Legality of winemaking in TN

My ex-husband is trying to come up with reasons to take me back to court over custody . . . his only "real" complaint that I am concerned with is that he is bringing up the fact that I make my own wine. Here in the South women shouldn't be drinking, much less making it in their washroom!!! I don't sell. I drink it myself and occasionally share some with family members when they visit. He's making it sound like I am brewing moonshine in the basement for goodness sake and these small town good ole boys may not know the legalities of home winemaking right off the top of their heads, so I would like to be prepared. Can anyone point me to a website or other source where I can really get educated on the laws of homebrewing? Thanks in advance. Sara
Reply to
sara1
My ex-husband is trying to come up with reasons to take me back to court over custody . . . his only "real" complaint that I am concerned with is that he is bringing up the fact that I make my own wine. Here in Tennessee, (the South) women shouldn't be drinking, much less making it in their washroom!!! I don't sell. I drink it myself and occasionally share some with family members when they visit. He's making it sound like I am brewing moonshine in the basement for goodness sake and these small town good ole boys may not know the legalities of home winemaking right off the top of their heads, so I would like to be prepared. Can anyone point me to a website or other source where I can really get educated on the laws of homebrewing? Thanks in advance. Sara
Reply to
sara1

Pardon my French, but your ex sounds like a bunghole!
I'm sure the atf.gov site has the law spelled out in great detail, but it amounts to this:
A maximum of 100 gallons of wine or beer per year, per adult resident (to a maximum of 200 gallons total) may be produced at home for consumption on the home premises. There is no tax on this production. You are not permitted to distill the product.
This law was in effect even during prohibition, and remains so today - even in dry states. Needless to say, the sale of wine grapes was very healthy in those days.
Tom S
Reply to
Tom S
As everyone has said, you're fine. You'll probably find your state and local laws will go with the ATF on this. Check out TN's government site.
The below is from CFR 24.75. Get the full 123 pages at
formatting link

Under Federal law, any adult may, without payment of tax, produce wine for personal or family use under regulations in 27 CFR 24.75, which provide the following:
· The individual must follow applicable State and local laws.
· The individual must be 18 years of age or the legal age to purchase wine in the locality whichever is older.
· The individual may produce, without payment of tax, per household, up to 100 gallons of wine per calendar year if there is one adult residing in the household, or 200 gallons if there are two or more adults residing in the household.
· The individual may remove wine from the place where it is made for personal or family use, including use in contests or tasting.
· The individual may not produce wine for sale or offer wine for sale.
Reply to
Patrick McDonald
Let the newsgroup scroll proclaim that "sara1" scribed upon its pages in news: snipped-for-privacy@news.isdn.net:
In Mississippi, our Attorney General has all the laws of the state on his website in a sarchable manner. Search for keywords such as wine and home.
 Mississippi law allows homeowners to make wine at home for their own use.  The Mississippi Code of 1972, in section "§ 67-3-11. Homemade wine", states:      "Every person shall have the right to make homemade wine for domestic or household uses only, free of all restraint by this chapter or otherwise, and no such election as provided for in Sections 67-3-7, 67-3- 9 and 67-3-13, shall deprive any person of the right to make homemade wine for domestic or household uses only. "     Sources: Codes, 1942, §§ 10209, 10227; Laws, 1934, ch. 171.
The sections "67" refer to the laws that determine wet and dry counties. In other words, it's legal no matter what the county votes in in regard to wet or dry, at least in Mississippi.
Reply to
Allen McBroom
Let the newsgroup scroll proclaim that "sara1" scribed upon its pages in news: snipped-for-privacy@news.isdn.net:
Found the answer on the Tenn. Sec. of State website:
39-17-708. Home manufacture of wine or beer excepted.
(a)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this part, a private individual in such person's own home may manufacture and possess wine or beer in an amount not in excess of that amount annually permitted as of January 1, 1997, by federal statutes and regulations relative to household manufacture and consumption; provided, that the wine or beer is for personal consumption by members and guests of the household. Such wine or beer may also be transported by such person, member or guest without being in violation of this part; provided, that the amount being transported at any one (1) time shall not exceed five (5) gallons. 
So, forget the ex. Make your wine, up to 100 gallons (federal statute), just don't tote over 5 gallons in the car.
Reply to
Allen McBroom
The applicable US statute can be found at
formatting link

Home winemaking has NEVER been illegal in Tennessee, even during prohibition. [Commercial winemaking was illegal from 1911 until, in the late 1970's, home winemaker Judge William O. Beach (of Clarkskville) pioneered legislation that revived Tennessee's commercial wine industry.]
However, them churchgoing rednecks might still be judgmental about a lady involved in such sinful activities, no matter what them pointyhead politicians have to say about it. If I recall, Lynchburg, TN, home of Jack Daniels, is dry county!
Reply to
Negodki
The BATF regs can be seen at
formatting link

However, the current law (allowing home production of beer and wine) did not go into effect until January of 1979. The specifics of alcohol enforcement were left up to the states, and not all states took their anti-homebrewing laws off the books. Homebrewing is still explicitly illegal in a number of states, and its legality is unclear in a few more.
Reply to
Negodki
One point to bring out, dosen't federal law trup all local laws?
"Negodki" wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com:
Reply to
quakeholio
No. The US Constitution grants specific rights to the Federal government, and invests all other functions to the individual states. It required a constitutional amendment for the Federal government to enact prohibition, and another to repeal it. Since the Constitution was amended to allow a Federal income tax (which was originally 1/2 of 1% of the second $1000 earned), the Federal government has used the revenues thus gained to bribe (and extort) the states to comply with "suggested" Federal legislation. Thus we had a "national" 55-mph speed-limit: the actual Federal legislation simply withheld "highway funds" from any State failing to enact such a law. There are thousands of similar national policies, enacted by each of the individual state legislatures to get back some of the money their citizens have paid Uncle Sam in taxes.
In respect to the laws governing the production of alcohol, the Federal law DOES take precedence over state law --- if the state law would be LESS restrictive. However, there is nothing to prevent a State from being MORE restrictive. Thus many states do NOT allow home production of alcohol, even though Federal law allows 100 gallons per adult or 200 gallons per household with more than one adult.
However, there is a big difference between law and enforcement. There are more bars in dry county than where drinking is "legal".
Reply to
Negodki
wrote:
Yes and no... depends on the issue. States can give rights the feds haven't given, as long as there is no specific law against it (feds). they can also go against what the fed says if it is taking away rights i.e.:dry counties/states Fed says okay, state or local says no way. There are some things also that are legally a state only issue. the federal governemnt has absolutly no say in the matter. One example that comes to mind is speed limits. now the feds can *ASK* the state to set a specific limit, and they can refuse to give federal money to states that refuse, but they cannot *MAKE* the state set a specific limit.
However, if the feds so You Cannot do something the state cannot say it's okay. that is differant than above where the state is saying ok, and the feds didn't say anything.
Another case in point: Gay/lez weddings. Mass. just said they are okay. Federal gov is now (under Bush) working on passing a federal law to say gay/lez not okay. If they can get it into the constitution, the state is screwed.
NOTE: I don't wish to start a gay/lez thread here.. this was only used as an example..
email: dallyn_spam at yahoo dot com please respond in this NG so others can share your wisdom as well!
Reply to
Dave Allyn
The Federal government has no authority to pass such a law, and there is no such law being "worked on" by the Federal government, or the Bush Administration, or even the Birch John Society. For "them" to "get it unto the Constitution would require approval by a majority of the states. Most states would decide the issue by putting the matter to a vote. (Some states would only put it to a vote in their legislature). If such an amendment would be approved, it would represent the will of the people. That's called "democracy". No screwing of the State of Massachusetts would occur. There would also be no reduction of screwing in Massachusetts, just in Federal and State subsidies of certain relationships.
Furthermore, it was the Massachusetts Courts which "just said they are okay", in direct apposition to the will of the majority of the people in Massachusetts --- thus putting another nail into the coffin of democracy.
Reply to
Negodki
Sounds bitter and you better get a good lawyer and be careful what you admit too. I had some exchanges with ATF last year over this and their interpretation was that you can, under the right conditions and environment, make your own wine for personal use in your home. The law does NOT give you the right to sell it or even give it to others or even share it with others in places other than your own home. Granted, these are not provisions normally enforced but there are lots of laws on the book that are only used when they really want to get someone.
Once again, get a good lawyer.
Ray
Reply to
Ray
Assuming the kids aren't finding you splayed out on the washroom floor every night surrounded by empty bottles, you're not wandering the streets while intox and you don't have any recent DUIs, I'd say hubbie has a pretty skinny case. You're making wine for enjoyment and for friends sounds fiscally responsible, and the 1997 World Health Organization concludes "moderate" consumption has certain coronary health benefits. Where is the harm? There is absolutely nothing morally, ethically or legally wrong with offering one of your best bottles (handsomely labeled) to Hizzoner (via your atty) as evidence that your hobby is a finely-honed craft, not a white-lightning basement laboratory. Clean up the washroom, take pix of your collection and present them if need be to eliminate the "moonshine still" visual your husband may attempt to impart.
Reply to
Kim

Yes, there is a Supremacy clause in the Constitution, but in areas the feds don't have jurisdiction in, no, it doesn't apply. Interstate commerce and tax are 2 big federal hooks. The homebrew exemption is for tax puposes, so it leaves issues like health and safety of alcohol to local state laws and restrictions.
No, it's not straightforward or clear.
Reply to
Chia Pet

Yes, since another poster cleared up the state law issue, the real issue is how it plays in court. Particularly with custody, safety of the children will be a huge issue: Expect questions like:
- Just how much wine do you consume/brew?
- Do you drink responsibly or get drunk when in charge of the children?
- Do you store the wine in locked areas, or are the children in danger of alcohol poisoning from drinking the wine?
- Do you drink after the children are in bed, or are they exposed to watching wine being drunk and brewed?
Those kinds of questions are the ones which can count in a custody dispute.
Reply to
Chia Pet

environment,
Always wise in custody disputes, which tend to get complicated and nasty. What is admissable and relevant, what has an adequate foundation vs. speculation and accusation are very important when the mud is slinging. The stakes are high. All reasons to get a lawyer if you possibly can.
Reply to
Chia Pet

DrinksForum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.