Wine exports from the country amounted to $31.4M (36th largest exporter of Wine in the world).1

Top 5 wine importers to Ireland:

France ($87.3M)

Italy ($48M)

Chile ($42.2M)

United Kingdom ($38.1M)

Spain ($38.1M)

The following countries showed the greatest growth in imports for the period 2020 to 2021: France ($17.1M), New Zealand ($14.2M), and Italy ($5.22M).

If we consider wine imports to Ireland in litres and total volume, then the leading country is Chile, which accounts for more than 24% of Ireland’s wine market (2022). Other leaders in import volume include South African, Spanish, Australian and French wines.

Wine disribution in Ireland

Wine distribution in Ireland

Wine remains the second most popular drink in the country after beer. The average price per litre now stands at $3.90 (3.71 euros).2

On-Trade wine distribution in Ireland accounted €3.05bn. On-Trade wine in Ireland has the following structure (The CSO data from the National Accounts (July 2022):

6,788 Bar/Pub licences

607 Hotel licences

520 Special Restaurant licences

2,349 Wine Only premises

and 117 Theatre licences

Off-Trade supermarkets, stores and specialised retailers. In 2022, there are 1368 of these licence holders, plus 1370 Wine Retailer’s Off Licence.3

And we can’t help but mention the growing segment of online wine sales in Ireland This accounts for around 4.2% of the Irish retail market and, according to ecommercedb estimates, figures will increase by an average of 18.7% to 8.3% by 2027.

Wine consumer preferences

The most popular type of wine in Ireland remains white wine, with a market share of approximately 48%. This is followed by red wine with a market share of 45%. Sales of Rosé have shown a general decrease in recent years, though this has picked up slightly since 2021, rising from 2% in 2021 to 2.3% in 2022.4

Some of major wine importers in Ireland

Barry & Fitzwilliam

On the market since 1982, with a wide portfolio of more than 100 brands of alcoholic beverages. Website:

Cassidy Wines Ltd.

A family-owned business involved in almost all sectors of wine distribution: HORECA, Independent Retailers, and Wholesalers. Website:

Edward Dillon

Founded in 1867, a leading distributor of premium spirit and wine brands in the Republic of Ireland with a world class portfolio of category leading brands. Website:


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