The applications for authorization for a winery to ship “table wine” directly to consumers in Montana are now available on the Montana Department of Revenue and Wine Institute websites. Effective, October 1, 2013 wineries holding a Direct Shipment Endorsement can ship up to 18 nine-liter cases of “table wine” to a Montana consumer during the license year (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30). “Table wine” means wine that contains not more than 16% of alcohol by volume.
The annual fee for a Direct Shipment Endorsement is $50. In order to hold a Direct Shipment Endorsement, an out-of-state winery must be registered as a foreign winery. Wineries selling to a Montana wholesaler or holding an out-of-state winery self-distribution license are already registered as a foreign winery and just need to complete the Direct Shipment Endorsement application. Wineries not currently registered should complete the Montana Foreign Winery and Importer Registration form which now includes a section to request a Direct Shipment Endorsement as well.
There is a tiered foreign winery registration fee depending on the number of cases a winery intends to ship into Montana. There is no charge for 0 to 60 cases; thereafter, the fee is tiered with the highest being $400 for over 2,000 cases. The Registration requires wineries to submit copies of federal label approvals for any brands that will be shipped into Montana. Wineries shipping directly to consumers must pay excise tax and file monthly reports. The Direct Shipment Endorsement replaces the wine connoisseur license.