How much wine can I take home with me?

Bike & Wine Tour Santiago, Chile

Anyone taking a bike and wine tour with La Bicicleta Verde in the coming weeks and want to know how much wine you can get back into the USA, this blog post is for you.

Bike & Wine Tour Santiago, Chile

Our Bike and Wine tours have been a hit for several years now. They are not simply popular because New York Times helped us out a few years ago…. but… great Chilean wine is part of the reason and for this reason those visiting Chile are always looking for the easiest and cheapest way to get wine back to their home country. After a little research, we have found out how to get back a few boxes of great Chilean tinto and we want to share it with you.

Wine Importation Details for the United States:

Below you’ll find the customs and local alcohol board information for the main entry points to the USA: California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, New York and New Jersey.

At all points of entry have the following Federal rules under the Department of Homeland Security (CBP): “If CBP and/or TTB (Alcohol Tobacco and Trade Bureau) decide that imported alcohol is for personal use, an importer’s basic permit is not required; however, all federal, state and local taxes must be paid.  Finally, the determination whether or not a shipment is for personal or commercial use cannot be decided solely on the size of the shipment but must be determined on a case-by-case basis considering the circumstances surrounding the importation. However, the size of the shipment may give rise to a question resulting in the need for an investigation by CBP or TTB.”  The CBP may hold the alcohol until the owner returns with a receipt showing excise taxes have been paid (this is entirely up to the discretion of the officer and the CPB said they have “bigger fish to fry” than waste their time and your time waiting on your receipts.)

What they say online — The following are local rules regarding importing wine for personal use (taxes applied at the discretion of Homeland Security):

Texas: Texas resident–3 gallons of wine  Non-resident–1 gallon of wine

Georgia: up to 36 bottles (local excise tax applicable over 2 bottles)

Florida: no limit (local excise tax applicable of $2.25 per gallon)

California: up to 60 liters  (local excise tax of $0.20 per gallon)

  • Canada: Up to 1.5 liters (2 bottles ) per person; if you have more you have to pay taxes and rights.
  • European Union: Up to 4 Litres (. 5 bottles) by person, if more, taxes and a paper to say you don’t have intention to sell it.
  • United Kingdom: Up to 4 Liters (5 bottles) per person, taxes for extras
  • New-Zealand,  6 bottles of wine, if more -> Taxes for the extras bottles
  • Australia, 2.25 Liters (3 bottles) per person. If more, taxes and rights on every bottle !

Don’t hold us responsible if they take away your wine, but since 2008 when we started La Bicicleta Verde we have yet to hear anyone getting their wine taken away from them. The record so far??? One of our staff took back 24 bottles of great Chilean fine wine.