A wine producer who intends to produce wine for sale must complete an L5 (application for a licence to carry on an excise trade) and send it along with entry of the premises (WINE02120 ‘Entry of premises’ refers) to the National Registration Unit (NRU) in Glasgow. Details of what should be included in the application and the address to send it to can be found at paragraph 3.4 and section 28 of Notice 163 (GOV.UK)
The full names of the legal entities must be entered on the application (WINE02210 ‘Legal entities’ refers). Where there is more than one set of premises, an application is required for each one.
The relevant legislation is section 5 of the Wine and Made-wine Regulations 1989.
A wine producer must also be licensed if rendering wine sparkling unless the process is to be carried out in an excise warehouse (section 54(4) of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 refers). A wine producer may produce wine and render wine sparkling on the same licensed premises.
An excise licence cannot be backdated or issued retrospectively.
Note. The production of wine for sale by a wine producer who is not licensed or on premises which are not licensed is an offence for which there is a penalty. Further information can be found in WINE10200 ‘Licensing’ and paragraph 3.12 of Notice 163.
An application to licence premises for remote storage of wine is to be rejected. A wine producer who tries to set up a minimal production facility in order to avoid this restriction should be reminded that only wine made on entered premises may be stored there.
Bottlers and canners who do not actually ‘produce’ wine but who carry out a physical process on the wine itself, for example, filtering, blending or conditioning, in addition to bottling or canning may be registered as producers if they so wish. If, however, they simply package the wine without carrying out any additional process they cannot be registered as a wine producer.