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B.C. uncorks rules to licence VQA wineries in grocery stores

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Grocery stores hoping to sell British Columbia's high-quality wines, ciders and sake will have to bid against each other for the chance to apply for a licence.

The province has released details of the next step in moving some sales of 100 per cent B.C. wines onto designated shelves in specific supermarkets.

The right to apply for a licence to sell the alcohol will be auctioned off through BC Auction, with the first round in late April.

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Only grocery stores that meet strict criteria will be eligible to bid, and they'll have to go through a registration and pre-screening process before paying a $25,000 deposit for every licence they are seeking.

The process is the second part of B.C.'s proposed revision of liquor sales involving VQA – or Vintners Quality Alliance – wineries.

It adds to the store-within-a-store model, where private liquor licences are transferred into a grocery store, which can then operate a stand-alone liquor store within its premises.

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