Making Cider at a Winery

February 18, 2010

Yesterday I mentioned that Heather from The Rusty Grape said what really got them going making wine is acquiring their alcohol license. On the Cider Workshop, a similar topic came up, where one member wondered if they could work with a brewery to make their cider.

The group responded that they thought a winery in the United States could make cider under their license, not a brewery. Dick Dunn from Colorado then shared with the group the arrangement he has with a winery to make his cider and offered suggestions about how an agreement could be reached. I encourage you to read the discussion.

This whole topic has me thinking.  One of the problems about being licensed for a winery is that this is not something that can be done in your home. Other things like jams can be produced inside the home for sale, but wine cannot. A start up winery colleague of mine if he could make wine at his home, and the TTB responded with this:

Winery in a residence – Segregation of Operations Required

A winery must be totally segregated from any living space.  TTB must be able to directly access the winery without going through personal space and you must be able to directly access your personal living space without going through the winery.  The winery premises should be business use only so you cannot be storing bikes, doing laundry etc. on winery premises nor can you cross winery premises to get to an area where you store bikes, do laundry etc.  The winery premises must be secure which includes a lock on any door providing direct access from the residence to the winery.”

So when Heather said to get the license, my mind was whirling because I need a separate facility and I hadn’t quite solved that problem. However, Dick does offer a solution, though I see potential problems if I got ambitious and wanted my own label and/or wanted to leave the agreement set up with the winery. Even though I would be the creator, everything is under their name, so I would have very little legal possession of the cider. However, if I chose not to leave my current job, this would allow me to make cider and sell it without giving up my day job.

It gives me something to think about…

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