HALIFAX – Nova Scotia wine consumers will soon have more choice for their favourite merlot, pinot grigio, or chardonnay.
Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald will introduce changes to legislation today, Nov. 21, to put in place regulations to allow people to directly import 100 per cent locally grown and produced Canadian wine into Nova Scotia for personal use.
The Importation of Wine for Personal Use Act is the result of consultation with the Nova Scotia wine industry.
"Our wineries see this change as the first step towards new marketing potential for their growing industry," said Ms. MacDonald. "I will encourage each of my provincial and territorial counterparts to make similar changes, so more Canadians can find out for themselves how good Nova Scotia wine is."
This amendment follows the federal government's decision June 28 to lift its prohibition on the individual importation of wine through changes made to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act.
Nova Scotia is among the first to respond to the federal changes by removing provincial barriers. British Columbia and Manitoba are the only other provinces that allow for direct importation.
"Nova Scotia wines continue to earn awards and recognition for their unique and best in class varieties," said Nick Jennery, CEO, Winery Association of Nova Scotia. "Nova Scotia's wineries are eager to serve all their Canadian customers and we appreciate the province taking this action today and advocating for change across the country."
Sales of Nova Scotia wines have grown to $13.3 million in 2011, a 65 per cent increase from 2001. Nova Scotia wineries generated $34.8 million in tourism revenues in 2010, including about 55,000 overnight tourists.