Nails on a chalkboard. Folks, there is already a lot of incomplete or flat-out wrong information shared about winery compliance. Let’s not add to it! Stay in your lane. If you’re not actually in the winery compliance world, please spare all of us who are, and do not further confuse or mess up those who are looking for correct, useful information.

A couple of months ago I came across a blog post about being a “bonded winery”. It immediately caught my eye since right there, I can state confidently that there are not many people who truly understand what that term actually means, and can also describe it in an effective way that the layperson could understand.

This blog post butchered the topics it was attempting to cover. It was painful for me to read. Plus it plagiarized part of one of my previous posts, without giving due credit.

The post was attempting to explain what a bonded winery is, and more specifically within that topic what a “bond” is. Those two items, a bonded winery and a bond are in fact two different things in the same TTB winery solar system. A “bond” is a sometimes required document within a bonded winery’s TTB application file. It is only required for businesses that owe more than $50,000 per year in excise taxes to the TTB.

Here’s my post on just that topic from March 2023.

(by the way, the title of this blog is what they plagiarized in their post)

The blog then went on to describe how wineries are supposed to calculate their “bond” amount. Here it referenced a winery’s “bond” being calculated from the amount it “produces” each year. That’s flat-out wrong or at the very least misleading. Without going too far into the weeds on this, the amount of a “bond” is a combination of two dollar amounts. Both of those are excise tax amounts. The excise tax amount due for the highest gallon amount of wines sitting at a winery site during a year is summed with the annual amount of excise taxes the winery owes to the TTB.  Does that sound like “production”?  Ughh! Stop writing about a topic that you don’t know!

Later in the post it also referenced another common topic in the winery world which I talk a lot about, which is  Alternating Proprietors (APs folks!) The blog described APs as when “multiple wineries operate under a single bond”  WRONG!

All businesses that are the Alternating Proprietor type at a US winery are their own bonded winery, i.e. their own “bond”. If there are 5, 10 or 20 APs at one winery site, they are each operating independently in the TTB’s eyes under their own bond.

APs are another topic I’ve written about. Here’s that post from September 2022:

Word to the wise, definitely do not get any winery compliance guidance from a site that has nothing to do with compliance! Wow, what a crazy concept!

OK, I feel better to have released that rant. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with me.

If you’ve got your own questions about your winery’s TTB compliance – feel free to reach out. See our contact page.


It would have made so much more sense and potentially given them more credibility if instead, they had shared a link to one of my site’s blogs if in fact they truly wanted to help their readers.

Their post was also conveniently authored by that anonymous title of “editorial staff”. Surprise! Nobody wants to take credit for this mess of a post!

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