Direct Shipping 101: What is an On-site Shipment?

Not all direct-to-consumer wine shipments are created equal. Across the country, state regulatory agencies treat on-site and off-site orders differently. So what is the difference between an onsite order and off-site order?

Any order placed without the consumer being physically present is considered an off-site order.

On-site orders meet the following criteria:

  • The order was made while the consumer was physically present at the winery
  • The consumer chose to have their wine shipped home to themselves instead of carrying it out with them from the tasting room
  • The order is not a gift

The following states allow on-site orders without a license but require a license to make off-site shipments:

When making on-site shipments to any state, we recommend that wineries capture proof that the customer was physically present in the winery when the order was placed in the event of an audit. An example of an on-site sale record is a signed receipt.

There are a few states that differ from the traditional on-site order concept, for example:

Arizona: Allows wineries to make subsequent shipments for the remainder of the calendar year to a customer who has purchased wine in the tasting room.

Indiana: Only allows shipments to a customer who has physically visited the winery.

Arkansas: Issues permits for direct shipping but only allows wineries to ship on-site shipments — off-site shipments are not permitted under any circumstance.

federal on-site states

This is a map of federal on-site states.

Another common misconception is to assume that club shipments are on-site orders because the consumer signed up for the club in the tasting room. Club shipments should not be considered on-site shipments unless the club member comes into the tasting room and pays for each order on-site before each shipment.

For more state details visit wineinstitute.shipcompliant.com

7 Comments

  1. Andrew Kamphuis

    An order that is placed via the web, but is picked up at the winery – is that onsite?

    What if that is refined and the order is placed via the web, the credit card has been pre-authorized, the order is picked up at the winery and the funds are captured at the winery – is that onsite?

    Reply
    • Sam Straka - Direct Product Manager

      Andrew,
      Good question-
      If the customer leaves the winery with the wine, the order is considered a pickup order whether or not the card was preauthorized. Onsite refers to an order that is placed at the winery, and then shipped home to the customer who placed the order.

      Reply
  2. tom merle

    What about a situation where the winery is pouring at a fundraiser/wine tasting off site and generates an order via his or her phone which is received by winery staff at the event. Can the winery ‘fulfill’ the order by passing the wine to the attendee at the event?

    Good Ol’ Tom

    Reply
    • Sam Straka - Direct Product Manager

      Tom,
      If you’re not actually shipping the wine, and the customer takes it with them when they leave your event, that transaction would be subject to your state’s off-premises event laws. Thanks for the question!

      Reply
  3. Tina Varela

    We are able to ship direct to 41 states

    Reply
  4. Maggie Bush

    Is this list still current?
    Arizona
    Kansas
    Oklahoma
    Delaware
    Rhode Island

    Reply
    • Alex Koral - Industry Relations Advisor

      Hi Maggie,

      In the years since this post was published there have been some changes: Arizona now requires all DtC sales, including onsite orders, to come only from properly licensed wineries — the 17W type license is what you will need. South Dakota as mentioned in the post now also requires a DtC license. Oklahoma voted in 2016 to create a DtC licensing system, which will become effective in October 2018; as we approach that date, we will have more information on this blog about Oklahoma’s rules (though we know that you will need a license for even onsite sales). Indiana now permits DtC sales where the customer did not first physically visit the winery; however, the winery does need a license for all onsite and off-site sales, and may not have a relationship with an Indiana wholesaler in the 120 days prior to applying for the license. Hope this helps!

      Reply

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