Our Wine Industry Practice Group represents family owned, closely held, and institutionally owned companies in the wine business. Our clients include prominent California wineries, winemakers, growers, and wine industry investors. Our lawyers have taken lead roles in merger and acquisition transactions, real property transactions, financing transactions, disaster recovery and insurance coverage matters, partnership disputes , contract negotiations, intellectual property protection and enforcement, analyzing environmental and water rights issues, defending state and federal government environmental enforcement actions and citizen lawsuits relating to vineyard and winery operations, and other complex litigation matters affecting the wine industry.
Our interdisciplinary team leverages the core competencies of our Real Estate, Corporate, Environmental, Litigation/Insurance Recovery, and Family Wealth Planning practice groups to offer our wine industry clients a broad range of services. Our capabilities include:
- Winery and vineyard acquisition and disposition (buy-side and sell-side), including direct real property and entity level transfers
- Vineyard leases, custom crush agreements, grape contracts, and warehousing agreements
- Debt and equity financing related to winery and vineyard assets (including mortgage loans and corporate debt facilities)
- Insurance counseling and recovery
- Securities, partnership and trust disputes, real estate litigation, intellectual property, and general business conflicts
- Estate and succession planning for family owned vineyard and winery assets
- Trademark and other protection of wine and winery-related intellectual property assets
- Analyzing environmental and water rights issues for wineries and vineyards
- Defending State Water Board, Regional Water Board, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service civil and administrative environmental enforcement actions against wineries and vineyard operators
- Defending citizen lawsuits under federal and state environmental laws against wineries and vineyard operators
We advise some of the most prominent names in the wine industry. Clients we represent or have represented include: Duckhorn Wine Company, Cakebread Cellars, Calera, Clos Du Val, Du Mol, and SLO Down Wines.