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Farris LLP: Vancouver's Law Firm

Liquor Distribution

Farris provides leading legal services to the wine industry.

Wineries deal with rapidly evolving market conditions and a complex and extensive regulatory system. Farris has a reputation for dealing with legal matters with efficiency and innovation. The following document summarizes the laws in British Columbia applicable to the wine law industry: BC Wine Law - A Brief Summary.

Farris is a high performance law firm and provide a broad range of legal services to the wine industry, including:

Business Formation

  • Structuring business entities
  • Incorporations
  • Partnerships and limited partnerships
  • Joint ventures
  • Shareholders’ agreements

Wine Industry Licensing and Permitting

  • Compliance with ongoing regulatory obligations
  • Winery permitting and regulation
  • Regulation of wine distribution and marketing
  • Preparation and filing of winery licence and permit applications
  • Prescribed buy-sell agreements

Winery and Vineyard Financing

  • Start-up financing
  • Raising equity capital
  • Limited Partnership private placements
  • VCC financing
  • Term and operating loans

Land Acquisition

  • Acquisition of existing vineyards
  • Vineyard leasing
  • Acquisition of undeveloped land
  • Zoning and land use issues
  • Environmental issues
  • Water rights issues

Construction Law

  • Design and construction agreements for wineries, vineyard irrigation systems, and access road construction
  • Green building and sustainable development

Marketing and Trademark Protection

  • Choosing and protecting a winery’s name and label design
  • Trademarks, certification marks, geographic indications, trade dress and distinguishing guise, and vineyard descriptions
  • Labelling and content laws
  • Internet law and Internet sales
  • Protecting your brand

Employment Law

  • Employment agreements
  • Human rights issues
  • Hiring an immigrant winemaker
  • Migrant and seasonal worker programs
  • Workplace safety
  • Employee share ownership plans
  • Employee benefit plans
  • Union negotiations and grievances

Winery Acquisitions and Sales

  • Structure, negotiate, and close purchases or sales
  • Checklist of issues for winery acquisitions
  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Receivership sales
  • Due diligence

Business Succession

  • Intergenerational planning for family-owned and closely held winery businesses
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate sales

Wine Industry Agreements

  • Grape supply and purchase agreements
  • Distribution and supply chain agreements
  • Custom crush agreements
  • Alternating proprietorship agreements


  • Tax and estate planning
  • Transactional taxes (e.g. GST, PST)
  • Structuring your business to minimize taxation

Litigation and Regulatory Issues

  • Responding to compliance issues, audits, and investigations
  • Winery license infractions
  • Host liability issues for the wine industry
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Challenges to inter-provincial shipments of wine
  • Avoiding tasting room liability

Download the Wine Practice Group Overview (PDF)

Our Lawyers

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Dominic A. Petraroia, Q.C. Managing Partner, Kelowna dpetraroia@farris.com 250 869 3851
Marylee A. Davies Partner mdavies@farris.com 604 661 1707
Sally Dennis Partner sdennis@farris.com 604 661 9327
Albert J. Hudec Partner ahudec@farris.com 604 661 9356
Ross Langford Partner rlangford@farris.com 250 869 3868
Peter C.T. MacPherson Partner pmacpherson@farris.com 250 869 3881