Wineries, vineyard owners, and other business servicing the wine industry face a complex set of legal and regulatory obstacles at the federal, state and local level. At the same time, the business climate is rapidly changing with opportunities and challenges, ranging from e-commerce, wildfires, and the growing cannabis industry. Businesses looking to grow and flourish need to arm themselves with current information from industry leaders on everything from contracting with growers to protecting their brands, and exploring different legal avenues for marketing and sales.
Please plan to join us as we discuss the Business Sides of the Wine Industry. This program will give your business and clients the tools you need to succeed and excel!
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Christopher J. Passarelli, Program Co-Chair, is an Intellectual Property Partner with Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty. He has practiced trademark, trade secret, copyright and business law since 2005, in a range of industries which include internet and high technology, agribusiness, food, wine, arts and entertainment. He handles international and domestic I.P. registration, transactions, litigation and enforcement matters, including representation before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and U.S. federal courts.
John Trinidad, Program Co-Chair, is a partner in Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty’s Wine Law, Business, Alcohol Beverage, and Geographical Indications practice groups. John advises wine and alcohol beverage industry clients on a broad range of legal issues, including business formation, obtaining alcohol beverage licenses, and the drafting of key contracts, such as grape purchase agreements, vineyard leases, and distribution contracts, and the purchase and sale of winery brands and assets.
Hilary Bricken is a partner at Harris Bricken in Los Angeles and one of the premier cannabis business and regulatory attorneys in the United States. As chair of Harris Bricken’s Regulated Substances practice group, Hilary helps cannabis companies of all sizes with their legal issues. In 2018, Hilary was honored by National Law Journal as a “Cannabis Law Trailblazer.” In addition, Hilary was a columnist for Above the Law from 2015 until 2019 where she featured content on cannabis policy and regulation.
Steve J. Gross is Director of State Relations at the Wine Institute, where he has been employed since 1986. He oversees activities of the Institute’s six State Relations Field Offices as they track state legislation affecting the industry, as well as coordinating the Institute’s legislative and regulatory activities with staff, lobbyists and member wineries. He serves on the Board of Directors of both Sustainable Conservation and the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance.
Christopher R. Hermann, a partner with Stoel Rives LLP, is founding chair of the firm’s Brewery, Winery and Distillery group and former co-chair of its Beverage and Hospitality group. He has worked with Northwest breweries, wineries, vineyards, and distilleries for many years. He has experience with transactions involving the purchase, sale, and LLC formation of breweries, wineries, vineyards, and distilleries. He frequently speaks on brewery, winery, vineyard, and distillery-related issues.
Bahaneh Hobel is a partner at Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty in Napa and heads the Alcohol Beverage Law & Compliance group. Her practice focuses on all aspects of alcohol beverage law and regulation for wineries, breweries, distilled spirits plants, importers, wholesalers and retailers. She has worked extensively with state and federal alcoholic beverage agencies throughout the U.S, including the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
Rob McMillan is the EVP & Founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division. He is one of the top wine-business analysts in the United States and the author of Silicon Valley Bank’s highly regarded annual State of the Wine Industry Report, described by the New York Times as “…probably the most influential analysis of its kind.” With decades of experience researching the wine business, his views on business and strategy are sought after and trusted by winery owners, journalists, entrepreneurs, and investors.
Paul W. Reidl, is the owner of the Law Office of Paul W. Reidl in Half Moon Bay. He has been practicing law for over 40 years. He represents clients in trademark, alcohol beverage and general business law matters in both the United States and overseas. He is a frequent litigator before Federal courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. He has also testified as a trademark expert on numerous occasions. He previously served as Associate General Counsel with E. & J. Gallo Winery for 18 years.
Rebecca Stamey-White is a partner at Hinman & Carmichael LLP focusing her practice on the laws related to the sale, distribution and marketing of alcoholic beverages and cannabis. She provides licensing, distribution, compliance and trade practice business advice for regulated industries and defends clients in state agency protest and accusation hearings and federal alcohol investigations. She has a special interest in crafting legally-compliant advertising. She is the firm’s cannabis practice leader.
Robert M. Tobiassen has been the President of the National Association of Beverage Importers, Inc. since October 2018. In his 34-year Federal service career he gained regulatory, taxation/administrative and judicial enforcement experience with the domestic and global alcohol industry. He previously served in the career Senior Executive Service (SES) as Chief Counsel, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), Department of the Treasury and as Principal at Tobiassen Consulting Plus Solutions LLC.