USPTO Celebrating Women in Wine and IP

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting the numerous and remarkable accomplishments of women in all fields. To celebrate the many successes of women in the world of wine, the USPTO is offering a free event on March 24, 2021, that will showcase the stories of women working at the integral intersection of wine and intellectual property. Speakers will include Katja Loeffelholz of DP&F and Elizabeth Schneider, host of the podcast Wine for Normal People. Join to learn more about these women and their efforts, often behind the scenes, as they strive to keep the wine world swirling. Free registration at

Join DP&F’s Richard Mendelson for Free Webinar: Doing Business in the Time of COVID

DP&F’s Richard Mendelson will be the moderator for a star-studded panel of Napa business executives in a free Zoom webinar on Doing Business in the Time of COVID.  Giving the perspective of the wine industry will be Jean-Charles Boisset, owner of Raymond Cellars and JCB Collection, and Emma Swain, CEO of St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery.  They will be joined by Lindsey Gallagher, President and CEO of Visit Napa, who will address the tourism challenges of COVID on the Napa Valley.  The webinar is being presented as part of the North Bay Business Journal’s Impact Napa conference and will take place on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 from 10:00-11:30 a.m.  It is FREE for all to attend, just register at the following link:

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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 the full conference agenda).  The event took place at CIA-Copia and drew over 110 participants.

Mr. Mendelson chaired a panel discussion titled “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation,” and Mr. Gerien spoke on the use of geographical indications on products other than wine.


International Wine Law Summit Coming to Napa in October

The International Wine Law Association will be convening its annual Congress at Napa’s CIA at Copia on October 1-2.  The two day conference will feature experts discussing legal issues concerning climate change and the wine industry as well as regulatory enforcement, international trade barriers and joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions.  Speakers include professors from Stanford and Berkeley, representatives from TTB, ABC and INAO, as well as legal specialists from Champagne, Cognac, WIPO and FIVS.  Attendees will hail from over fourteen countries.  The event is open to enrollment by lawyers and non-lawyers alike, with 12 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit available for most state bars.  For more information click here.

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Peter Kiel Joins DP&F Land Use and Water Law Groups

Peter Kiel, an expert in California water law, has joined the Napa and Santa Rosa offices of Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty as a Partner.  Peter comes from a boutique water and energy firm in Sacramento where he worked on the full array of legal issues related to surface water and groundwater, including water rights, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, endangered species, water quality, and wetlands.  The move to DP&F and to the Wine Country will allow him to better serve his Northern California clients, which include some of the largest wine producers in the world, wine industry trade associations, water districts, electrical energy producers, and open space and land conservation organizations.  Peter will continue his state-wide water and environmental practice and his work at the State Capitol.

Peter may be reached at [email protected] or 707-261-7000.

Rooted in the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma, Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty provides full service legal representation to clients throughout California, the United States and abroad, and has extensive experience in wine law and the wine industry.  The Firm’s major practice areas include alcohol beverage law, business and corporate dealings, land use matters, labor and employment, civil litigation, intellectual property, geographical indications, real property transactions, water law as well as wine law.

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International Wine Law Conference in Napa in October

On October 1-3, the International Wine Law Association will be having its annual meeting in Napa at CIA at Copia.  The two-day conference will cover legal issues related to climate change, the international wine trade, geographical indications and other legal areas relevant to the wine industry.  Anyone is invited to attend, and attorneys will have the opportunity to earn 12 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit.  The conference is expected to have attendees from wine regions throughout the world providing an additional opportunity for networking at the conference lunches and wine dinners at CIA Greystone and Charles Krug Winery.  For more information click HERE.  Early bird registration ends June 15, 2018.

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Northern California Fires and DP&F Operations

With the fires in Sonoma and Napa Counties still burning, we want to extend our best wishes to all our neighbors going through this difficult time.  We hope this message finds you, your families, and your coworkers safe.

Our Napa office will partially reopen on Tuesday, October 10.  Our Santa Rosa office will remain closed for the time being.  We will update this post with news of its reopening.

Our attorneys still have access to email, though we ask for your patience as cell phone and internet service is still intermittent in many parts of Sonoma and Napa Counties.

DP&F Announces Official Launch of Cannabis Practice Group

Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty (“DP&F”)  announces the official launch of its Cannabis practice group.  This group offers a specialized, full-service approach to serving the business needs of clients navigating California’s increasingly complex cannabis industry.

DP&F has a 50-year history of representing businesses in regulated industries, including the alcohol beverage industry.  For the past few years, the firm has been advising clients regarding compliance with state and local cannabis regulations and on the potential for creating geographic indications for regions in which cannabis is cultivated.  DP&F’s broad experience in advising clients on legal strategies where land use, intellectual property, business, employment and regulatory issues intersect gives its attorneys a sophisticated, integrated framework to address the complex regulatory framework impacting new entrants to and existing operators in the cannabis industry.

Erin Carlstrom, Senior Counsel, will lead the DP&F Cannabis practice group based out of its Santa Rosa office.  Carlstrom worked in cannabis compliance and land use at her previous firm, specializing in government relations and permitting.  She has ushered statewide clients through major projects, from incorporation to operations, and has been responsible for obtaining entitlements all over California.  She served on the Santa Rosa City Council from 2012-2016 where she served as Vice Mayor, and twice chaired the Cannabis Subcommittee, positioning Santa Rosa as one of the state’s most progressive jurisdictions for cannabis regulations. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University and her undergraduate degree from Yale University. Carlstrom lives in Santa Rosa with her son, Adlai.

“Every day, DP&F attorneys serve clients who operate in highly regulated industries.  We are experts in the alcohol beverage industry and given the breadth and depth of our practice, we are set up to serve the cannabis industry seamlessly.  We are thrilled to have Erin, an attorney with significant and successful practical experience, spearheading our efforts to provide effective and thoughtful advice in this area,” says Carol Kingery Ritter, one of DP&F’s managing partners.

For more information about the DP&F Cannabis practice, please contact Erin Carlstrom via email.

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. Mendelson will speak on the history and future of the U.S. AVA system, and DPF Director Carol Ritter will lead a panel on protecting and promoting AVAs.  DPF co-managing partner Greg Walsh will lead a panel discussion on employment law issues faced by winery and vineyard owners.

The event is sponsored by the International Wine Law Association and Napa Valley Vintners.

Additional information and on-line registration can be found on the CEB website.


Water and Wine—Thursday Morning

Water and Wine—California
Water and Wine—Paso Robles

Appellation Designations—Thursday Afternoon

35 Years Later—An Examination of the AVA System
Promoting and Protecting AVAs

Employment Law Matters—Friday Morning

Challenges of a Seasonal Workforce
Top 5 Wage & Hour Issues Facing Winery and Vineyard Owners

9 hours MCLE Credit


Napa County Appoints Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee

Last week, the Napa County Board of Supervisors appointed members to the recently-formed Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee (“APAC”). APAC is an advisory body of the Napa County Planning Commission, and it was formed in order to evaluate and make policy recommendations on Napa County’s Winery Definition Ordinance and other regulations governing winery development within Napa County. DP&F is pleased to have Jeff Dodd, a land use and water law attorney at the firm, sit on the committee as an alternate member.

APAC will meet semi-monthly beginning on April 13 and is scheduled to deliver its policy recommendations to the Napa County Planning Commission on September 2. These policy recommendations will involve the following topics:

  • Minimum parcel size for new wineries
  • Minimum percentage of grapes used in the winery to be grown on-site (i.e. an estate grape requirement)
  • Requirement that new or expanded wineries result in no net loss of vineyards
  • Requirement that a majority of winery employees be directly engaged in vineyard or production operations
  • Permissibility of variances for road and stream setbacks for new wineries
  • Requirement that wineries include the number of temporary events in their use permit approval as part of its marketing plan
  • Development standards for wineries located in the Agricultural Preserve and Agricultural Watershed zoning districts

APAC meetings are open to the public and provide for public comment on matters before the Committee. To stay up-to-date on APAC’s schedule, activities, and agenda items, click here.

2015 Sonoma Beer, Cider & Spirits Conference (Friday, Feb. 27)

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board will be hosting its  2015 Sonoma County Beer, Cider & Spirits Conference this Friday February 27, 2015 at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa in Santa Rosa, CA.  The event will feature a panel discussion on regulatory issues facing alcohol beverage producers, and DP&F Senior Counsel Bahaneh Hobel will serve as a panelist.

To register, click here.

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


2015 Best Practices Winery Operations

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 key issues facing the wine industry today including:

  • The history and future of Napa’s Winery Definition Ordinance.
  • Employment law issues surrounding winery volunteers, interns, and immigration.
  • Applying for, and creating value in, an AVA
  • Issues facing next generation winemakers.

In addition to the usual group of legal experts leading the panels, this year’s seminar features many noted voices from the wine industry, including Andy Beckstoffer, Cathy Corison, Genevieve Janssens, Tegan Passalacqua, Matthew Rorick, and Richard Sanford.  A full program schedule can be downloaded here, and you can register here.

Richard P. Mendelson Of Counsel at DP&F will moderate a session on Napa’s Winery Definition Ordinance which will include panelists Andy Beckstoffer (Owner, Beckstoffer Vineyards).

Gregory J. Walsh, Director at DP&F, will co-present a session on Volunteers, Interns, and Immigration.

Carol Ritter, Director at DP&F, will provide a presentation on the AVA application Process, and then lead a panel discussion on “Creating and Maintaining AVA Value,” with panelists Richard Sanford (Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards) and Rex Stults (Government Relations Director, Napa Valley Vintners).

Katja Loeffelholz, Of Counsel at DP&F, will moderate a panel discussing on diversity in teh Vineyard and the Cellar, featuring leading women in the wine industry, including Cathy Corison (Corison Winery), Genevieve Janssens (Robert Mondavi Winery), Vanessa Robledo (Black Coyote Winery), Coral Brown (Brown Estate Vineyards, LLC) and Remi Coehn (Lede Family Wines/ Cliff Lede Vineyards).

John Trinidad, an attorney with DP&F’s Wine Law practice group, will lead a discuss about the opportunities and challenges facing young winemakers as they try to establish their own brands and locate vineyard sources.  Panelists include Tegan Passalacquia (Head winemaker and Vineyard Manger for Turley Wine Cellars and Proprietor of Sandlands Wines), and Matthew Rorick (Winemaker and Proprietor, Forlorn Hope Wines).

Margrit Mondavi: A Personal History of Napa Valley

On April 28, 2014, DP&F’s Richard Mendelson conducted an interview of Margrit Mondavi at the North Bay Business Journal’s annual Impact Napa conference.  NBBJ has made the video of that interview available online. This interview provides a rich personal history of Napa Valley from one of its most celebrated citizens.

Mrs. Mondavi is the Vice President for Cultural Affairs for Robert Mondavi Winery.  During the interview, she shared many details of her long history in the Valley, starting from her time as a tour guide at Charles Krug Winery in the 1960s, the growth of Robert Mondavi Winery (founded by her late husband Robert Mondavi), and through the present growth of the City of Napa.







Impact-Napa Conference Focuses on Past, Present and Future of Napa Valley

With Sunday’s earthquake still fresh on people’s mind, members of the wine growing community gathered at Napa’s Meritage Resort & Spa for the North Bay Business Journal’s annual “Impact: Napa” conference.  DP&F’s Richard Mendelson served as the moderator and DP&F was one of the two underwriters for the conference.

Napa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Marc Luce started the conference with an update on the earthquake damage and the County’s response.

Mendelson then interviewed Margrit Mondavi, Vice President for Cultural Affairs for Robert Mondavi Winery.  Mondavi shared many details of her long history in the Valley, starting from her time as a tour guide at Charles Krug Winery.  Mondavi highlighted the influence of food, art, and international travel in the growth of Robert Mondavi Winery, founded by her late husband Robert Mondavi.  She also noted the strong sense of community that has continued to be a hallmark of the Valley, recalling how Robert Mondavi and others would readily share equipment and lend advice to fellow winegrowers.

Next, Mendelson led a panel discussion on the Winery Definition Ordinance.  Panelists included Clay Gregory, president of Visit Napa Valley; Alex Ryan, President of Duckhorn Wine Company; and Dennis Groth, president of Groth Vineyards & Winery.  Panelists shared their views on the WDO’s impact on valley winegrowers and potential changes to county regulations.  Mendelson closed the panel by reminding attendees that there will be a community forum this November to discuss the future of the WDO.  We will announce more details regarding that forum in future blog posts.

The conference closed with a discussion featuring the “next generation” of leaders in the vineyard, winery, and restaurant worlds.  Panelists included Caleb Mosey, vineyard manager at Quintessa Winery; Vanessa Robledo, president of Black Coyote Winery; and Perry Hoffman, chief at Etoile Restaurant.  Both Robledo and Hoffman grew up in Napa, and talked about how their local upbringing continues to influence them today.  Hoffman learned to cook at his grandparents’ restaurant in Yountville, the  French Laundry, while Robledo learned how to tend to vines directly from her grandfather.  All panelists emphasized the importance of continued innovation in their respective fields as key to the continued growth and development of Napa Valley.


Wine and Spirits Law Academy (Sept. 8-10, 2014)

DP&F attorneys Scott GerienJim Terry, and John Trinidad will be panelists at the Wine and Spirits Law Academy.  The conference, co-sponsored by UC-Davis and the Wine & Law Program from the Université de Reims (Champagne, France), brings together an international group of practitioners and academics to discuss some of the key legal and regulatory issues facing the wine and spirits industries.  Of particular note:  Judge Ken Starr, who was part of the legal team that argued the landmark case of Granholm v. Heald, will address conference participants on September 9.

Mr. Gerien will discuss comparative aspects of trademark law with panelists from France and Australia.  Mr. Terry will be on a panel with the founding CEO of Lot 18, Phillip James, on “Global Issues Facing Wine Entrepreneurs,” and Mr. Trinidad will be on a panel titled, “Social Media and Its Impact on the Global Wine Market.”  Click the following link for the complete Wine and Spirits Law Academy Agenda.

You can register here.



Wine Law Refresher for Napa Valley Vintners Members

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty’s Of  Counsel Richard Mendelson and Senior Alcohol Beverage Attorney Bahaneh Hobel will be presenting a wine law refresher course to members of the Napa Valley Vintners.

This presentation will include an overview of federal, state and local licensing issues including sponsorships, private and charity events, contests and sweepstakes and third party retailers, as well as a discussion of Napa County’s Winery Definition Ordinance and an overview of the different regulations that apply in Napa’s “Ag Preserve.”

Members of the Napa Valley Vintners can RSVP and register for the presentation on the NVV Members website.





Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty to present “Exporting Wine to China” to Sonoma County Vintners

Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty attorneys will be presenting “Exporting Wine to China” to the Sonoma County Vintners on Wednesday, April 8th from 9:30am – 11:00am. The seminar will be held at the SCV offices: 3637 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa. “This is a timely seminar as our members will be heading to China on an export mission in May” said Nicole Daly, International Program Manager. The seminar will cover a wine market overview for exporting wine to China and Hong Kong.

Katja Loeffelholz, a registered attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Of Counsel with Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty, will discuss how to devise marketing plans that protect your brand and present strategies for developing and maintaining a strong brand given the current challenges to intellectual property rights in China.

Elizabeth Palmer Senior Counsel at Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty will present on international tax considerations when exporting to China and provide an overview of PRC Taxes.

John Trinidad and Bahaneh Hobel Counsel at Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty will discuss 5 points to include in any export agreement and important tips for structuring your producer-exporter relationship.

This seminar is exclusively for Sonoma County Vintners members. If you are interested in joining the Sonoma County Vintners or would like to attend the seminar please contact Kelley Perez at [email protected]. Katja Loeffelholz can be reached at [email protected], Elizabeth Palmer at [email protected], John Trinidad at [email protected] and Bahaneh Hobel at [email protected].

Annual “Best Practices in Winery Operations” Seminar (March 27-28, 2014)

Seminar Group CLE

Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty attorneys will be featured speakers during the upcoming “8th Annual Best Practices in Winery Operations: Risks and Rewards” to be held on March 27 & 28, 2014 in Napa. The seminar (which offers California CLE Credits) will cover the following:

  • Legal and Regulatory Update
  • County Audits and Compliance with Land Use Regulations Lessons Learned while Creating the Largest High-end Vineyard Development Portfolio
  • Hot Topics in Land Use Law
  • Marketing and Selling Wine Online: Opportunities and Speed Bumps
  • Franchise Laws: Knocking Down Trade Barriers
  • Building Brand Equity in the Global Marketplace
  • Trademark Licensing: Being a “Wine Brand” without being a “Winery”
  • Wineries in a Growth Mode – Human Resources
  • Trends in Vineyard and Winery Acquisitions
  • Passing the Torch: Family Business Transition Planning
  • Bias in the Legal Profession and the Wine Industry

James W. Terry Director at Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty (DP&F) is the program co-chair and will introduce the session. Richard P. Mendelson Of Counsel at DP&F will give a special presentation “Legal and Regulatory Update: What is the Next Battleground?”

In addition, Tom Adams, Director at DP&F will present on lessons learned while creating the largest high-end vineyard development portfolio. Gregory J. Walsh, Director at DP&F will cover human resource issues such as how to secure talented people and keep them. Finally, Katja Loeffelholz, a registered attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Of Counsel at DP&F, will moderate a panel discussing bias in the legal profession and wine industry.

The seminar will be held March 27 & 28 from 9:00 am to 5:15pm at the Napa River Inn. For more information and online registration, please follow this link or contact The Seminar Group at [email protected].

Highlights from UC Hastings College of the Law LL.M. Program Napa Valley Tour

Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty attorney W. Scott Thomas arranged a special tour of the Napa Valley for about 40 University of California, Hastings College of the Law LL.M. degree candidates from around the globe. The tour included an amazing tasting experience at Schramsburg Vineyards -America’s House of Sparkling Wine, and a catered lunch and tasting at historic Charles Krug Winery. In addition, the LL.M. students heard from guest lecturer Katja Loeffelholz, a registered attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Katja spoke to the group about “Intellectual Property Issues in the Wine Industry” and focused her presentation on various aspects of wine labels and packaging that can be protected intellectual property.


All students in the LL.M. degree program are either foreign attorneys or hold a degree that qualifies them to practice law from a school outside the United States. To learn more about the LL.M. program at Hastings College of the Law please email [email protected]. To obtain more information about protecting all aspects of intellectual property in your wine label and packaging in the United States and abroad please contact Katja Loeffelholz at [email protected].

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DP&F Unified 2014 Party in Sacramento

Unified 2014 Party Invite

Unified 2014 Party Invite

Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty is hosting a party on Wednesday, January 29th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at The Citizen Hotel’s Scandal Lounge, 926 J Street, in Sacramento. We invite all of our Lex Vini readers to join us if you happen to be in Sacramento for the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium.

Also stop by Unified booth 941 to meet some of our attorneys and enter to win a Coravin.