A Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a Wine Liquor License in South Africa

License Types & Application Process

Acquiring a wine liquor license is a crucial step for individuals and businesses looking to engage in wine-related activities in South Africa. Whether you’re planning to establish a winery, wine bar, or retail store, understanding the licensing process and the available license types is essential. Below is a comprehensive guide to obtaining a wine liquor license in South Africa, outlining the different license types and the application process.

1. Types of Wine Liquor Licenses:

South Africa offers several wine liquor license categories based on the specific activities and premises involved. These licenses include:

  • Manufacturer’s License: This license is suitable for wine producers and allows the manufacture and sale of wine on the licensed premises.
  • Retailer’s License: Retailer’s licenses enable the sale of wine directly to the public for off-site consumption. They include specialized licenses for wine boutiques, wine cellars, and other retail establishments.
  • On-consumption License: This license permits the sale and consumption of wine on the licensed premises, such as restaurants, bars, and wine lounges.
  • Off-consumption License: Off-consumption licenses allow the sale of wine for consumption off-site, typically through retail stores, supermarkets, and wine shops.

2. The Application Process

To obtain a wine liquor license in South Africa, follow these general steps:

  • Research and Preparation: Familiarize yourself with the liquor licensing laws and regulations applicable to your intended activities. Prepare a detailed business plan, including premises information, financial projections, and compliance measures.
  • Local Municipality Approval: Obtain approval from the local municipality where the premises are located. Compliance with zoning, health, and safety regulations may be required.
  • Liquor Board Application: Submit a completed application form to the provincial liquor board responsible for your area. Include supporting documents such as identity documents, lease agreements, certificates of compliance, and a police clearance certificate.
  • Advertising and Public Objection: Advertise the license application in local newspapers as per the requirements of the liquor board. This allows for a period where the public can lodge objections if they have valid reasons for doing so.
  • Inspections and Compliance: Expect inspections by liquor board officials to ensure compliance with regulations. They may assess premises suitability, security measures, and adherence to health and safety standards.

License Approval and Issuance: If the liquor board is satisfied with the application and there are no valid objections, they will grant the wine liquor license. You will then be required to pay the applicable fees and comply with any additional conditions specified.

3. Additional Considerations

  • License Renewal: Wine liquor licenses require annual renewal. Ensure you keep up with the renewal process to maintain legal compliance.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Adhere to all relevant regulations and requirements related to age restrictions, responsible service of alcohol, health and safety, and compliance with the Liquor Act and associated legislation.
  • Consultation and Professional Advice: Consider seeking legal advice or consulting with liquor licensing specialists who can guide you through the application process and ensure compliance with regulations.


Obtaining a wine liquor license in South Africa is a significant step for individuals and businesses in the wine industry. By understanding the different license types, following the application process, and ensuring compliance with regulations, you can navigate the licensing journey successfully. Remember to stay informed about any updates or changes to liquor laws and regulations, and seek professional assistance when necessary. With a valid wine liquor license in hand, you can confidently pursue your wine-related activities and contribute to the vibrant South African wine industry.

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