What it would take to be a winery

May 4, 2010

I got to thinking how yesterday, I was sort of resistant to making bigger batches of wine and cider, yet my goal is to open a cidery and perhaps sell country wine. So why the hesitation?

It is true that I would need to build up in equipment in order to start being a producer. In fact, I have heard of a winery out of Texas called Cork This! that uses carboys to make  their batches. Clear Creek Distillery puts all of their batches into 5 gallon carboys so that they can taste test each one for quality control to determine if they want that particular carboy to be part of the final batch. So to the “young and broke” argument against saving money and not getting carboys, this rebukes it. Carboys are very essential.

No, my biggest issue is licensing. Originally, I thought I could make a batch of cider in my home very much like I hear how people make jam in their homes to sell. Then I found out that since wine and cider are controlled by the government, I have to have an exclusive kitchen for the making of wine and cider, and it has to be separate from one that makes beer. In an email to a follow beginner wine maker, he was provided the following information from the TTB:

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 I guess while I do need the carboys to help start up my business, not having a space in which I can make wine and cider has me hesitant to make investments.


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