11/21/2012 09:21 EST | Updated 01/21/2013 05:12 EST

Nova Scotia proposes legislation to allow cross-border importation of wine

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia wine drinkers would be able to import wine from other parts of Canada under provincial legislation proposed today.

Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald says changes to Nova Scotia's regulations follows a recent decision by the federal government to lift its prohibition on wine importation.

If the legislation becomes law, Nova Scotia would join British Columbia and Manitoba as the only provinces to allow direct importation.

MacDonald says she will write to her counterparts in other provinces to encourage them to make similar changes.

She says the removal of provincial barriers would provide a growth opportunity for Nova Scotia's 18 wineries.

The Finance Department says Nova Scotia hit $13.3 million in wine sales in 2011, a 65 per cent increase from 2001.