SAQ outlets make more space for Quebec wines

Wine lovers in the province will soon be able to go at their neighbourhood liquor store, instead of having to go to a vineyard, to find more Quebec wines.

PQ government sets aside $4.3M in grants to help local wine producers

In-store SAQs would offer between 400 and 500 finer wines and spirits in the grocery aisles. (CBC)

Wine lovers in the province will soon be able to go to their neighbourhood liquor store, instead of having to go to a vineyard, to find more Quebec wines.

As part of the government’s ‘buy local’ program, the PartiQuébécois announced Friday it will award $4.3 million in grants over the next three years for qualified local wine producers. The money is to help them attain quality standards the SAQ requires for its suppliers.

You will get all the Quebec wines on the shelves,- Sylvain Simard, SAQ President

“People should be proud of our home-grown products and proud of a government that supports its wine producers and the organic food industry  with more local products on our tables. That’s a stronger Quebec,” Marois said from the  Société desAlcoolsdu Quebec (SAQ) headquarters in Montreal.

Under the program, vineyards would have to be accredited by the SAQ, which would oversee quality.

Then, producers would profit every time one of their bottles is sold.

“Two dollars more for every bottle they produce,” said SAQ President Sylvain Simard, adding that the wines will be available at SAQ outlets starting in the spring.

“You will get all the Quebec wines on the shelves. Everywhere in our 400 stores you will find wines from Quebec.”

A small gesture, producers say

Local wine producers says the grants will help, but the government’s measure is far from enough.

“I don’t understand why they made the premier come to Montreal for this,” said Denis Paradis, spokesman of the Brome-Missisquoi Vineyards Association which produces two-thirds of all Quebec wines.

Paradis said his members have been lobbying for other measures that wouldn't cost anything — like having the right to distill wine by-products, or sell local wines in grocery stores.

“It's good to see that the SAQ got the message that they should position more the Quebec wines. That's good, but it's only a quarter of one per cent of what we're looking for.”

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.