Ontario allows sales of Canadian, international wines in 300 grocery stores

TORONTO - Ontario is taking the next step to modernize the way alcohol is sold, announcing plans to allow the sale of wine in up to 300 grocery stores, starting with about 70 supermarkets by this fall.

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Premier Kathleen Wynne says of those initial 70 licences for grocery stores, half will be restricted to selling only Ontario VQA wines for the first three years, while the rest can sell Canadian and international wines as well.

Wynne visited a Toronto supermarket this morning to announce that up to 150 grocery stores will eventually get new licences to sell wine.

And she said another 150 existing wine stores now located just outside a grocery store checkout will be permitted to move inside the store and share the checkout.

The expansion of wine sales follows last year's decision by the Liberal government to allow some grocery stores to sell six packs of beer and to let the LCBO sell 12-packs in addition to the six-packs it had been retailing.

Wynne also announced that cider can be sold in any grocery store that sells beer, and that the program allowing Vintners Quality Alliance wines to be sold at farmers' markets will expand to include fruit wines and craft cider.



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