Can you sell your wine legally if you're a home grower?

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

wood1954

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
566
Reaction score
308
Location
Northern wisconsin
I’m with you, I just grow grapes for the challenge of someday making very good wine. I give away wine to friends but never want to pro. Nice videos btw
 

Rice_Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
1,777
Reaction score
1,560
Location
Food Industry - - Retired
There are several requirements for money sales (not for trade, giving as gift). It needs a label, alcohol statement and recipe approved by ATF and you need a license (likely the easier part)

Yes Dirty,,,, everyone should do a cost of goods to look at the financials if they are thinking of going there
 
Last edited:

mbleill

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
16
Hello Dirty Vineyard, Nice Video but I respectfully believe your information on the allowable bottles of wine to be incorrect. Federal law allows a two adult household to make up to 200 US gallons of wine for personal use and consumption. Assuming the standard 750 ml bottles, this equates to approximately 1000 bottles per year. Not 480 as stated in your video.

Here is a link to the Federal regulations: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2006-title27-vol1/xml/CFR-2006-title27-vol1-sec24-75.xml
Cheers!
 

Rocky

Chronologically Gifted Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
6,467
Reaction score
3,258
Location
Columbus, OH
Does anyone now the rules or laws on bartering or more accurately, rewarding or recognizing someone for a favor given? I don't make it a practice but I have given wine to people who have helped me in some way. Am I breaking the law?
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,746
Reaction score
2,627
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Keep in mind that there are two regulating entities involved, and you have to clear both Federal and State hurdles. Alabama is, if I remember correctly, one of the strictest in terms of quantity you can produce and have on hand during a year.
In any case, crossing that line from hobbyist wine making to commercial is a BIG step no matter how you go about it. EVERY batch has to be within the rules. It's not like a one time thing, you have to be able to withstand a inspection at anytime if someone decides to check for conformity.
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
12,461
Reaction score
12,078
Location
near Milwaukee

Hello Dirty Vineyard, Nice Video but I respectfully believe your information on the allowable bottles of wine to be incorrect. Federal law allows a two adult household to make up to 200 US gallons of wine for personal use and consumption. Assuming the standard 750 ml bottles, this equates to approximately 1000 bottles per year. Not 480 as stated in your video.

Here is a link to the Federal regulations: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2006-title27-vol1/xml/CFR-2006-title27-vol1-sec24-75.xml
Cheers!

You state that 5 gallons is equivalent to 12 bottles, and that 100 gallons is equivalent to 240 bottles. As @mbleill stated, this is incorrect. Maybe you should take off your dark sunglasses and pull out a calculator to find out that 5 gallons is 25 bottles, and 100 gallons is 500 bottles.

EDIT: In the light of day, I find that my comments posted last night were too strident. :ib I apologize.
 
Last edited:

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,746
Reaction score
2,627
Location
Northwest Arkansas
WOW ! Sounds like some unhappy folks out there tonight. While the number of bottles per Gallon may be off - It's not that critical an error.

Bottom line is, as we have seen here before in other threads... You need to take a good hard look at the Federal and State laws that will govern what you can and cannot do. I watched the video and he certainly isn't cheer leading for folks to go from home hobbyist wine maker to commercial or limited private wine sales but other than the numbers per gallon, What's the big problem with the video?

Return on Investment is the key - Can you make back what you have to invest to get started AND sustain a wine making business? Are you looking to make a little profit, break-even, or actually make your hobby into a business you can live off of?

It's not all that different than those folks who pop-up on here and ask "How soon can I drink this "stuff"?" You know who they are - The folks looking for a quick cheap source of alcohol. We see a lot of them ask those questions and then we never hear from them again as the reality of what it takes sorts stomps all over their plans.

I don't trust a lot of the YouTube videos as far as accuracy, quality, and number of other things that taint the so called "DIY" videos. Balloon Wines, and any number of other so called short cut methods to making wines and for that matter on just about any topic from car repair, to "Off Grid" living etc. Making $$ takes over too often and to be honest if you trust every video you see .... that's on you. None-the-less this video isn't as bad as it appears some want to paint it. The basics are pretty much there as far as the suggested frustrations, time factors and paperwork involved.

As I've also rambled a while I guess I'll take another sip of my Black Currant "Wine" and head to bed. Cheers and Happy Fathers day to whom it applies.
 

hounddawg

Dawg
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
3,225
Reaction score
2,782
Location
very N.E. Arkansas in the instep of MO, BOOTHILL,,
the only legal way in Arkansas, is you can sell the fruit, rent out the carboys, sell them labels, corks and chemicals, your time and charge deposit on the wine bottles, $100 to $150 per case, that equates out to every case they buy all the fixings and your time they get 1 case and you get 1 & 1/2 cases for yourself, at least in arkansas, my county judge ran this through 5 circuit judges, Arkansas is the strictest of all the lower 48, but for me it took all the enjoyment outta the hobby, oh and don't forget 100 gal for single adult, or 200 gal for a couple. after that your breaking the law,,,, now every state is different, Good LUCK,,,,,,
Dawg
 

pillswoj

Canadian Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
516
Reaction score
310
You state that 5 gallons is equivalent to 12 bottles, and that 100 gallons is equivalent to 240 bottles. As @mbleill stated, this is incorrect. Maybe you should take off your dark sunglasses and pull out a calculator to find out that 5 gallons is 25 bottles, and 100 gallons is 500 bottles.

EDIT: In the light of day, I find that my comments posted last night were too strident. :ib I apologize.
The Bottle he shows is clearly a 1500 ml, so he is correct for the way he bottles his wine.
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
12,461
Reaction score
12,078
Location
near Milwaukee
The Bottle he shows is clearly a 1500 ml, so he is correct for the way he bottles his wine.
I disagree that the bottle is "clearly" a 1500 ml. And apparently the author of the video agrees with me. If you go to this video on youtube, you will see the following exchange in the comments:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=br-XUsWm1T8



Dirty Vineyard

269 subscribers


SUBSCRIBE
NOTE: A 5 gallon carboy can get as much as 25 bottles! (I need to be very conservative in my estimates! Cheers!)
Jeremy Burdick
Jeremy Burdick
5 days ago
Doesn't 5 gallons make 25 bottles?

1
Dirty Vineyard

REPLY


Hide 4 replies
Dirty Vineyard
Dirty Vineyard

4 days ago
Yes, depending on how carefully you rack, I was being super conservative! Cheers Jeremy!


REPLY


Mr. A
Mr. A
4 days ago
@Dirty Vineyard I was going to ask the same... I can normally squeeze out 22-27 bottles depending.

1
Dirty Vineyard

REPLY


Dirty Vineyard
Dirty Vineyard

4 days ago
@Mr. A So can we, but I thought it was better to be really conservative when talking about a sensitive subject like legally selling wine, cheers Mr. A!

1

REPLY
 

Val-the-Brew-Gal

Magickal Cat Wines
WMT Supporter
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
408
Reaction score
367
Location
Deer Park, WA
the only legal way in Arkansas, is you can sell the fruit, rent out the carboys, sell them labels, corks and chemicals, your time and charge deposit on the wine bottles, $100 to $150 per case, that equates out to every case they buy all the fixings and your time they get 1 case and you get 1 & 1/2 cases for yourself, at least in arkansas, my county judge ran this through 5 circuit judges, Arkansas is the strictest of all the lower 48, but for me it took all the enjoyment outta the hobby, oh and don't forget 100 gal for single adult, or 200 gal for a couple. after that your breaking the law,,,, now every state is different, Good LUCK,,,,,,
Dawg
I've made wines for friend's weddings. They pay for the wine kits, corks, bottles etc. I don't charge for making the wine, but I do charge for the design of personalized labels 😉
 

KevinL

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
223
Reaction score
137
Location
Warrenville IL
There are several requirements for money sales (not for trade, giving as gift). It needs a label, alcohol statement and recipe approved by ATF and you need a license (likely the easier part)

Not quite. If you're doing a grape wine or fruit wine, and are only using standard ingredients (Fruit, sugar, yeast, standard additives like kmeta) then you don't need your formula approved by TTB via formulas online.

Regardless of what's in the bottle (grape wine or not) you need to have your label approved by the TTB with a COLA for each and every label at each and every volume. You need the federal license via TTB. Then (thanks to the bioterrorism act of 2004) you need to register with the FDA. You'll need state approval (for me it is the ILCC) and Municipality/county approval. Once you're done blasting through the alphabet soup of red tape, you'll need to maintain all records and submit monthly, quarterly, or annual reports based on volume produced. Excise taxes will need to be paid on the wine upon removal from the winery.

The Federal government recently waived the wine bond requirement for wineries under a certain volume. It's been a few years since I went through the process, so I don't remember the exact volume.

Last year we turned our first profit. In the end between the work from the Mrs. and I we probably made around 50 cents per hour. We're hoping we can push that to $1.25 an hour this time around! ;)
 
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
21
You state that 5 gallons is equivalent to 12 bottles, and that 100 gallons is equivalent to 240 bottles. As @mbleill stated, this is incorrect. Maybe you should take off your dark sunglasses and pull out a calculator to find out that 5 gallons is 25 bottles, and 100 gallons is 500 bottles.

EDIT: In the light of day, I find that my comments posted last night were too strident. :ib I apologize.
No worries, I stated in the description of the video that I know that but used a very conservative estimate. Cheers!
 
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
21
Hello Dirty Vineyard, Nice Video but I respectfully believe your information on the allowable bottles of wine to be incorrect. Federal law allows a two adult household to make up to 200 US gallons of wine for personal use and consumption. Assuming the standard 750 ml bottles, this equates to approximately 1000 bottles per year. Not 480 as stated in your video.

Here is a link to the Federal regulations: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2006-title27-vol1/xml/CFR-2006-title27-vol1-sec24-75.xml
Cheers!
You are very correct. In the description of the video I mention that you can make 25 bottles, but I thought it would be best to stay extremely conservative. Cheers!
 
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
21
Not quite. If you're doing a grape wine or fruit wine, and are only using standard ingredients (Fruit, sugar, yeast, standard additives like kmeta) then you don't need your formula approved by TTB via formulas online.

Regardless of what's in the bottle (grape wine or not) you need to have your label approved by the TTB with a COLA for each and every label at each and every volume. You need the federal license via TTB. Then (thanks to the bioterrorism act of 2004) you need to register with the FDA. You'll need state approval (for me it is the ILCC) and Municipality/county approval. Once you're done blasting through the alphabet soup of red tape, you'll need to maintain all records and submit monthly, quarterly, or annual reports based on volume produced. Excise taxes will need to be paid on the wine upon removal from the winery.

The Federal government recently waived the wine bond requirement for wineries under a certain volume. It's been a few years since I went through the process, so I don't remember the exact volume.

Last year we turned our first profit. In the end between the work from the Mrs. and I we probably made around 50 cents per hour. We're hoping we can push that to $1.25 an hour this time around! ;)
Wait, what!? We are still in the negative! Cheers!
 

jgmillr1

owner, winemaker
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
706
Reaction score
516
Last year we turned our first profit. In the end between the work from the Mrs. and I we probably made around 50 cents per hour. We're hoping we can push that to $1.25 an hour this time around! ;)
It took us about 5 years to turn a profit. Still digging out of the hole from the initial investment and years of unpaid time with lost weekends and evenings. Definitely not a get rich quick ( or ever) scheme that some think it is.
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,746
Reaction score
2,627
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Wine making for private low volume production I would suspect is not a big money maker unless you have something very unique and/or very desireable and even then the weather can wipe out your profits. Not all that different than raising cattle these days, so many ways you can take a hit. Not to mention the legal oversight that you face.
 
Top