Book Review: 21 Questions About Opening a Winery in the United States

February 25, 2011

I kind of feel like in order to do a good book review on 21 Questions About Opening a Winery in the United States, written in 2010 by Anda Lincoln and Brad Lincoln, it really needs to be reviewed twice. Once now, before I have an operating winery, and once after I have a winery up and running to see how accurate it is. Admittedly, that could be awhile…

The first page is actually a disclaimer. The first sentence says it all, “ The information about laws contained in this Publication is for informational purposes only, and does not (nor is intended to) constitute legal advice or counsel.” It then goes on to state, “THE CREATORS DO NOT ASSUME ANY responsibility OR LIABILITY FOR ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR DIFFERING INTERPRETATIONS OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS PUBLICATION.”

Thing is, Anda and Brad were a CPA and an attorney, but I’m unsure if they worked in the wine or beer industry. They quit their jobs and decided to open a brewery, and I think this book is a result of them trying to navigate the United States Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations to get their license.

Admittedly, I’ve been putting off trying to read said TTB regulations, so this is a short little double spaced 120 page book. I think it works well as cliff notes of sorts, though it is incomplete. I now know some of the federal regulations, such as I need a site and equipment before I apply for my wine making license, and it could take 90 days to process if I submitted all the right paperwork. It also talks about all the different times one has to refile, such as even moving equipment around on the premises. It is not exclusive to grape wine, and even talks about cider and mead. It is also well documented, indicating forms and what regulations to read to gain further information at the federal level. It is a quick read, and I think it will help me to understand actual regulations.

The downside to this book is that it is $30 for the electronic version, and $40 for the printed version, which does come with a limited time access to the electronic files, so save it if you go for it! I mentioned before that it is 120 pages double spaced, and they like to have a lot of white space with premature page breaks. I think this book could have easily fit into 60 pages, but I’m guessing publishers don’t like printing something that small.

So, it is a good cliff notes for trying to run the federal guantlet to become a winery, but is $30-40 worth it to you when the TTB regulations are available for free?

Further Reading:


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