Wineries are where wine is produced. They usually have their own farm stocked with grape vines and processing plants. Wineries store bottles of wine until they are ready to be shipped to retailers.
It's common for wineries to invite guests to the grounds to view the operations and sample the wine. There usually aren't any restrictions, but some wineries insist that guests leave their appetizers at home. The winery will provide crackers and cheese. One possible reason is that the tasting experience is better if the wine is taken with the food prepared at the winery. Another reason is that the winery wants to avoid contamination. Any foreign substances brought into the winery may contaminate the wine-making process. Guests may also litter, which may attract pests.
Here's a list of winery regulations worth noting:
-Grape growing regions are known as American Viticultural Areas.
-To designate an area as an American Viticultural Area, an individual or group needs to petition the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
-A list of approved American Viticultural Areas is provided in Subpart C of part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9).
-'Table Wine With Natural Flavors' and 'Grape Wine With Natural Flavors' are statements of composition. These statements are provided on wine labels when a wine does not fall within any of the current standards of identity set forth in TBB wine labeling regulation 27 CFR, Part 4, Subpart C (Grape Wine, Fruit Wine, Aperitif Wine, etc.).
-The addition of any substance foreign to wine which changes the character of the wine or the abstraction of ingredients which will change its character, to the extent inconsistent with good commercial practice, is not permitted on bonded wine premises.
-The Assistant Administrator, Headquarters Operations, may cancel or amend the approval for use of a material or process in the production, cellar treatment, or finishing of wine and juice when the specified use or limitation of any material in the table is determined to be unacceptable for use in foods and beverages by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
-Home Winemakers' Centers are locations where wine can be made. Individuals can pay a fee to use the space and equipment in the Home Winemakers' Center to make wine for personal or family use.
-Home Winemakers' Centers don't need to qualify as a bonded winery or pay Federal excise tax.
-Tasting rooms in the winery must be within the bonded area of the wine premises.
-A record must be kept of the wine tasting event including the date, quantity, and the kind of wine that is transferred. The amount of non-tax paid wine used for tasting should be reported on form 5120.17 - Report of Wine Premises Operations
-You are considered a dealer if you charge for a winery tour, charge for the wine, or sell wine to visitors.
-If you sell wine at your winery, you must arrange for recording the taxable removal of such wine at the time of sale or designate a suitable tax-paid storage area and record the table removal of wine when it is transferred to the tax-paid storage area.
-Sake is treated as beer for production and tax purposes.
-All domestically produced sake, including flavored sake and sparkling sake, require formula approval.