The Pint: Teeth-Stainers from the Western Slope - Colorado’s Established and Burgeoning Wine Industry

In the fourth episode of The Pint, Moye White attorneys Billy Jones and Kevin Tibolt break you out of the orchards and into the vines for a mouth-watering discussion of Colorado’s burgeoning wine industry.

The Pint is a freewheeling discussion of craft beer, craft spirits, and the law. Listen to The Pint on Spotify, iTunes, or anywhere podcasts are available.

Episode 4 Synopsis

When you think of Colorado, you probably think mountains, skiing, hiking, and the great outdoors. You may not necessarily think wine. Colorado’s Western Slope has a unique climate that has birthed a robust fruit business. Palisade peaches, apples, cherries, plums, apricots, and pears make up some of the finest produce to be found anywhere. What about grapes? There are 150 to 160 wineries in Colorado, and most of them are located on the Western Slope.

In early January, we drove out to Grand Junction and participated in VinCO, CAVE’s (Colorado Association of Viticulture & Enology) Annual Conference and Tradeshow. CAVE represents vintners, vineyards, winemakers, and those who serve the wine industry. During our trip, we met with winemakers to learn what’s going on in our backyard. 

Some of the topics up for discussion were contractual agreements, product distribution, and succession planning. Unlike other businesses, winemaking doesn’t follow a specific business model, but at its core, it is an agricultural business - growing crops. 

Many of Colorado’s vineyards and wineries have been family owned since their inception and have long operated off handshake deals and without legal assistance. Even tightknit industries cannot escape the business challenges that can be addressed by proper business structuring, succession planning, and brand protection. As lawyers who are passionate about small business and our Colorado community, we want to inform grape growers and winemakers about the steps they can take to protect Colorado’s winemaking treasure. 

To learn more, tune in to episode four of The Pint. Subscribe now, so you don’t miss future episodes!

What We are Drinking: 2016 Vintners Blend from Two Rivers Winery

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