Articles by: John Trinidad

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 […]

TTB Proposes to Shut Down COLA Exemption Appellation Labeling Loophole

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has proposed amendments to federal wine labeling laws that protect the integrity of the appellation of origin labeling system in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking No. 160 (NPRM 160).  If adopted, the proposed amendments would close off a loophole that allows certain […]

TTB Provides Guidance on Category Management Practices

On February 11th, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”) issued a new ruling regarding the extent to which “category management” practices are permissible under federal tied-house laws. The “tied-house” laws promulgated under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (the “FAA Act”) generally prohibit industry members from giving “things of value” such as supplies, […]

COLA’s Provide Scant Protection from Class Action Lawsuits

ShipCompliant recently published a guest blog post by DP&F Wine Law attorney John Trinidad on the class action lawsuits claiming that the use of the term “handmade” on vodka bottles constituted false or misleading information under state consumer protection laws.   Over the past year, a slew of class action lawsuits have been filed claiming that […]

New York Aims to Modernize State Alcohol Beverage Laws

New York alcohol beverage producers, wholesalers and retailers take note:  there may be some changes coming your way.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the creation of an industry working group to recommend revisions to the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws.  The group, to be headed up by NY State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley, is […]

CEB Wine Law Forum (Nov. 5-6 in Paso Robles)

Thursday and Friday, November 5th & 6th Paso Robles, California Three DP&F attorneys will be speaking at the annual CEB Wine Law Forum,™  taking place on November 5th and 6th in Paso Robles, California.  The Forum, sponsored by the International Wine Law Association and moderated by DPF’s Richard Mendelson,  will address Water Regulation, the AVA System, and Employment Law.  Mr. […]

11.05.2015 CEB Wine Law Forum

Thursday and Friday, November 5th & 6th Paso Robles, California Three DP&F attorneys will be speaking at the annual CEB Wine Law Forum,™  taking place on November 5th and 6th in Paso Robles, California.  The Forum, sponsored by the International Wine Law Association and moderated by DPF’s Richard Mendelson,  will address Water Regulation, the AVA System, and Employment Law.  Mr. […]

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New Law Amends California Tied-House Law

Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 780, a law which helps clarify the rules that permit an alcohol beverage producer, importer, or wholesaler (collectively, a “supplier”) to list or mention on- and off- premise retailers in supplier-sponsored advertising, including supplier websites and social media channels.  As described in more detail below, the new law is fairly […]

NYSLA Proposes Advisory for Trademark Licensing Agreements

The New York State Liquor Authority is considering adopting an advisory regarding trademark licensing agreements between retailers and alcohol beverage producers.  If adopted, the advisory would prohibit certain trademark licensing agreements between retailers and suppliers (i.e., producers and wholesaler) that involve a licensing fee based upon a percentage of sales or that otherwise “correlate[s] with sales.”  According […]

Proposed Expansion of Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA

Willamette Valley, one of the most well regarded American Viticultural Areas, may be getting a wee bit bigger. Last week, the Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a notice of proposed rulemaking detailing the proposed addition of approximately 29 square miles (which constitutes less than 1% of the existing […]

Small Producer Tax Credit Pitfalls: The K Vintners Case

When is a small producer not a small producer?  That was the question answered by a federal district court in a case that centered on a winery’s ability to claim a small producer tax credit for wine produced at another winery (K Vintners v. U.S., Case No. 12-cv-05128-TOR (E.D. Wa. Jan 21, 2015)). Background on the Small Producer Tax Credit. […]

New Bill to Aid Private Equity Firms Applying for ABC License

The California Senate Committee on Governmental Organization is considering a bill to streamline the process for qualification of private equity firms seeking to hold an interest in a state alcohol beverage license.  SB 796 would add Section 23405.4 to the California Business and Professions Code, which would allow a private equity fund to hold a license and […]

Best Practices in Winery Operations Conference (Napa, 3/19 – 3/20)

  James W. Terry Director at Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty and chair of the firm’s business practice group, will serve as as program co-chair at the annual “Best Practices in Winery Operations” conference hosted by The Seminar Group, to be held on March 19 and 20, 2015 at The River Terrace Inn in Napa, California.  The conference touches on many […]

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