How to Sell Homemade Wine

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Homade wine cannot be sold in any form without both state and federal licenses.
Homade wine cannot be sold in any form without both state and federal licenses. (Image: Image Source White/Image Source/Getty Images)

In order to legally sell your own wine, you must have a series of licenses and permits from both the federal government and from the state in which you reside. Your state's liquor control board or licensing board must also inspect and approve your winery or bottling location, even if it's in your home. The process can be long and expensive and requires multiple forms to obtain all necessary licenses.

Apply for a state liquor license. Every state has a liquor control board which monitors the production, sales, importation and exportation of alcohol. To obtain a state liquor license, visit the website of your state liquor control board or contact your state department of licensing or commerce to obtain contact information.

Apply for a federal liquor permit through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), a branch of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The application requires three main application forms plus several supporting application forms to be submitted simultaneously: TTB F 5120.25 Application to Establish and Operate Wine Premises, TTB F 5100.24 Application for Basic Permit, TTB F 5120.36 Wine Bond, a diagram or plan of the winery premises, Form 5000.29 Environmental Information, Form 5000.30 Supplemental Information on Water Quality, Form 5000.8 Power of Attorney, trade name registration statement, Form 5000.9 Personnel Questionnaire (if you have any employees), and a photocopy of your driver's license. All application forms can be found at the website of the TTB--http://ttb.gov.

Create appropriate labels for your wine bottles. All wine labels must meet a standard information requirement. In order to obtain a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) from the TTB, your labels must give the identity or quality of the wine (such as Red Wine, Table Wine, Syrah), the alcohol content, net contents, and the name of the bottler, producer or winery. Refer to the wine labeling regulations available on the TTB website for details on how to meet COLA requirements.

Prepare your winery or bottling location for state inspection. How to schedule and prepare for an inspection, and the standards you must meet to pass, will vary by state. Visit your state liquor control board for detailed information.

Consult the state's liquor control board again to find out where your wine can be sold once the inspection is passed and the licenses awarded. Procedures for selling your wine at liquor stores, restaurants or at your own store will vary by state.

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