Province Corks a Planned Wine Tax Increase

Some good news for the Ontario wine industry.

The provincial government has directed the LCBO to pause a 1% tax increase on all wine products set to take effect April 1.

The decision is receiving praise from the President of EPIC Wineries, the group representing and promoting vineyards across Essex County and Pelee Island.

Melissa Muscedere of Muscedere Vineyards on County Rd. 18 in Harrow says the tax increase would have bumped up the bottom line on pricing.

"Essentially, when there's a tax increase, you're losing your margins," she says. "We don't really want to raise prices on wine; we do want to be competitive."

Muscedere told AM800's The Afternoon News that the move shows support for Ontario's wine industry, which also draws tourism for Windsor-Essex.

"They're a huge economic driver in the region, as well as all over Ontario so the government certainly is helping by halting that," she says. "Coming from an LCBO perspective, it's fantastic for Ontario Wineries because, what it is going to do, it will help drive our wineries."

Muscedere adds that the news softens what was a hard winter for local wineries.

Cold, wet weather took a toll on vineyards across Windsor-Essex.