Here are a few things you'll want to consider prior to signing your winery contract.

By Alyssa Brown
March 09, 2020

Gorgeous vineyard views, lovely outdoor settings, and delicious wine are just a few of the appeals of hosting a winery wedding. Of course, the very nature of the wine industry suggests that no two wineries are alike. While some have the most interesting, palatable wines you could imagine, others may be more experimental or less reliable in their selections. So, when you decide to get married at a winery, does it mean you're locked into serving their wines? In short, it depends on the venue. These are a few things you'll want to consider prior to signing your winery contract.

Expect a minimum wine purchase.

Anytime you're hosting an event at a winery, you can expect to have a minimum quantity of bottles you guarantee you'll purchase. Depending on the terms of the contract, you may be required to serve this wine throughout your wedding, or you may be able to purchase the bottles and use them for something else. For instance, if the winery is small and can't provide enough wine for an entire event, you might use the bottles of wine you've guaranteed as gifts in your welcome bags.

Find out if you can serve additional wines.

Many wineries will clearly state in their contract that their wine is the only wine to be served on the property. However, there are some venues that will make exceptions for small quantities, like a special magnum or reserve bottle that's precious to the couple. In other cases, some wineries may be willing to allow you to bring in a varietal if they don't sell something similar. In this instance, you may only be allowed a specific quantity as the exception, and you may also be charged a corkage fee.

Ask if your bar options will be limited.

Planning to have a full bar at your winery wedding? You'll want to check with your site manager prior to signing your contract. Depending on your venue, the winery may or may not allow liquor on the grounds. This restriction is often due to the winery's permits, and is therefore non-negotiable. While your bartenders may be able to develop some sparkling wine cocktails that are special for the occasion, you'll want to know well in advance if you won't be able to serve that after-dinner bourbon you love so much.


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