Western Cape Liquor Act: letting cellar space

Friday, 14 December, 2012
Danie Cronje
According to Danie Cronjé, the Director of Liquor Law Services at Cluver Markotter Incorporated many wineries are not aware of the requirements introduced by the Western Cape Liquor Act regarding the letting of cellar space.
In terms of the Act a winery which lets cellar space to other wineries or small scale winemakers must notify the Chairperson of the Liquor Board and the Designated Liquor Officer from the SAPS in the area that it intends to allow other persons to micro-manufacture wine in its cellar.

The failure to do so is an offence for which a fine for up to R500 000 or imprisonment of up to two and a half years may be imposed.

According to Cronje the Act also prohibits a licence holder from letting his liquor licence to another person or allow another person to carry on business in terms of the licence.

This means that a micro-manufacturer cannot make its wine under the licence of another but requires its own licence in order to micro-manufacture wine.  This also applies to a garagiste even if he or she doesn’t intend selling the wine.

The Western Cape Liquor Act does make provision for the Minister to determine that certain persons are exempt from the Act and it is therefore possible for garagistes to obtain such an exemption.

To date however, no such exemption has been granted by the Minister.