Grocery stores will be able to stock 100% B.C. wine on their shelves as early as April 1, 2015, creating new opportunities for B.C. wineries, supporting B.C.’s home-grown economy and addressing calls for added convenience from consumers.
The second phase of the liquor-in-grocery model will allow existing VQA stores and independent wine stores to relocate or transfer their licence to an eligible grocery store - as long as the licence is only used to sell 100% B.C. wine. Of note, these licences are not subject to the one-kilometre restrictions, allowing more flexibility and choice of locations when moving into a grocery store.
In addition, and in an effort to further support made-in-B.C. products, a limited number of new licences will also be made available specifically for the 100% B.C. wine-on-shelves model. Details on these licences will be available in the new year.
To ensure continued health and public safety protections, all off-the-shelf wine transactions will need to be done at designated registers, staffed by employees who have Serving It Right certification and are at least 19 years old.
Eligibility for grocery stores that sell 100% B.C. wine off the shelves will align with the “store-within-a-store” model criteria - maintaining a minimum of 10,000 sq. ft. and approximately 75% focus on food products and service.
Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice -
“Our wine-on-shelves model is unique to B.C., and strikes a balance between the enhanced convenience and choice for consumers and the promise we made to protect health and public safety.
“Supporting B.C.’s economy and local wine producers through the promotion and sales of made-in-B.C. products is a driving force for government, and this model is one of the many ways that we are changing B.C.’s liquor laws to grow local businesses in this province.
“This model focuses on common sense changes that will give the people of British Columbia the convenience of being able to grab a bottle of wine off the shelf with their groceries while at the same time supporting the burgeoning B.C. wine industry.”
John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform -
“Creating a strong system of support for B.C. wineries is an important move by government, and including a model centred on 100% B.C. products when responding to one of the most popular Liquor Review Policy recommendations is a winning combination. This phased-in approach will give liquor retailers an opportunity to look at their existing model, to see if this is a model they want to adopt.”
John Skinner, director of Terroir BC and owner of Painted Rock Estate Winery -
“100% B.C. grown and made wines have become one of our province’s largest and fastest growing industries, and have garnered attention both at home and within the international community. 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. 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.”
Eugene Kwan, co-owner, Chaberton Estate Winery -
“The B.C. wine industry is entering into a new era of winemaking - and offering B.C. winemakers an opportunity to shine is a positive move by government for industry. As a winery using local grapes, we’re excited to be a part of this change, and look forward to seeing this new market create more places where we can make our wines available to British Columbians.”
- Maximum hours of liquor sales for grocery stores will be the same as other liquor retailers: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- If independent wine stores choose to transfer or relocate their licence to a grocery store to sell wine off the shelves, the licence will be restricted to 100% B.C. wine.
Learn about the first phase of B.C.’s liquor-in-grocery model, a “store-within-a-store”: http://ow.ly/FLdBa
Ministry of Justice
Government Communications and Public Engagement