Sulfur Dioxide Use in Wineries

ATTENTION: QAC/QAL Category P Changes

Do you have a Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) or Qualified Applicator License (QAL) with Category P for using sulfur dioxide (SO2) in your winery?  To be in line with revised federal regulations, the California Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) is implementing changes to certification and licensing requirements.  

Category P, microbial pest control, which is required for wineries to purchase and use SO2 for barrel sanitation, is being eliminated. QAC /QAL holders will need to pass a new category exam by January 1, 2024 to remain in compliance.  For complete details on this change, review the following document.

Using SO2 to sanitize empty wine barrels and corks is considered a restricted use of SO2. This means wineries must meet certain regulatory requirements to purchase and use SO2 for sanitation: 

  • Wineries are required to obtain operator ID from the agricultural commissioner and present it to the product distributor at the time of the purchase. The operator ID must be renewed on a bi-annual basis. To make an appointment to obtain or renew an operator ID, call our office at 707-253-4357, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Wineries must have a  qualified applicator certificate (QAC) holder to purchase and use SO2. To become certified, a winery representative will need to pass a DPR examination. The examinee must pass the Laws, Regulations and Basic Principles examination along with the category P (Microbial Pest Control) exam. Proof of this certification will need to be presented to the distributor and the agricultural commissioner.   
  • Wineries will need to keep records of how much SO2 they use on a monthly basis and submit to the agricultural commissioner a monthly summary pesticide use report

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