Acquisition of Land

Lawyers can assist winery owners and wine growers with the acquisition of land for the development of new vineyards and wineries, as well as the acquisition of existing vineyards and wineries. Due to the complexity and importance of these transactions, consulting an attorney can facilitate a smooth transaction.

Construction & Repairs

Wineries enlist the services of contractors to build, upgrade, and improve their facilities, install or repair irrigation systems, and any number of other projects ranging from drainage to customer access. Consulting with a lawyer when entering into an agreement with a contractor can help to minimize the possibility of later disputes.

Environmental and Natural Resource Issues

Owners and operators of wineries and vineyards engage in a variety of activities that could subject them to federal and state environmental regulation. A lawyer can advise wineries and growers regarding regulations applying to endangered species protection, wetlands management, waste water management, and surface water and groundwater quality.

Water Rights

Water is a limited resource in California. Consulting an attorney who is knowledgeable about the water rights system can help a winery or vineyard owner both to secure and protect an adequate supply of water and also to assess the value of property prior to purchase or sale.

Business Formation

Just like any business owner, owners of a winery or vineyard have several legal structures to choose from to operate their business. Owners should consider liability issues, management and control, sharing of profits and losses, taxation, and costs in selecting an entity type, i.e. a corporation, limited liability company, or sole proprietorship. Each entity type has certain advantages and disadvantages, and a lawyer can assist owners in weighing their options and choosing the best structure for their individual business.

State and Federal Beverage Licensing and Permitting

Attorneys at Parravano Witten PC are experienced in the preparation and filing of beverage license and permit applications for the production and sale of wine products.

Licensing Agreements

Licensing agreements take many forms and come up in a variety of situations in the wine business. For instance, licensing agreements come into play in custom-crush licensing agreements, where the winery produces wine for individuals who then market the wine under their own labels. A licensing agreement may also come into play with groups who want the use of your facilities for various events such as weddings, parties or festivals. Having an attorney to assist in drafting the agreement can ensure that the result is beneficial to all parties.

Trademark Protection

Wineries and Vineyards distinguish themselves from their competitors by their name and associated trademark, including its design. Protecting a winery’s name and label design from infringement or other unlawful use by another winery, or other unrelated business is necessary to preserve your reputation in the market. Lawyers versed in federal, state and international registration of trademarks are a valuable resource to protect your intellectual property.


As in any industry, a broad spectrum of disputes can occur in the wine business. An attorney who is well-versed in environmental enforcement actions by regulatory agencies, FDA or ABC investigations, product liability defense and other similar matters can help owners navigate and settle these disputes.

Estate Planning

Often, wineries operate as small family-owned and closely held businesses. This kind of structure raises a number of issues. There may be several generations involved in running the winery. Attorneys who specialize corporate and estate planning experience can assist owners to make the best decisions for their family with respect to business succession, transfer of ownership and related estate planning issues.


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