BRAMPTON, Ont. – Wine is now available on the shelves of select grocery stores across Ontario.
Eventually, the Liberal government says beer and cider will be available in up to 450 grocery stores, and 300 of those will also be selling wine.
But for now, 67 grocery stores are allowed to sell wine, while another 57 locations are selling beer and cider.
Both domestic and imported wine is available, and the grocers given wine licences represent a mix of independent stores and large chains.
The stores must have designated sales areas and standard hours of sale, abide by limitations on package size and alcohol content, and follow staffing and social responsibility training requirements.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa says Ontario “has one of the strongest alcohol control systems in Canada” and the province is committed to social responsibility.
Sousa says bringing wine to grocery stores is beneficial for local wineries, as a minimum of 10 or 20 shelf space — depending on the grocer — must set aside for small producers.
“Grocery stores are required to reserve shelf space for wine produced for small wineries, creating a win-win-win situation, for the province’s wine lovers, for Ontario’s wine producers and for farmers who support them,” Sousa said.