Winery FAQ

 

Tasting rooms

How many tasting rooms can a winery have?
A winery can have one tasting room on the premises of their winery and at two additional locations (no production or distribution is allowed). Employees serving wine for on-premises consumption must have a Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) permit.

Are MAST permits required at wineries?
MAST permits are not required at the production facility. However, they are required at the additional location where wine is offered for on-premises consumption.

What is allowed at my additional location?
You may sell drinks by the glass of wine of your own production, sell bottles to go and offer food.

Can wineries share spaces with other wineries at the others’ production facility?
Yes, an off-site winery can share a tasting room at another producing winery. Both wineries would need to use one of their additional location privileges in order to allow the joint tasting rooms at this one location.

Can a winery pour wine off their winery premises?
Yes, but only at the following:

  • A winery’s additional locations
     
  • Special-occasion licensed events – wine must be pre-sold to the licensee
     
  • Beer/wine specialty shops – wine must be pre-sold to the licensee
     
  • Private clubs – wine must be pre-sold to the licensee
     
  • Restaurants that are licensed to sell wine for on-premises consumption – wine must be pre-sold to the licensee
     
  • Grocery store sampling event – wine must be pre-sold to the licensee

 

Licensing information

Do I need a federal permit to make wine?
If the product you produce will be sold, then you need a federal permit along with a state liquor license. Visit the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, U.S. Department of the Treasury, at http://www.ttb.gov/ for more information about federal permits.

Can I have a restaurant license if I have a winery?
Yes. Recent law changes allow a separate retail location. There will need to be a separate entity for this second business.

Can a domestic winery have a warehouse off the winery premises?
Yes, domestic wineries operating as distributors of their own product may apply for one warehouse located off the winery premises and not located at their additional location.

You must complete a Business License Application and Non-Retail Liquor and Cannabis Board Addendum for the warehouse through the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service. The application will then go through the WSLCB licensing process.

 

Listing product

How can I get my product in Washington liquor stores?
You must go through the WSLCB listing process in order to sell your product in liquor stores.

 

Initial inspections

What happens at the WSLCB’s initial inspection of a winery?

  • The enforcement officers will review the floor plan, measure wall separations, etc.
     
  • The officer will also review liquor laws specific to winery licenses with you, and go over the following briefing forms:

How can I find out about state requirements about sanitation and waste water?
Please contact the State Department of Agriculture for information.

 

Tax reports

When are tax reports due?
Tax reports must be submitted or postmarked on or before the 20th of the month following activity. A report must be filed each month, including those months when there is no activity. When the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the filing must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than the next postal business day.

If you do not have any activity to report, you can file tax reports in advance.

Wineries may file their monthly tax reports and make payments online using the WSLCB’s Online Tax Reporting and Payment System. The system is available 24 hours a day, allows you to view previously filed reports, and is secure and confidential.

Additional information can be found on the Beer and Wine Tax Reporting page.

 

Special events

How can wineries participate in a special occasion event?

  • A winery can donate product to a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation or association
     
  • A winery can pour and educate the public about their wine
  • Please remember that the event is operated by the special occasion licensee, not the manufacturer
     
  • A winery may not sell wine to the public during these events
     
  • A winery may not donate money of any kind to these events (booth fees, sponsorship, etc.)
     
  • The WSLCB does not currently offer portable licenses for wineries.
     

Where can I learn more about special occasion events?
Check out the special occasion licenses FAQ page.

 

Personal services

What personal services can a winery offer?
Personal services performed by wineries at a licensed retail premises are intended to inform, educate, or enhance a customer’s knowledge or experience of the manufacturer’s product. Personal services may include bottle signings, pouring at events, and similar activities.

Winery may not require performance of personal services as a condition for selling alcohol to the retail licensee.

 

Bonded wine warehouses

Can bonded wine warehouses handle bottled wine for wineries?
Yes. Reasons include:

  • Packaging and repackaging services
     
  • Bottle labeling services
     
  • Creating gift baskets or variety packs that may or may not include non-wine products
     
  • Picking, packing, and shipping wine orders directly to consumers

 

Homemade wine

Can I make homemade wine at my home for private consumption?
Yes. A license is not required if the wine is for private consumption and is not for sale.

Please note:

  • Homemade wine is not required to be consumed in the home where it was produced.
     
  • Homemade wine may be removed from the home for private consumption.
     
  • The amount of homemade wine an adult may remove from the home is 20 gallons.
     
  • Use of homemade wine at organized affairs, exhibitions, or competitions is considered private consumption.

 

Labeling requirements

What information must be on wine packages and labels?

  • Identity and quality of the wine
     
  • Alcohol content
     
  • Net contents
     
  • Name of the producer, manufacturer, or bottler

 What are the standards for claiming or implying that the appellation of origin is “Washington?”

  • If the label states “Washington,” at least 95 percent of the grapes used in the production of the wine must have been grown in Washington.
     
  • If the label states “Washington” and the name of an American Viticultural Area (AVA) located wholly within Washington, at least 95 percent of the grapes used in the production of the wine must have been grown in Washington.
     
  • If the label states “Washington” and the name of an AVA located in both Washington and an adjoining state, at least 95 percent of the grapes used in the production of the wine must have been grown in the AVA or in Washington.
     
  • The standards do not apply to wine produced with the addition of wine spirits, brandy, or alcohol.
     
  • The standards apply to wine made from grapes harvested after December 31, 2009.


Using common carriers

Can wineries use common carriers?
Yes, in-state and out-of-state wineries can use common carriers for shipping up to 100 cases of their own products directly to licensed retailers.

 

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