Casella Wines Files Amended Complaint Accusing The Wine Group of Intentionally Infringing its Yellow Tail Design Trademark

In October of 2010, Casella Wines, the producers of YELLOW TAIL wine, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York against The Wine Group claiming trademark infringement of Casella’s federally-registered wallaby design mark featured on Casella’s YELLOW TAIL wine (see below): based on The Wine Group’s use of a kangaroo design for its […]

WTO Reports Continued Progress on Multilateral Register for Geographical Indications for Wines and Spirits

In the WTO’s continuing efforts to move forward the 13-year old agenda on a multilateral register for geographical indications for wines and spirits, the WTO reported last week that a small working group representing the divergent positions of the various member countries had completed two additional sections of “emerging text” for the register proposal.  “Emerging […]

The Wine Group Sues Marc Anthony Group, Seeks Declaratory Judgment Upholding Termination of Marc Anthony in Canada

In August of 2010, the California-based The Wine Group LLC broke off its nearly 23 year relationship with Vancouver-based Marc Anthony Group, Inc.  The two corporations, however, are not parting ways quietly. Marc Anthony Group made a great deal of money selling The Wine Group wines, including Big House, Cardinal Zin, Inglenook, and Corbett Canyon.  In […]

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Topics: LitigationWine Law

Guest Blog: Clarification on Repudiation of Contracts in the UK

Our U.K. colleague, Andrew Park of APP Wine Law in Cheshire, England, recently posted a blog on his web site on a newly published case from the England and Wales Court of Appeal concerning the test for repudiation of contracts in the U.K.  The case indicates in determining repudiation the test is: “looking at all […]

Wine Institute Responds to HHS Dietary Guidelines Regarding Alcohol Beverages

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) recently released the 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  With respect to consumption of alcoholic beverages, the guidelines provide that “One drink is defined as 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol), 5 fluid ounces of wine (12% alcohol), or 1.5 fluid […]

GARNET Trademark Sold by Saintsbury; To Become Stand-Alone Pinot Noir Brand

Saintsbury, owner of the GARNET trademark for wine (U.S. Reg. No. 1,669,670), has sold the brand to the principals of Silverado Winegrowers, a long-time grower for Saintsbury and the GARNET brand with vineyard holdings throughout California.  Saintsbury has used the GARNET mark along with its SAINTSBURY house mark in the manner shown in the label below: […]

Fight Continues Over Lot-Line Adjustments in Napa County

The Sierra Club and a Napa resident have filed separate appeals of two Napa County Superior Court rulings that upheld Napa County’s policy on allowing “successive” lot-line adjustments involving four or fewer parcels. The County’s policy on lot-line adjustments first came under assault in connection with long-time grape grower and vintner, Will Nord, whose company, […]

Bill Opening Up Direct Shipping of Wine Introduced in Maryland

In January, Maryland’s General Assembly introduced legislation to legalize the direct shipment of wine to consumers from out-of-state wineries and retailers.  Maryland is just one of just 13 states that prohibit winery-to-consumer direct shipping and one of 36 states that prohibit direct shipments by out-of-state retailers (including internet retailers).  Although the bill seems to have […]

Winery Deals 2011: MacRostie Wines Sold to Lion Nathan USA

In one of Northern California’s first winery acquisitions of 2011, Lion Nathan USA, a subsidiary of Australian company Lion Nathan National Foods Pty Limited, this week acquired Sonoma-based MacRostie Wines in a transaction structured as a sale of inventory, equipment and intellectual property.  Steve MacRostie, founder of MacRostie Wines, will serve as a consultant to Lion […]

Preliminary 2010 California Grape Crush Report Released – Used as Pricing Measure in Grape Purchase Contracts

The preliminary 2010 California Grape Crush Report was released today, February 10, 2011.  The report shows that 3.58 million tons of wine grapes were crushed in 2010, down 3% from the 4.095 million tons crushed in 2009.  Red wine varietals were down only 1% from 2009 while crushed white wine grapes were down 6% from […]

New Jersey Wineries Seek to Intervene in Federal Case Addressing New Jersey’s Direct Shipping Laws

On December 17, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in the case  of Freeman vs. Corzine,  held that New Jersey state provisions which allow an in-state winery, but not an out-of-state winery, to sell directly to consumers from their winery premises or at six salesrooms apart from their premises, and […]

TTB Eliminates Expedite Requests and Informal Reviews for COLA Applications

On February 2, TTB posted a bulletin on its COLA and formula approval process.  Due to increases in label and formula submissions and economic impacts on the agency, TTB will no longer accept “Expedite Requests” or “Informal Reviews” effective immediately.  TTB is cautioning applicants to allow for a 90-day application review process.  The agency is […]

Sonoma County Proposes Revisions to the Rules for Williamson Act Contracts

The Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department has drafted new rules to be applied to properties in Williamson Act agricultural preserve contracts.  The proposed 49 pages of rules will replace the existing seven pages of rules that were originally adopted in 1970.  Much of the new document clarifies existing state law and county policies, […]