Stoel Rives’ 7th Annual Oregon Wine Law Seminar attracted nearly 100 wine industry professionals and covered several hot topics ranging from employment law, allergen and organic labeling regulations, growler enforcement and other legislative updates, and distribution agreements. We also caught up with Mark Freund, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank, Kevin O’Brien, Director – Business Advisory, Irvine & Company, LLC, Artie Weiner, Director of Finance, King Estate Winery, and Mario Zepponi, Wine Industry M&A Advisor, Zepponi & Company to bring our attendees a unique perspective on how best to maximize their professional services teams.

So, the Top 5 takeaways from this year’s seminar are:

  1. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure — winery and vineyard owners need to make sure their FLCs are up-to-date and fully compliant.
  2. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the terms of your distribution agreements. You should know who you’re dealing with, the length of the agreement, whether it can be renewed, etc. Pay attention to the details.
  3. Don’t be fooled! Growlers are considered bottling under TTB Ruling 2014-3.
  4. Producers, bottlers, and importers may declare the presence of food allergens on their labels, but they are NOT required to do so by TTB.
  5. When selecting professional services providers — do your homework! Industry experience is critical to the outcome you are trying to achieve.

Also, attendees wanting to stay up-to-date on initiatives impacting the Oregon wine industry, please contact Tom Danowski, Executive Director of the Oregon Wine Board or visit: http://www.oregonwine.org. And, don’t forget to sign up for Stoel’s new e-based Law of Wine book coming out later this summer.