Save-on-Foods store manger Chris Whymark is flanked by (left to right) Sylvia Proke, Lori Wilson, Courtney Phillips and Judy Derksen, who are part of the wine team at the grocery store. The Langley City Save-on-Foods location began offering local B.C. VQA wines today and is the fourth  location licensed to do so, along with two Save-on-Foods locations in Surrey and another in Tsawwassen.

Save-on-Foods store manger Chris Whymark is flanked by (left to right) Sylvia Proke, Lori Wilson, Courtney Phillips and Judy Derksen, who are part of the wine team at the grocery store. The Langley City Save-on-Foods location began offering local B.C. VQA wines today and is the fourth location licensed to do so, along with two Save-on-Foods locations in Surrey and another in Tsawwassen.

Wine aisle opens at Langley Save-On-Foods

Langley City location is fourth Save-on-Foods grocery store which is licensed to sell B.C. wines

Shoppers at the Langley City Save-On-Foods can now pick up a nice B.C. bottle of wine while doing their grocery shopping.

The local grocery store became the fourth store in B.C. to offer a wine aisle when they held their official grand opening today (Friday).

Two Surrey locations already offered wine while Tsawwassen also began selling wine yesterday (Thursday).

“The reason we like the opportunity to sell B.C. VQA wine is because it is a local product that we can actually provide to our customers, which they said they wanted,” said Julie Dickson Olmstead, a company spokesperson for the Overwaitea Food Group.

“And it is a chance for us to showcase and support our local farmers.”

The store will offer as many as 900 wine varieties from about 250 different local wineries from across the province.

Overwaitea Food Group and Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones said the addition of B.C. wines to the store is “a great extension of our already industry-leading selection of local products.”

“Save-On-Foods is the perfect pairing for B.C.’s wine-on-shelves model, as we serve many nearby residents and visiting guests,” Jones said in a released statement.

There will be a dedicated ‘wine team’ at the store of seven or eight employees.

“Our interest isn’t in selling liquor, our interest is in selling a local product like B.C. in our grocery store because we think it is a good natural pairing with food and it makes all kinds of sense from a local agriculture support perspective,” Dickson Olmstead said.

“Basically the opportunity is for all those little wineries to get shelf space.

“Get their wines into the hands of consumers who want to try it, regardless of the size of the winery.”

The wine can be purchased along with regular groceries at the till. If the employee is under the age of 19, a manager would be called over to complete the transaction.

There are only 21 licenses — and all are in operation — for businesses to be eligible to sell B.C. VQA wines and the licenses are issued by the B.C. Wine Institute.

Each applicant must present a business plan for what they are going to do, and the Langley application satisfied all the requirements, explained Miles Prodan, the president of the B.C. Wine Institute.

“We determined it would be a great opportunity for everyone in the wine industry and for consumers in Langley,” he said.

“We want to make sure that all wineries have fair and equal access to the shelves. As long as they are living up to the contract, they can continue to operate.”

— with files from Tracy Holmes/Black Press

Gary Ahuja/ Langley Times

The Langley City Save-on-Foods is now offering B.C. local wines for purchase.