Winery Definitions

Here are some definitions you’ll need to know to run a winery in North Carolina.

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Unfortified Wine

Fermented naturally or with sugar and does not exceed 17% alcohol

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Wholesaler = Distributor

Can be winery with exemption to receive wholesale permit

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Receives product from outside of state or country

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Fortified Wine

Exceeds 17% alcohol and usually has brandy added to stop the fermentation

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Can be winery on winery premise

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Regulated at federal level only

Content of Wine for Labeling Purposes

(rules by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau):

  • American Wine: May not be labeled a vintage
  • Varietal Wine: 75% made from that grape variety (except labrusca which must be at least 51%)
  • North Carolina Wine: 75% North Carolina grapes
  • AVA (American Viticultural Area designation): 85% grapes from that AVA
  • Vintage Wine: 95% grapes from that year
  • Estate Bottled Wine: 100% grapes from winery-owned vineyards

Bottle Sizes

  • Half Bottle: 0.375 liters, 0.5 bottle

  • Bottle: 0.750 liters, 1 bottle

  • Magnum: 1.5 liters, 2 bottles

  • Double Magnum: 3 liters, 4 bottles

  • Jeroboam: 5 liters, 7 bottles

  • Imperial: 6 liters, 8 bottles

  • Methuselah: 6 liters, 8 bottles

  • Salmanazar: 9 liters, 12 bottles

  • Balthazar: 12 liters, 16 bottles

  • Nebuchadnezzar: 15 liters, 20 bottles