Virginia Home Wine Making Laws

State Law: Legal Amounts of Homemade Wine

Virginia laws regarding homemade wine are pursuant to the federal law which states the following:

The aggregate amount of wine exempt from tax under this subsection with respect to any household shall not exceed – (1) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are 2 or more adults in such household, or (2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only 1 adult in such household.

State Alcoholic Beverages Control Agency

Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverages Control
2901 Hermitage Road
Richmond, VA 23220

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 27491
Richmond, VA 23261-7491
Phone: 804.213.4400
Fax: 804.213.4574

Statute Title & Description

Title 4.1 Alcohol Beverage Control Act

Chapter 1 – Definitions and General Provisions

“Alcohol” means the product known as ethyl or grain alcohol obtained by distillation of any fermented liquor, rectified either once or more often, whatever the origin, and shall include synthetic ethyl alcohol, but shall not include methyl alcohol and alcohol completely denatured in accordance with formulas approved by the government of the United States.

“Alcoholic beverages” includes alcohol, spirits, wine, and beer, and any one or more of such varieties containing one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume, including mixed alcoholic beverages, and every liquid or solid, patented or not, containing alcohol, spirits, wine, or beer and capable of being consumed by a human being. Any liquid or solid containing more than one of the four varieties shall be considered as belonging to that variety which has the higher percentage of alcohol, however obtained, according to the order in which they are set forth in this definition; except that beer may be manufactured to include flavoring materials and other non-beverage ingredients containing alcohol, as long as no more than 49 percent of the overall alcohol content of the finished product is derived from the addition of flavors and other non-beverage ingredients containing alcohol for products with an alcohol content of no more than six percent by volume; or, in the case of products with an alcohol content of more than six percent by volume, as long as no more than one and one-half percent of the volume of the finished product consists of alcohol derived from added flavors and other nonbeverage ingredients containing alcohol.

“Wine” means any alcoholic beverage obtained by the fermentation of the natural sugar content of fruits or other agricultural products containing (i) sugar, including honey and milk, either with or without additional sugar; (ii) one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume; and (iii) no product of distillation. The term includes any wine to which wine spirits have been added, as provided in the Internal Revenue Code, to make products commonly known as “fortified wine” which do not exceed an alcohol content of 21 percent by volume.

Chapter 2 Administration of Licenses

The licensure requirements of this chapter shall not apply to:

6. Any person who manufactures at his residence or at a gourmet brewing shop for domestic consumption at his residence, but not to be sold, dispensed or given away, except as hereinafter provided, wine or beer or both, in an amount not to exceed the limits permitted by federal law.

Any person who manufactures wine or beer in accordance with this subdivision may remove from his residence an amount not to exceed fifty liters of such wine or fifteen gallons of such beer on any one occasion for (i) personal or family use, provided such use does not violate the provisions of this title or Board regulations; (ii) giving to any person to whom wine or beer may be lawfully sold an amount not to exceed (a) one liter of wine per person per year or (b) seventy-two ounces of beer per person per year, provided such gift is for noncommercial purposes; or (iii) giving to any person to whom beer may lawfully be sold a sample of such wine or beer, not to exceed (a) one ounce of wine by volume or (b) two ounces of beer by volume for on-premises consumption at events organized for judging or exhibiting such wine or beer, including events held on the premises of a retail licensee. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to authorize the sale of such wine or beer.

The provision of this subdivision shall not apply to any person who resides on property on which a winery, farm winery, or brewery is located.

7. Any person who keeps and possesses lawfully acquired alcoholic beverages in his residence for his personal use or that of his family. However, such alcoholic beverages may be served or given to guests in such residence by such person, his family or servants when (i) such guests are 21 years of age or older or are accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse who is 21 years of age or older, (ii) the consumption or possession of such alcoholic beverages by family members or such guests occurs only in such residence where the alcoholic beverages are allowed to be served or given pursuant to this subdivision, and (iii) such service or gift is in no way a shift or device to evade the provisions of this title.



NOTE: The information presented here is not a substitute for legal advice.  For detailed information regarding the laws of your state please contact the state’s governing agency and/or a lawyer licensed to practice in your state.

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