Wineries

Winery Attorneys in Boise

Mooney Wieland Alcohol Industry Advisors

Winemaking – like other areas of the alcoholic beverage industry – is heavily regulated in almost every regard. From how you run your business to how you maintain your facilities and create your products, the government places many stringent rules on what you must do. Mooney Wieland Alcohol Industry Advisors is here to help business owners like you make sense the bureaucracy that’s entwined with your business – especially if you’re just starting out.

There’s a lot you need to consider from business entity formation to applying for a winery permit, getting approvals for your wine labels, and protecting your business’ intellectual property. Mooney Wieland Alcohol Industry Advisors can provide the legal advice and services you need right now to ensure your business complies with government regulations and protected from trademark infringement.

If you want to know more about how our winery attorneys in Boise can assist you with your unique needs, please reach out to schedule a consultation. Call (208) 295-5809 or contact us online to arrange one today!

Applying for a Winery Permit

No matter how you want to structure your business, the barrier for entry for all wineries is a winery permit. Depending upon how involved you are or aspire to be as a winemaker, you will need the proper permits to start your business.

Business options in the wine industry can include the following:

  • Bonded Winery: A stand-alone winery where the business owner makes all decisions regarding the winemaking.
  • Alternating Proprietorship: For business owners who wish to produce wine by contracting with an existing winery to use its equipment for production.
  • Custom Crush: An arrangement that allows a bonded winery to produce wine on your behalf. You are considered a wholesaler in this arrangement, which means you are not responsible for regulations concerning the production, labeling, or taxation of the wine.
  • Bonded Wine Cellar: A business that stores, blends, or bottles untaxpaid wine, but does not produce wine.

Mooney Wieland Alcohol Industry Advisors can help you through the necessary permit applications needed to help you start your business in the wine industry, no matter which part of it you wish to play. We have extensive experience when it comes to interfacing and dealing with the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which means we understand what it’s looking for in successful applications. We can leverage our knowledge and experience for your benefit, helping you to potentially reduce the time it takes to start your business.

Labeling Your Wine

Get a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA)

A government-approved label must appear on every container of wine before it can be sold in the U.S. The TTB is tasked with reviewing and approving these labels, and those that pass muster will be granted a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) to verify the label meets the government’s specific criteria.

As soon as your winery permit is approved, you may file a COLA application with the TTB. Typically, you must also include a sample label with the application for review. In some cases, the formula you used to create your product must also be sent to the TTB for evaluation before filing a COLA application.

Some important criteria that must be precise on your label include:

  • Brand name
  • Varietal designation
  • Appellation of origin
  • Viticultural area
  • Health statements
  • Name and address of business
  • Net contents
  • Declaration of sulfites

Mooney Wieland Alcohol Industry Advisors can work with you and/or your graphic designer to ensure these criteria are as accurate as possible on your sample label before sending in your COLA application. Working with our winery attorneys in Boise may lessen the time it takes to approve your labels or limit the number of revisions that may be required by the TTB.

Protect Your Winery’s Trademarks

When it comes to how your products stand out on shelves and in consumers’ minds, your company’s trademarked intellectual property is essential.

Some of these assets include:

  • Your company’s name
  • Logos, photos, and other illustrations
  • Slogans
  • Product lines
  • Specific processes, formulas, or recipes

Each of the items above and many more can be protected from trademark infringement by taking steps now to protect them. What’s more, you may be able to protect your company’s liability by working with Mooney Wieland Alcohol Industry Advisors to ensure your use of any intellectual property is not encroaching upon another business’s rights.

Contact Us for Legal Support

If you’re opening a business in the winemaking industry, it’s important to have legal representation that can respond to your company’s specific needs. At Mooney Wieland Alcohol Industry Advisors, we focus our business on providing legal advice and services to companies involved with the alcoholic beverage industry, whether they may be producers, importers, wholesalers, or another part of the industry.

Our representation means you can benefit from having attorneys who’ve dealt with the issues you’re facing as a winemaker, cellar operator, winegrower, or however else you contribute to the tradition of making and selling wine. Reach out to us for a consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

Fill out our online contact form or call (208) 295-5809 for the legal support you need.

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