Largely as a result of the Canadian penchant for vesting the sales of wine in government monopolies, our law of wine is singularly underdeveloped. I had occasion to reflect on this while attending a book and wine evening at the UofT Faculty Club profiling the marvellous Natalie McLean
But back to the law of wine. So apologies to Domenic Jaar, who owns the wine, law and information management space. There’s more than you might expect: The Australian Gold Coast firm Corrs, has a practice group just on the law of wine:
Corrs’ wine practice has a wide range of domestic and foreign clients, including growers, winemakers, producers, importers, distributors, vigneron associations and government instrumentalities.
Our experience in the wine sector includes extensive work in the geographical indications area, such as working in the Coonawarra boundary dispute, registering and protecting other Australian geographical indications, and protecting European geographical indications in Australia and the Asia-Pacific for, amongst others, French government instrumentalities
Closer to home Nixon Peabody in Rochester has a wine group too, as has Pillsbury Winthrop in San Francisco..I’ve found only one Canadian firm which claims expertise in the area.
Where would there be a law school class on the law of wine? California obviously
If any student thought a class involving wine tasting would be a cakewalk, they were disappointed.
“It’s substantive. It’s hard,” said Mano Sheik, a third-year Boalt Hall law student. “We’re not just drinking wine
That’s what seems to happen at Murdoch..”
And that’s the point, according to the class’ instructor, Richard Mendelson. The Napa attorney, who has both worked in and concentrated his practice on the wine industry, said the law surrounding it is rife with issues involving the 21st Amendment, intellectual property, land use planning and international trade
See his interview on. The course at Monash seems much tougher.
The Wine Trade Dispute Between the United States and the European Union
Looking for the statutes and cases in this area? First stop is the Wine Institute of America Legal Reference Library. But that’s essentially American isn’t it? Well, then you need The International Wine Law Association (Association Internationale des Juristes du Droit de la Vigne et du Vin) which was founded in 1985 to provide an international forum for the study and discussion of legal issues concerning the viticultural community and the wine trade – world wide. The World Wine Trade Group is an informal group of government representatives with a mutual interest in facilitating the international trade in wine and avoiding the application of obstacles to international trade in wine. Then for Europe, not surprisingly there’s an EUR-Lex site linking to European law, as well as an entire issue of the Flinders Journal of Law Reform, and some law firm newsletters. For Ontario and British Columbia don’t expect much from the websites.
The state monopolies of North America may be tough to break, but small inroads are being made – such as the ruling in Seattle on September 24
They always said that one could understand much of the early s. 91 / 92 jurisprudence by reading the Privy Council on liquor regulation – but is there enough here in Canada to constitute a topic worth studying and practising?