Category: Wine Law

Subscribe to Wine Law RSS Feed

Rebuilding: Dealing with or Without Earthquake Insurance

The following post was written by my colleagues Tom Woods, Parissa Ebrahimzadeh & Bao Vu As part of the Northern California business community and as an advisor to business, we support the Napa and the surrounding Bay Area in getting homes and businesses back on their feet following the August 24, 2014 Napa Valley earthquake. … Continue Reading

Conditions For Using Multi-state AVAs On Wine Labels

By Chris Hermann and Bernie Kipp: The recent notice of the proposed new AVA “The Rocks” in northeast Oregon has kicked off a round of questions about what Northwest wineries may use as an appellation of origin on their labels when grapes are grown in multi-state AVAs such as the Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley, … Continue Reading

Another Great Year at Unified Wine & Grape Symposium

Stoel Rives LLP lawyers from the firm’s Beverage & Hospitality Group attended the 2014 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium last week in Sacramento, where they connected with new contacts, old friends, and current clients. On Tuesday, Colin Hunter, Chris Hermann and Elaine Albrich visited winegrape growers, industry contacts and production facilities in Clarksburg, Lodi and … Continue Reading

Grab your growlers!

Governor Kitzhaber signed the “Growler Bill” into law Thursday. The new law amends ORS chapter 471 and allows wineries, local groceries, and other retail licensees to sell wine to consumers in growlers. Wineries are increasing the use of kegs and the bill is touted by proponents as responding to changing trends and promoting sustainable packaging. … Continue Reading

New Elkton Oregon Viticultural Area Established by TTB

On February 5, 2013, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”) published a final rule establishing the 74,900-acre "Elkton Oregon" American viticultural area in Douglas County, Oregon. TTB issued this regulation in response to a petition filed by local vintners and grape growers and will allow the use of the name "Elkton, OR" … Continue Reading

As Wine Industry Evolves, Local Regulation Remains King

Litigation concerning the direct shipment of wine has garnered a significant amount of attention in the years since the United States Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Granholm v. Heald. Generally speaking, these disputes have played out in the federal courts, far removed from the typical family winery. Although direct shipment will remain an important issue … Continue Reading

Bonjour from Hospices de Beaune charity wine auction

Stoel Rives partner, and chair of the Firm’s Winery Initiative, Chris Hermann attended the Hospices de Beaune charity wine auction last weekend in France. The town of Beaune is regarded as the wine capital of Burgundy and is home to some of the world’s most famous producers. The Hospices de Beaune has for 152 years … Continue Reading

FDA Winery Inspections

Although wineries have always been required to meet food safety standards and follow proper sanitation practices, many have not received an official food safety inspection in years. Recently, however, wineries throughout the U.S. have seen an uptick in the number of facility inspections being performed by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials. According to a report from … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Summer Associates Mingle with Winery Clients

Stoel Rives summer associates and attorneys from the firm’s alcohol beverage group adventured into the Willamette Valley on a Saturday to visit Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Argyle, and Grand Cru Estate. At Domaine Drouhin, the group was treated to a side-by-side tasting of Oregon and French wines on the property’s newly expanded deck space, which was … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Wine, Beer and Distilled Spirits Group Recognized by Chambers USA

Stoel Rives LLP is pleased to announce that the firm’s Wine, Beer and Distilled Spirits group has been recognized by Chambers USA as a nationwide leader in the category of "Food & Beverages: Alcohol." Stoel Rives is one of only 10 firms nationwide to be ranked in this category. Stoel Rives partner and founding chair … Continue Reading

Tasting Rooms Not Restaurants Says California Appeals Court

In a recent 3-0 decision, a California Appeals Court sided with Freemark Abbey Winery in its attempt to move its wine store and tasting room into a building in St. Helena which already contained a restaurant. The decision reversed the district courts granting of a preliminary injunction which would have stopped Freemark’s move entirely until … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Holds California Wine Seminar

On March 8 and 9, Stoel Rives cosponsored, with Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, the 6th Annual Best Practices for Owning and Operating a Winery, held in Napa, CA. The well attended event covered such topics as valuation, water, energy, and branding. Stoel attorney’s Chris Hermann, John McKinsey, and Jake Storms were all panel speakers with John McKinsey … Continue Reading

Washington Wine, Beer & Distilleries Law Seminar – March 15, 2012

Please join us for our inaugural Washington Winery, Brewery & Distillery law seminar at the Columbia Winery in Woodinville, Washington on Thursday, March 15. Panels to include these hot topics, plus much more: Privatization/I-1183 Trademarks Employment Laws Tasting Room Operations Taxes For more information and registration visit: http://www.stoel.com/showevent.aspx?Show=9199… Continue Reading

Idaho Wine, Beer & Distilleries Law Seminar – Thursday, March 1, 2012

Please join us for our inaugural Idaho Wine, Beer & Distillers law seminar at the Boise Centre in Boise, ID on Thursday, March 1, 2012. Panels to include these hot topics, plus much more: Start-ups (licensing, permitting and business formation) Trademarks (protecting your investment) Distribution and other key contracts Land use issues Employee matters For … Continue Reading

5th Annual Oregon Wine Law Seminar – February 16, 2012

Please join us for our 5th Annual Oregon Wine Law Seminar at the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg, Oregon on Thursday, February 16. Topics and panels include start-ups, trademark registration, employment, privatization of OLCC liquor sales, land use and a panel discussion on alternating premises (wine/beer/spirits). This seminar is complimentary to all industry members. … Continue Reading

A Check-In with the Idaho Wine Industry

An update from our colleagues Allison Blackman and Nicole Hancock: The State of Idaho is most infamously know for the potato but the recently reenergized Idaho Wine Commission, vintners, and wineries across the state hope to soon add Idaho Wines to the Gem State’s reputation. Idaho wines regularly net honors in regional and national competitions, and the … Continue Reading

TTB Publishes Notice of Rulemaking for Inwood Valley AVA

On December 5, 2011, the TTB published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice No. 125) regarding the establishment of the Inwood Valley Viticultural Area in Shasta, California. If established, the new AVA would consist of a 28,000 acre area, the vast majority of which is currently not dedicated to, or known for, vineyards. The TTB … Continue Reading

State Law Restrictions on Direct Sales to Consumers Are Ripe for Challenge

In the 2005 case Granholm v. Held, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Michigan and New York laws that effectively prevented out-of-state wineries from shipping directly to in-state consumers but that allowed in-state wineries to conclude in-state direct sales. The Court held that these laws violated the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Since then, lower federal … Continue Reading

IRS Publishes New Audit Technique Guide for Wineries and Vineyards

The IRS recently issued a new Audit Technique Guide (“ATG”, available here) applicable to winery and vineyard operations. As with previous IRS guidance, the new ATG is meant to be used by IRS examiners; however the IRS anticipates the industry will rely upon the publication as a guide. It should be noted, the ATG should not … Continue Reading

Court Upholds San Diego County’s Winery Ordinance

On April 15th, a California Superior Court Judge denied a challenge to San Diego County’s new Winery Ordinance. The Ordinance, passed in 2010 and available here, eases restrictions on tasting rooms and sales for smaller producers and allows others to essentially “fast-track” registration as a “small winery” with such designation allowing for pre-approved events, such … Continue Reading
LexBlog