I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for new business opportunities. And, I love wine, and am a bit of a wine snob when it comes to choosing what I drink and how I drink it.
Recently I stumbled across a cool post about building a home winemaking business, and I felt like lightning had struck! Why not combine two of my favorite passions into one, and run a side business selling wine that I make myself!
Winemaking 101: What I Know So Far
I know what you’re thinking: you can’t just decide to make wine in your kitchen and sell it online. Do you even know how to make wine? What about legal implications and requirements?
And you’d be right, in one sense at least. You can’t simply “decide” to do something and magically have it happen, but the whole point of this experiment is to find a fun way to make a little extra income on the side, right? So why not learn how to do it with something I’m truly passionate about?
How To Make Wine
As it turns out, the actual process of making wine is relatively simple. All you need are a few pieces of equipment, and some grapes. The cool thing is that you can buy wine grapes that have already been pressed, giving you the raw materials for making the wine without the expensive part of hassling and pressing the grapes for juice!
Depending on what level (aka: what stage of the process) you want to work, you can learn how to make wine at home with easy to follow instructions, packaged nicely into do it yourself winemaking kits.
These are freely available and surprisingly inexpensive to get started.
The bigger challenge is navigating the seemingly endless hurdle of legal requirements that would allow you to sell your wine.
While you can make wine at home and enjoy it yourself and with friends and family without a license, in order to sell and distribute your wine, you’ll need multiple licenses, including licenses for the production of wine, sanitation department inspections, and licenses to sell the wine.
The rules vary by state, and I’m just beginning to sort out all the details, so make sure you check with a local expert before getting start on this process. For example, every state will have an abc page (or whatever the regulatory agency is in your state) with information on what you need. Here’s one example with alcohol laws in Wisconsin.