Category: Wine Law

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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

Oregon HB 4121: Another Round of Legislation Related to Wineries on Agricultural Lands

Oregon House Bill (“HB”) 4121 expands the basis for allowing wineries to be sited on land zoned Exclusive Farm Use (“EFU”). The bill, in addition to vineyards, would allow wineries to qualify as permitted uses under ORS 215.452 if 15 or 40 acres of land was used to cultivate or produce agricultural products other than … Continue Reading

Big Developments in the Washington Wine Industry

The Washington State Wine Commission hired Steve Warner as the new Executive Director. For more information on Mr. Warner’s background, and the unanimous support by the Washington wine industry, read the WSWC press release here, and the WAWGG press release here.  In other news, the Washington wine industry, including both wineries and grape growers, has made … 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

Cowlitz County Superior Court Denies Motion For Preliminary Injunction Against I-1183

Defenders of I-1183 received a holiday gift last week from the Cowlitz County Superior Court. On Thursday, December 22, 2011, the Court issued two important rulings in the declaratory judgment action challenging the constitutionality of I-1183. First, the Court granted the motion to intervene brought a group of supports of I-1183 led by Costco and … 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

TTB Rules to Expand Sonoma AVAs

On Wednesday November 16, the TTB published a ruling (T.D. TTB-97, available here) amending the federal definition of the Russian River Valley viticultural area and the Northern Sonoma viticultural area, by expanding each. The action first began in August of 2008 when Gallo Family Vineyards submitted a petition for the amendment. After receiving numerous comments both … 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

California State Water Board Moves on Frost Protection Program

The State Water Resources Control Board (“Board”) held a workshop last week on a proposed regulation designed to assess and mitigate water use from the Russian River by growers in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties during frost season. Though no formal action took place, the Board received numerous comments on the proposed regulation. The regulation would … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Attorneys Speak at Wine Conference

This past week, Stoel Rives partners Chris Hermann and John McKinsey and associate Jake Storms all participated as panel speakers at the Best Practices for Owning and Operating a Winery conference, held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa, CA. John also acted as co-host of the conference, which covered a wide variety of … Continue Reading

Napa County Farm Bureau Holds Water Forum

On March 9th, the Napa County Farm Bureau held its first water forum in five or six years in St. Helena, California. Kicked off by Bureau President Jim Lincoln, the event was well attended, with over 100 concerned stakeholders listening to the most recent updates in California water issues. Phillip Miller, the Deputy Director of … Continue Reading
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