Quebec government announces $4.3 million over three years for wine industry

MONTREAL – Premier Pauline Marois’ government is giving Quebec vintners $4.3 million over the next three years to help boost the province’s wine industry.

”Our wine industry is still young and it needs to hit new levels to reach its full potential,” Marois told a news conference Friday.

Some of the money will go to improving a program to allow vintners to obtain a reserved designation.

There will also be more money — up to $300,000 from $125,000 — for wine producers to boost their output.

”For customers to choose Quebec wines, there needs to be a large quantity of bottles on the shelves at all times,” said Sylvain Simard, head of the Quebec Liquor Corp.’s board of directors.

”There’s no secret there.”

Currently, Quebec-produced wine accounts for 0.5 per cent of the shelf space at liquor outlets.

”Just last year, the sale of Quebec wine increased by 40 per cent at the Quebec Liquor Corp.,” said Simard.

He said that in the long term some wines currently available may be withdrawn in favour of Quebec wines.