B.C. wine to be stocked in grocery stores alongside food

Finding B.C. wine is set to become a little easier in the new year.

The provincial government announced today that grocery stores will be able to sell B.C. wine on their shelves next to food beginning April 1, 2015.

Outlets selling only B.C. wine will not require a “store within a store” model, but all sales must be done at designated checkout stands, by employees over 19 with a Serving it Right designation.

In addition, groceries that purchase licences exclusively to sell B.C. wine can be within a kilometre of existing liquor outlets, unlike groceries wishing to sell any other types of liquor. The government also says they’ll be creating a limited number of new licences to support the new model.

READ MORE: The cost of some B.C. wines could also skyrocket

“We want to further our support for those who work so hard to grow, harvest, produce, bottle and sell British Columbia wines,” said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

The move was greeted with applause by John Skinner, director of Terroir BC and owner of Painted Rock Estate Winery.

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“Food and wine are so closely intertwined and embraced by British Columbians that this partnership is a natural progression for our province’s burgeoning wine industry,” he said in a statement.

“By sharing these wines through our province’s grocers, we stand to expand the accessibility of the wines of B.C. with a new group of wine-lovers.”

The announcement was one of many small liquor reforms the provincial government has announced over the last six months.

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