How to Make Wine| Step 1: Legalities

How to Make Wine


Step 1: Legalities

Winemaking, aka Homebrewing is legal in the USA. Though rules must be followed. Below are what I've researched, and what are considered common practices. If you're going to push these limits consult a legal advisor. 

  1. Individuals can homebrew a MAXIMUM of 100 gallons per year. That includes wine, beer, or cider. What ever you make, combine up the volumes and it has to be less than 100 gallons. 
  2. Households can homebrew a MAXIMUM of 200 gallons per year. Meaning if you live with another adult (spouse, roommate, partners, etc.) you can make double what you could make as an individual. 
  3. You can NOT sell your homebrews. This is illegal without a proper license. 
  4. Home distilling is not allowed in the USA without a proper license. You can NOT distill spirits.
  5. 21 is the legal drinking age. You MUST be 21 to DRINK any homebrew made.
  6.  18 is the legal age to make homebrews. BUT most law officials will view anyone under 21 making wine at home as someone seeking to consume or possess alcohol, which is illegal. Check local and state laws for exceptions. ALWAYS BE RESPONSIBLE.
Homebrewing is legal in all states. Individual states remain free to restrict or prohibit the manufacture of beer, mead, hard cider, wine and other fermented alcoholic beverages at home.[26] Until 2013, Alabama and Mississippi were the only states with laws prohibiting the homebrewing of beer. Alabama and Mississippi both legalized home brewing in their respective 2013 legislative sessions.[27][28] Although all state governments have legalized homebrewing, some states retain local options that permit local governments to make homebrewing illegal under municipal law. Alaska in one such state where the local option is currently exercised.[29]

Most states permit homebrewing of 100 gallons of beer per adult (of 18 years or older) per year and up to a maximum of 200 gallons per household annually when there are two or more adults residing in the household.[30] Because alcohol is taxed by the federal government via excise taxes, homebrewers are restricted from selling any beer they brew. This similarly applies in most Western countries. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed into law a bill allowing home beers, which was at the time not permitted without paying the excise taxes as a holdover from the prohibition of alcoholic beverages (repealed in 1933).[26][31] This change also exempted home brewers from posting a “penal bond” (which currently ranges from a minimum of $1000.00 to a maximum of $500,000[32]) which had the prohibitive effect of economically preventing brewers of small quantities from pursuing their hobby.
— Wikipedia

ALWAYS BE RESPONSIBLE. ALCOHOL CAN BE A DANGEROUS AND MUST BE TREATED WITH RESPECT. REMEMBER:

  • Don't Drink while Pregnant
  • Don't Drink and Drive
  • Don't Drink if you are not healthy enough to do so (Liver disease, Heart failure, etc.)
  • Consult your Doctor before mixing alcohol with prescriptions drugs.