successhospitalityHappy New Year to all. I can’t believe another year has come and gone already. For myself, as the new year turns I’m taking a moment to reflect back on how well I achieved the goals I set for myself last year and to create new ones. Hence, it’s been a good time to dust off the old business plan to reflect on progress made or the lack thereof. In other words, I’m holding myself accountable for doing what I told myself I was going to do. So far, my persistence and diligence is bearing fruit for those new goals I’ve taken on. I’m also looking to scrap those goals that aren’t working.

I know some of you are contemplating taking the plunge this year to establish your own winery or wine based business. If so, this is a great time to lay your foundation towards developing a successful winery or wine and hospitality based business by creating your business plan.

Creating a business plan forces you to focus on identifying your goals and objectives as well as how to set plans on how to reach them. In other words, where do you see your business 1 year from now, 3 years from now, or even 5 years from now? Who are your customers? What specific products will you offer? Have you identified your competition? What are your start up costs and sources of funds? What is your mission? Who is your target market? How will you manage the local, state, and federal regulations governing the business of alcohol? Exactly how will your business take shape in 2016?

These are just a few questions to think about when starting your own winery, wine or hospitality based business. As the beginning of the year unfolds, use this time to build your business plan and set achievable goals. Your business plan will keep you on the right track in 2016 and the years to follow.

Does Alternative Lending For Your Pennsylvania Wine Or Hospitalty Business Sound Enticing?

We can all probably agree that building your new winery or hospitality business takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and boatload of money. Whereas the baby boomer generation typically relied on traditional forms of financing such as bank loans, savings accounts, small business administration loans and daddy, today’s millennial entrepreneurs are turning to non-traditional forms of financing and lending sources. seed$images

Millennial hospitality and wine business entrepreneurs who have struggled to find access to capital are relying now on more organic ways to fund their wine and hospitality businesses. One such way is by pursuing alternative crowd-funding financing. Crowd-funding, also known as peer-to peer lending, is a popular and growing alternative method of raising money.

Unlike an angel investment in which one person typically takes a larger stake in a small business, crowd-funding attracts a crowd of people, each of who take a small stake in a business by contributing towards an online funding target. Its main benefit is the creation of a strong network of support for your business. Your investors often become your evangelists for your brand.

On such crowd funding source is Kickstarter ( Typically there is no cost to launch a crowd-funding campaign. If you business is successful in its funding, Kickstarter takes a small fee plus payment processing. If your campaign fails, there are no fees.

Crowd-funding can provide a fantastic opportunity but it should not be taken lightly. You may wish to contact your lawyer or CPA for professional assistance. For more help and information on this alternative financing source, you should also consult the Small Business Administration’s (www.SBA.GOV) online course on Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

Now go out there and “show me the money.”

May Your Holiday Wishes Be Filled With Good Wine and Cheer!

Happy holidays and best wishes from the Law Offices of Judy M. Young, LLC. Its hard to believe its been almost eightchristmas-holiday-wallpaper years since the launch of Pennsylvania Winery and Hospitality Lawyer. Its been a real joy and a blessing to serve the needs of the Pennsylvania wine and hospitality community. As 2015 approaches, we look forward to serving your future legal needs. We hope your new year is filled with good health, happiness, and cheer.

Pennsylvania Wine Bloggers: Who’s Got The Juice In 2014?

The public voting is complete for the 2014 Wine Blog Awards. The public has spoken and these lucky winners are the folks who’ve got the juice! A special shout out to Philly’s own Wine School of Pennsylvania. You do Pennsylvania proud.

Best Blog Post of the Year

Lauren Mowery’s Turkish Wines: Vinkara Winery Working to Preserve Indigenous Varieties with Delicious Results, from the blog, Chasing the Vine.

Best Original Photography or Video on a Wine Blog

Jordan Winery’s blog, The Journey of Jordan Winery, organized by Lisa Mattson.

Best Industry/Business Wine Blog:

Tom Wark’s Fermentation: The Daily Wine blog

Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog:

Wine School of Philadelphia

Best Single Subject Wine Blog:

Washington Wine Report

Best Winery Blog:

The Lynmar Life

Best Writing On a Wine Blog:

HoseMaster of Wine

Best New Wine Blog:

Girl and the Grape

Best Overall Wine Blog:

Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog

Protecting Your Pennsylvania Winery and Hospitality Business Summertime Event

Now that summertime is here, your Winery, Restaurant, Wine Business or Bed and Breakfast may permit wineeventusing your facility for events such as festivals, weddings, outdoor jazz concerts and other events that attract customers to your venue and promote goodwill in your community.

When working with event planners you’ll need to remember to have a carefully prepared Agreement that will protect your risks and liabilities for the event.

A brief look at things you’ll want to consider:

**Outline the premises and facilities that the other party participating with you will be authorize to use. You may desire to restrict certain areas of your property.

**Identify the purpose of your agreement, the parties involved, and the duration of the agreement. Allow yourself a provision that gives you the power to terminate the agreement if necessary.

**Detail the necessary payments, deposits and schedule for which they are to be paid.

**Be clear about which party is responsible for particular services and amenities (food, beverages, security, entertainment, lighting, janitorial clean-up.)

**State which party will be responsible for event permits and licensing.

**Identify who will be responsible for monitoring alchohol consumption of the guests. Make sure the alcohol servers are RAMP trained so they may prevent underage service, excessive consumption and intoxicated guests from driving.

**Allow yourself a provision to be compensated for premise damages that may be incurred during such events.

**Have your legal counsel prepare and/or review your written Agreement prior to the execution by each party.

And by all means enjoy your summertime events!

A Comprehensive Look At American Wine In All Fifty States

Are you’re looking for a guide on American wines and those who make it? Is so you might wish to take a look at this new book by author and wine expert Janis Robinson. Janice takes a look at American winemakers in all fifty states. For more:

Pennsylvania Governor Unveils Plans To Privatize State Liquor Stores

Governor Tom Corbett (R) is expected to unveiled his plan to privatize Pennsylvania’s state liquor stores. The Governor proposes one stop shopping by allowing consumers to purchase wine and beer at grocery stores or big box store. The plan anticipates that prices would be driven down and calls for the auctioning off of some 1200 liquor licenses and the closure of some 600 stores. The Governor’s plan would have to be approved by the State’s Legislature. For more:

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I have a dream. You have a dream. Or do you?

Every year when the New Year rolls around I’m reminded of the folks that have approached my practice happy-new-year-wine-and-grapesat the beginning of every year to discuss their desire to open their own winery, restaurant, or other wine based business. We typically discuss how to best proceed in their mission. I listen respectfully as they share their dreams and passions. We talk about the hard work, the diligence and the finanacial committment that will be necessary to fulfill their dreams. Some of these entrepreneurs to be, discover that they more romantic hobbyists than entrepreneur, abandoning the dream along the way. Others non-committers speak their dreams out loud, failing to act, while watching at a distance as others take their dreams and implement the very dream they thought they once had but for their own failure to act.

When the dust settles and clears, what I’ve learned is that the difference between those that “talk the talk” and those that “walk the walk “ comes right down to the “doers”.

The “doers have a dream that they hold on to very tightly. “Doers keep their visions and plans to themselves so as to limit the negative feedback from those who would discourage them, identifying barriers or reinforcing negative thoughts their dreams can’t be accomplished. The “doer’s work diligently when no one is looking, often without pats on the backs, or ego’s stroked, perservering with their vision and goals. The “doer’s stay committed to their fulfilling their dreams of opening that new tasting room, restaurant, bed and breakfast or wine based business.

As the new year of 2013 unfolds, who will you be? Will you stay true to your dream of beginning the new path towards entrepreneurship. Perhaps your dream is to finally act on that expansion that you’ve been planning for years. Or maybe, this is the time to pursue that new acquisition. Might this be your year to build a new business? Whatever the case, if it is your dream, now is the time to act. Now is the time to do. Don’t let others derail what you know in your heart and mind is your dream path to follow.

Be a “Doer” in 2013. This is your time. This is your moment. Live your dream.

Pennsylvania Wine Shipment Legislation Gains Momentum

On March 28, the Pennsylvania State Senate unanimously passed 48-0, Senate Bill 790 which would allow consumers to have domestic wines from U.S. wineries shipped directly to their homes in the state. Under the legislation, consumers would be allowed to purchase by phone, mail or internet as many as 24 domestic wines per month. However, for those residents interested in purchasing imported wines, Pennsylvania residents would still be required to continue to obtain imported wine purchases from the 620 state owned/controlled liquor stores.

Under the bill, consumers would be required to verify their age and sign for shipments. Wineries would be required to collect taxes prior to shipping and to pay a $100 state registration fee annually along with reporting requirements to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Pennsylvania is one of 14 states that restricts the shipping of wine to its residents. The State’s ban on direct shipment of wine has been a long standing concern integral to the wider debate on the future of the Pennsylvania’s state-controlled liquor store system. While proponents of the bill believe the legislation offers Pennsylvania residents a bit more liquor freedom while bolstering state revenue, Senator Lawrence M. Farnese Jr. D-Philadelphia, a co-sponsor of the bill voiced his disappointment arguing that late surfacing amendments to the bill shuts out “90 percent of the world’s wine” from French, German, Australian and other imports thus “giving the people of Pennsylvania less that what they should be getting”.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is the largest purchased of wine and spirits in the United States with sales topping $1.9 billion.

Calling All Pennsylvania Winemaker’s With No Dirt

Do you happen to be a Pennsylvania Winemaker with no vineyard? No UrbanWineryProblem. Perhaps your real calling is that you’re a city dwelling vintner. Besides, the grapes only care about where they are grown and not where they are crushed. With that in mind, have you considered that maybe there is an Urban Winery in your future? If so, your time is now. Advances in both technology and transport are on your side. Today, there is a growing recognition that you really don’t have to have the dirt to start your own Urban Winery. Instead, your grapes can be grown in a remote location with you transporting them to your urban facility for crushing, fermenting, and aging.

Typically when we think of wineries, most of us think of expansive vineyards overlooking large gardens with a view. The Urban Winery is a growing yet different phenomenon. As the winemaker you can locate your winemaking production facility in an urban setting within a city rather than the traditional rural setting typically in close proximity to the nearby vineyard.

The upside of course is that you can attract all of today’s millennial’s who enjoy that frequented city dwelling lifestyle. This concept has all kinds of possibilities. Conceptually you’d be bringing the consumer intimately closer to the winemaking experience in a much more meaningful way, far beyond the wine bar experience. Your Urban Winery can be “the” gathering spot for the neighborhood locals who drop in to sip and take a few bottles of Pennsylvania wine home.

Urban wineries are rapidly cropping up across America. You could now find them in New York, California, Ohio, Maryland and Washington State to name a few.

So, if you’re ready to grab hold of those urban dwellers and are ready to provide them with an authentic winery experience– perhaps there is a Urban Winery in your future. Go for it Pennsylvania Winemakers!