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“One Stop Shop” – Starting a New York Winery

by Jesse Strzock, Lindsey Pashow, and Anna Wallis, ENYCHP

Have you thought about starting a winery? Over the last few years, New York has been working to try and make this easy and painless from a legal standpoint. Extension educators are here to help and have put together some helpful links at the end of this brief article. In a future article we’ll cover more of the business and planning side to winery and vineyard management.
Multiple winery license options exist from a microfarm winery to “regular” winery in New York. The relatively inexpensive farm winery license has been a major incentive for starting farm wineries. The NYS Liquor Authority describes a farm winery / special farm winery license as the following: “Authorizes licensee to annually manufacture and wholesale up to 250,000 gallons of wine and/or cider made exclusively from NYS grown agricultural products. Must be located on a farm.” A microfarm winery is similar but may manufacture and wholesale considerably less.
If you’re not producing your inputs you need to be particularly careful with what you purchase depending on what kind of license you have. This leads to legal definitions, quantities, etc., quickly taking us into the territory where we send you to other professionals.  Sam Filler, Director of Industry Development for Empire State Development, has directed the “One Stop Shop” for New York’s wine,cider, spirits, and beer industries since 2012. Contact Sam Filler and the “One Stop Shop” atnysbevbiz@esd.ny.gov or (518) 227-1535. Please note – starting January 1, 2017, Samuel Filler is to become the Executive Director of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation replacing Jim Trezise.

Helpful Links. Remember to make sure they are up-to-date!

Remember, you will need to contact New York State Agriculture and Markets (1-800-554-4501) for when the time comes to arrange an inspection of your winery.

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