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Ontario easing liquor laws for VQA wines


December 17, 2013
By The Canadian Press

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December 17, 2013, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont – Ontario is joining British Columbia in easing back on provincial liquor laws to let homegrown wines be sold at farmers’ markets.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says VQA wines, which are made only with Ontario grapes, will be available along with seasonal vegetables and fruits.

She says broadening the availability of Ontario wines is part of a five year, $75 million plan to support local wineries.

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Wine Council of Ontario chairman Allan Schmidt says his group has been asking for additional retail access for two years.

He says the move will give small winery operations a direct conduit to consumers in a way they’ve never had before.

Wynne has repeatedly rejected calls to allow corner stores to sell beer and wine, but has promised to broaden their availability through speciality outlets and grocery stores.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced last week that her province’s wines, beers and spirits would be available next spring at farmers’ markets, festivals and competitions.