TORONTO, ON – In an announcement this morning by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa (pictured above), the Government of Ontario confirmed earlier reports that wine and cider sales will be coming soon to grocery stores in the province.
Following the model set by the expansion of beer sales into grocery stores last year, licenses will be granted using an online bidding process, and allocated based on geographic location and size of the bidding stores, ensuring that sales are fairly distributed throughout the province and to both independent and chain grocery stores.
Details of the program include the following:
- The 60 grocery stores currently approved to sell beer will be allowed to sell cider as well.
- Bidding will open soon for 70 “universal” licenses that will allow sales of beer, cider, wine and fruit wine, with approvals expected in time for sales to start this autumn. 60 additional “universal” licenses will be offered at a future date TBD.
- 150 existing private winery boutiques located just outside of grocery stores will be allowed to move into the stores and expand their product selection.
- The program that allows the sale of Ontario wines at farmers’ markets will be expanded to include Ontario cider and fruit wines.