Compliance Guide

Compliance 101
Guide and definitions

Alternating Proprietors:  Multiple persons sharing and alternating the use of a bonded winery’s premises and equipment.  An alternating proprietor can be a sole-proprietor, corporation or LLC.  There is a contract between the Bonded Winery (Host) and the Alternating Proprietor.

Custom Crush:  Sole-Proprietor, Corporation or LLC (Custom Crush Client) contracts with a bonded winery (Custom Crush Winery) to produce wine at the bonded winery.  The Custom Crush Winery has filing and tax responsibilities.  The Custom Crush Client receives tax paid wine.

Certificate of Registration or Authority:  Corporation or LLC doing business in your home state, and also desire to do business in another state, must file registration documents to qualify.  Taxes and annual report fees apply in both the home state and any states where registered.

Consent of Surety:  Document that extends the terms of a bond.

Control State:  Certain states where the state liquor licensing agency is a wholesaler.

Direct Ship Permit:  A licensed winery in one state can ship to other states (certain states) if the licensed winery obtains a permit in the other state.  Each state has its own set of shipping requirements and annual renewal procedures.

Distributor/ Wholesaler:  Individual or Company holding a state license allowing the purchase of product from suppliers and/or importers and then sell to retail licensees.  Licensing requirements vary by state.

Wine Bond:  Wine or spirits held under bond to secure the payment of taxes.  This includes any wine or spirits on the bonded wine premises, in transit between bonded premises, or any wine withdrawn without payment of tax.

Production:  Wine produced by fermentation, wine spirits addition, sweetening, formula wine, and wine produced from non-USA.

Self Distribution:  A permit is necessary in some states for a winery to conduct sales directly to retailers and restaurants.

Surety Bond:  Contract among the Principal (primary party), the Obligee (Recipient), and Surety.

Transfer in Bond:  Removal of wines from one bonded premises to another bonded premises.

Federal Excise Tax Rates:
$per gallon for wine 14% Alcohol by Volume or less
$per gallon for wine 14.1% to 21% Alcohol by Volume
$per gallon for Sparkling Wine
*Please confirm rates with your agent or TTB.

Tax on Wine:

Label Requirements:  Also refer to the TTB website for more information.

Alcohol Content:  Statement of alcohol content in percent by volume.

Appellation of Origin:  Appellation of Origin is the name of a country, state, county or geographic region.  For a country, state or county, this means that 75% of the wine in the bottle is produced from grapes grown in such place.

American Viticulture Area (AVA):  Viticultural area in the USA is a distinct grape-growing region having soil, climate, temperature and earthly characteristics different than the surrounding areas.  85% or more of the wine must be produced from grapes grown in the AVA.

Country of Origin:  Required on all imported wines.

Sulfites:  Required on wine intended for interstate commerce that contains 10 or more parts per million of sulfur dioxide.

Health Warning for Labels
GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.

Name and Contact Info:  “Bottled By” or “Packed By” followed by the name and address of the bottler is required on domestic wines.  For imported wine:  “Imported By” followed by the name and address of the importer.

Net Contents:  The net contents of wine are stated in the metric system.

Optional Label Information:  “Estate Bottled” if 100 percent of the wine came from grapes grown on land owned by the winery.  The winery estate must crush and ferment the grapes, age, finish, process and bottle the wine on their own premises.

Varietal Designations:  Names of grapes used in the wine.  At least 75 percent of the grapes used to make the wine are of one varietal (or variety).  For example, Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay is a varietal.  A varietal designation is not required.
Other designations include:  Red Wine, White Wine, or Table Wine.

Vineyard Designation:  95% or more of the wine is produced from fruit grown on the designated vineyard.

Vintage Date:  85% or more of the wine is produced from grapes grown in one year.  Appellation of Origin must also be on the label if there is a Vintage Date.