Articles by: John Trinidad

Winery Websites and ADA Compliance

The recent news of lawsuits filed against New York wineries has caused industry members to ask if they face any litigation risk if their websites are not accessible to people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The answer is “maybe.”  There is considerable ambiguity in the law as to which companies are […]

A Bridge too Far for Granholm? Florida Importer Challenges California Three-Tier System

A Florida-based wine  importer is hoping to shake up the California three-tier system.  If successful, any importer or wholesaler in the U.S. may be permitted to sell directly to California retailers. Earlier this year, Orion Wine Imports, LLC filed a lawsuit against the director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control arguing that licensed […]

Monterey County Wines Subject to New Conjunctive Labeling Requirements

Are you planning on bottling and labeling any wines with the name of a Monterey County AVA in the new year?  Then you’ll need to comply with a new conjunctive labeling requirement.  See Cal. Business and Professions Code Sec. 25247. In 2015, the state legislature passed a law requiring wine labeled with the name of an […]

International Wine Law Conference Comes to Napa

DPF’s Richard Mendelson and Scott Gerien presented at the International Wine Law Association‘s annual conference held in Napa this past week.  During the two day conference, wine law experts from around the world addressed key issues that impact the wine industry, including climate change, regulatory enforcement, international trade barriers, and mergers and acquisitions (click here for […]

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Wine Retailer DTC Shipments

Wine retailers received a double dose of good news last week. As we reported earlier, on Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by the Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailer Association in a case challenging Tennessee’s state residency requirement for persons or entities that hold a state alcohol beverage retail license.  Tennessee Wine […]

New Law on Winery Social Media Ads for Certain Retailer-Hosted Events

Governor Brown recently signed into law AB2452, a bill that grants wineries broader privileges in the use of social media to promote certain events held at retailer premises, such as winemaker dinners.  The bill was introduced by Assembly member Cecilia Aguilar Curry, co-authored by State Senator Bill Dodd, and sponsored by the Napa Valley Vintners. […]

BON APPÉTIT MAGAZINE SHINES LIGHT ON PAY-TO-PLAY SCHEMES

Popular culinary publication Bon Appétit recently published a story that shines a bright light on certain alleged “pay to play” schemes in New York.  In “Bribes, Backdoor Deals, and Pay to Play:  How Bad Rosé Took Over,” writer and sommelier Victoria James describes certain actions allegedly taken by wine suppliers (wineries and wholesalers) in order […]

New TTB Guidance on Excise Tax Credit / Transfer of Wine To Bonded Wine Cellar

TTB issued new guidance earlier today regarding the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform components of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, specifically in regard to the application of the new excise tax credit to wines that are transferred from a winery to a bonded wine cellar.  We have excerpted some of the relevant language […]

New Wine Excise Tax Credit Raises Questions

While many in the industry have celebrated the passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform components of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, there are a lot of lingering questions about how TTB will interpret these new laws. Many wineries, for capacity reasons or otherwise, have wine made at a facility […]

TTB and County of Napa Info for Businesses Affected by Wildfires

Our hearts go out to our friends and neighbors who are dealing with damage and destruction caused by the California fires.  Although there are certainly more pressing concerns, we wanted to provide some information that may prove useful in the days and weeks ahead. TTB Information The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax […]

Tied House Enforcement: TTB Cracks Down on “Pay to Play” Schemes

The federal crackdown on “pay to play” arrangements in the alcohol beverage industry continues.  In a press release issued on Friday, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau announced that it was conducting a joint operation with the Illinois Liquor Control Commission to look into alleged “pay-to-play” in Chicago, the […]

California Tied House Law Upheld by Federal Appeals Court

An en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit (the federal appeals court with jurisdiction for the nine western states) has rejected a First Amendment challenge to California’s tied house laws.  In so doing, the court overturned an earlier decision by a three-judge panel that had applied a more rigorous standard […]

New Bill Targets California Alcohol Delivery Services

California lawmakers are considering legislation that would regulate companies offering alcohol delivery services, such as Instacart and Drizly. Senate Bill 254  stops short of requiring “delivery network services” from obtaining a license from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”), but does require that the ABC review and approve of their “system” before they engage […]

TTB Pumps the Brakes on CBD Infused Alcohol

Despite a slew of news reports on Cannabis-wine/beer/spirits over the past year,  recent actions by the Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) have brought into question whether CBD-infused alcoholic beverages can be legally produced in the United States, even in states that have legalized cannabis for adult use. Last fall, […]

What makes a wine from Texas a Texas wine?

Texans may soon find that the Texas wines on their local retailer shelves are, well, a bit more Texan. A Texas legislator has introduced a bill (HB 1514) which, if passed, would require that any wine indicating that it comes from the state or a geographical subdivision thereof must be made entirely from fruit grown […]

Cannabis Wine? Not so fast, says Oregon Liquor Control Commission

With the legalization of marijuana spreading across major wine producing states, including Washington, Oregon and (most recently) California, many believed that it was only a matter of time before licensed cannabis retailers would stock their shelves with marijuana-infused wines. But earlier this month, the Oregon agency in charge of regulating the sale of alcohol and […]

Supporting Non-Profits through Cause-Related Marketing

The start of 2017 has seen an outpouring of support from the business community for non-profit groups, including marketing campaigns that promise a certain percentage of sales or profits will be donated to particular charities.   Such practices are often referred to as “cause-related marketing.”   Here’s an example:  ABC Winery wants to support a national nonprofit […]

TTB ISSUES GUIDANCE ON ELIMINATION OF BOND REQUIREMENTS FOR SMALL PRODUCERS

As we discussed in our earlier blog post, as of January 1, 2017, TTB-licensed breweries, distilled spirits plants and wineries that owed less than $50,000 in excise taxes in 2016, and expect to owe less than $50,000 in 2017, will no longer be required to hold a bond.  TTB started off the new year by […]

Protecting Wine Origins is Pro-Consumer and Pro-Industry

TTB’s attempt to put an end to an inherently misleading labeling practice and protect the AVA wine origin labeling rules has garnered significant reaction from certain commentators and some in the industry.  In order to shed some light on the proposed amendments to federal labeling rules and why Napa Valley Vintners, the Wine Institute, over […]

CA ABC Issues Warning About Potential Scam

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has issued a warning that licensees are being targeted by a possible scam.  Apparently, licensees have been receiving calls from someone claiming that, as a result of an ABC violation, the licensee must pay a fine.  In short, the ABC does not operate in this manner, and if […]

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