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Colorado Vintner’s Restaurant License – What You Need To Know

A Colorado Vintner’s Restaurant License permits a retail establishment to manufacture wine and cider and sells food for consumption on the premises.  A Vintner’s Restaurant may manufactures not more than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) gallons of wine on its premises or licensed alternating proprietor licensed premises, combined, each calendar year. The Colorado Vintner’s Restaurant License is a lot like the Colorado Brew pub License and Distillery Pub License in that it permits the holder to run a full service restaurant and offer all types of alcohol for consumption on-premise, while permitting the manufacture of alcohol and the sale direct to consumers of the alcohol manufactured by the Vintner’s Restaurant.

Key Facts of Colorado Vintner’s Restaurant License

  • At least 15% of the gross annual income from on-premises food and drink must be from the sale of food.
  • Sale, service and consumption of beer, wine, and liquor by the drink for on-premises consumption; manufacture wine on the licensed premises and can:
  • Furnish manufactured wine for consumption on the licensed premises
  • Sell the manufactured wine to independent wholesalers for distribution to retailers
  • Sell the manufactured wine by the package for off-premises consumption
  • Sell the manufactured wine at wholesale to licensed retailers up to 50,000 gallons per calendar year
  • Manufacture via an Alternating Proprietor agreement
    • A Vintner’s Restaurant manufacturing via an alternating proprietor licensed premises shall not conduct retail sales of vinous liquors from an area licensed or defined as an alternating proprietor licensed premises.
      • This means that the Vintner’s Restaurant can only produce/manufacture via the alternating proprietor arrangement, but cannot sell to consumers from that area.

What is an Alternating Proprietor?

An “alternating proprietor” or “alternating proprietorship” is a term used to describe an arrangement in which two or more entities take turns using the physical premises of a manufacturing facility. In Colorado, the alternating proprietor arrangement is permissible for breweries and wineries (and cideries) BUT NOT distilleries.

Generally, the proprietor of an existing winery, known as the “host winery” agrees to rent space and equipment to a new “tenant winery.” Alternating proprietorships allow existing wineries to use excess capacity and give new entrants to the wine business an opportunity to begin on a small scale, without investing in premises and equipment.

The tenant qualifies as a winery by filing the appropriate documents with TTB and the state. The tenant winery:

  • Produces wine / cider
  • Keeps appropriate winery records
  • Labels the wine with its own name and address
  • Obtains the necessary COLAs
  • Pays tax at the appropriate rate upon removal of its wine from the winery
  • The tenant winery has title to the wine at all stages of the winemaking process.

Colorado Beverage Lawyers of LaszloLaw

Our Colorado beverage lawyers assist Colorado businesses by addressing their needs throughout the liquor licensing process and continuing to provide guidance as needed. Contact the Colorado beverage lawyers at LaszloLaw today to discuss your business’ needs.

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