BusinessBUSINESS
  • Acted as counsel alternately to buyers and sellers in more than 70 vineyard, winery and wine brand purchase-sale transactions.

  • Negotiated and drafted numerous vineyard development and management contracts, and grape purchase, custom crush, alternating proprietorship and consulting winemaker agreements for owners, developers, investors, lessees and service providers.

  • Acted as counsel to mobile and fixed bottling companies on acquisition of competitors, private investor financing, capital restructuring and purchase and import of bottling equipment from European manufacturers.

  • Negotiated name and likeness agreement on behalf of high-profile sommelier with international cruise line and merchandise licensing agreement with leading theme park and entertainment company.

  • Negotiated and documented over 25 loans on behalf of the wine industry division of a leading bank.
  • Real EstateREAL ESTATE
  • Alternately represented lessors and lessees in concluding over 50 multi-million dollar vineyard leases.

  • Counseled borrowers in connection with the restructuring of their real estate loan portfolios, many including multiple parcels, borrowing entities, and lines of credit.

  • Advised a prominent land owner in connection with the donation of land to the Napa Valley Housing Authority for farmworker housing.

  • Represented shopping center, housing and resort developers in negotiating options and acquisitions, conducing due diligence, and resolving complex entitlement and other issues.

  • Successfully resolved numerous easements disputes, including one preventing the development of a winery, and another blocking financing for the restoration of a historic landmark property.
  • Land UseLAND USE
  • Advised a publicly traded wine company concerning a myriad of complex local and state land use issues arising from its merger with another publicly traded company.

  • Represented affordable housing developer in successfully mediating neighborhood conflict.

  • Assisted a Seattle-based developer in overcoming legal obstacles and political opposition to the development of green housing near Angwin.

  • Successfully halted the development of a 12 lot subdivision in the St. Helena hills on behalf of slow growth advocates.

  • Obtained numerous use permits, variances and other entitlements for winery, hospitality and other clients.
  • Dispute ResolutionDISPUTE RESOLUTION
  • Obtained substantial judgment against wine auction company and its principals for fraud.

  • Secured large settlement from national insurer for injury to boutique winery’s goodwill resulting from unauthorized sale of wine damaged in warehouse fire.

  • Represented winery in precedent-setting malpractice action against its consulting winemaker.

  • Represented the local chapter of a national environmental organization in challenging Napa County’s lot line adjustment ordinance.

  • Recovered funds for defrauded winery investor in multiple actions arising from breach of option agreement and foreclosure of property.

  • Represented numerous buyers, sellers and brokers in breach of contract and tort actions arising from vineyard and winery acquisitions.

  • Acted as counsel to growers, wineries and others in resolving disputes over easements, boundaries, water rights, vineyard leases, grape purchase contracts and distributorship agreements.